Nana Addo today delivered the keynote address at the Reparations and Racial Healing Summit, held at the Kempinski Hotel, Accra.
He indicated in his address that reparations for Africa and the African diaspora are long overdue. Predictably, the question of reparations becomes a debate only when it comes to Africa and Africans.
“When the British ended slavery, all the owners of enslaved Africans received reparations to the tune of twenty million pounds sterling, the equivalent today of twenty billion pounds sterling, but enslaved Africans themselves did not receive a penny. Likewise in the United States, owners of slaves received three hundred dollars for every slave they owned; the slaves themselves received nothing. Take the case of Haiti, which had to pay reparations amounting to twenty-one billion dollars ($21 billion) to French slaveholders in 1825 for the victory of the great Haitian Revolution, the first in the Americas and the Caribbean which freed the slaves. It was a payment made under duress that impoverished Haiti throughout the 19th century till today.
Native Americans have received and continue to receive reparations; Japanese-American families, who were incarcerated in internment camps in America during World War II, received reparations. Jewish people, six million of whom perished in the concentration camps of Hitlerite Germany, received reparations, including homeland grants and support. So, it is time for Africa, twenty million of whose sons and daughters had their freedoms curtailed and sold into slavery, also to receive reparations.
No amount of money can restore the damage caused by the Trans-Atlantic Slave Trade and its consequences, which have spanned many centuries. But, nevertheless, it is now time to revive and intensify the discussions about reparations for Africa. Indeed, the time is long overdue.”