Ghanaian President demands reparations for slavery

Ghana’s president described slavery as “inhumane” which saw countries have their “peoples traded as commodities”

The following article originally appeared in The Voice Online and was written by Sinai Fleary on September 25, 2023.

Ghana's President Nana Akufo-Addo (Pic: Ludovic Marin /AFP via Getty Images)

THE PRESIDENT of Ghana has renewed calls for reparations for countries affected by slavery.

President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo, was speaking at the UN General Assembly when he made the comments, and said the consequences of the slave trade are still being felt in Africa, the Caribbean and the Americas.

President Akufo-Addo said: “It is time to acknowledge openly that much of Europe and the United States have been built from the vast wealth harvested from the sweat, tears, blood and horrors of the transatlantic slave trade.”

According to the recently published landmark Brattle ReportBritain owes a staggering £18.6 trillion in reparations – which is over five times the country’s annual gross domestic product.

The president added: “No amount of money will ever make up for the horrors, but it would make the point that evil was perpetrated, that millions of productive Africans were snatched from the embrace of our continent, and put to work in the Americas and the Caribbean without compensation for their labour.”

“Maybe we should also admit that it cannot be easy to build confident and prosperous societies from nations that, for centuries, had their natural resources looted and their peoples traded as commodities,” he added.

President Akufo-Addo stressed the importance of conversations about reparations.

“Granted that current generations are not the ones that engaged in the slave trade, but that grand inhuman enterprise was state-sponsored and deliberate; and its benefits are clearly interwoven with the present-day economic architecture of the nations that designed and executed it,” he said.

In July, Africa and The Caribbean joined forces to call for reparations for slavery at a historic meeting.

Representatives from African and Caribbean nations attended a series of meetings in Bridgetown, Barbados, to formulate a strategy to demand reparations.

The ground-breaking meetings included representation from the University of the West Indies (UWI), the Economic, Social and Cultural Council of the African Union (AU), Barbados’ government, grant-making network Open Society Foundations and the Caribbean Pan African Network, Reuters reported.

According to a report in news a outlet, the meetings signal the beginning of an “intercontinental campaign” demanding reparations for slavery.

In August, hundreds of  people have marked Emancipation Day by marching through London demanding reparations for slavery.

The annual Afrikan Emancipation Day Reparations Day March, was held on August 1, in Brixton, south London.