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Global Accord: Summit Announces Historic Fund to Compensate Africans for Slavery, Declares 'It is Time' for Restitution

  • World
  • Sunday, 19 November 2023 12:48

Accra Reparation Summit: Global Agreement Establishes Fund for Compensation to Africans for Trans-Atlantic Slave Trade

In a historic move, delegates gathered at the Accra Reparation Conference in Ghana have reached a consensus to create a Global Reparation Fund, signaling a collective effort to seek long-overdue compensation for the descendants of millions of Africans who endured the horrors of the trans-Atlantic slave trade. The summit adds its voice to the growing global demand for reparations, highlighting the plight of approximately 12 million Africans forcefully taken by European nations between the 16th and 19th centuries, enduring enslavement on plantations that generated wealth at the cost of immense human suffering.

Even centuries after the formal abolition of the slave trade, people of African descent worldwide continue to grapple with "systemic racial discrimination and racialized attacks," as underscored in a recent report by a United Nations forum. The report positioned reparations as a "cornerstone of justice in the 21st century," emphasizing the ongoing impact of historical injustices.

President Nana Addo Akufo-Addo of Ghana, addressing the conference attended by high-ranking officials from across Africa and the diaspora community, declared, "It is time for Africa – whose sons and daughters had their freedoms controlled and sold into slavery – to also receive reparations." Akufo-Addo forcefully called out the British and other European nations for their enrichment during the slave trade, noting that the enslaved Africans themselves received nothing in return.

While the conference did not delineate the operational specifics of the Global Reparation Fund, there is a collective sentiment that it should be employed to "correct the problems" plaguing the African continent across various economic sectors, as suggested by Gnaka Lagoke, an assistant professor of history and pan-African studies.

Compensations from the fund are envisioned to be rooted in "moral and legal rights and the dignity of the people," according to Ambassador Amr Aljowailey, the strategic adviser to the deputy chairman of the African Union Commission. The resolution, titled "The Accra Proclamation," not only paves the way for the establishment of the Global Reparation Fund but also outlines the formation of a committee of experts, led by the AU Commission in collaboration with African nations. This committee will champion the cause, while a designated special envoy will spearhead campaigns, litigation, and judicial efforts to address the historical injustices wrought by the trans-Atlantic slave trade.

A Historic Step Towards Justice

The establishment of the Global Reparation Fund at the Accra Reparation Conference marks a pivotal moment in the pursuit of justice for the descendants of those who endured the trans-Atlantic slave trade. The collective resolve exhibited by delegates from across Africa and the diaspora community reflects a global acknowledgment of the enduring impact of historical atrocities. As the international community grapples with the legacy of slavery, the Accra Proclamation sets the stage for a comprehensive approach, emphasizing not only the moral imperative of reparations but also the legal rights and dignity of those affected.

President Nana Addo Akufo-Addo's impassioned call for Africa to receive its due reparations adds a powerful voice to the discourse, spotlighting the responsibility of nations that profited from the slave trade to address historical injustices. The conference's commitment to addressing contemporary challenges on the African continent through the reparation fund aligns with the broader vision of correcting systemic issues across various economic sectors.

The resolution's inclusion of a committee of experts and a special envoy underscores a multifaceted strategy, combining expertise and advocacy to propel the reparations agenda forward. As campaigns, litigation, and judicial efforts take center stage, the international community witnesses a united front against the long-standing inequities spawned by the trans-Atlantic slave trade.

In forging the path towards restitution, the Accra Reparation Summit not only amplifies the voices of the past but also charts a course toward a more equitable future. The establishment of the Global Reparation Fund serves as a beacon of hope, signaling a commitment to redressing historical wrongs and fostering a world where justice, dignity, and equality prevail.