Speaking at the United Nations General Assembly’s 78th session, His Excellency urged European countries to make amends for the harm caused to Africa by this tragic historical episode.
Akufo Addo expressed his dissatisfaction with the international community’s persistent unwillingness to acknowledge and address the severe consequences and atrocities of the slave trade, emphasising that such delicate issues should no longer be ignored.
President Akufo-Addo emphasised that although the slave trade was a state-sanctioned and intentional activity with long-lasting economic implications for the nations that organised it, the current generation cannot be held accountable for it. Nevertheless, he argued that it is high time the subject of reparations is brought to the forefront of international discussions.
He argued that making reparations would be a significant acknowledgement of the severe injustices done to Africans, even though he understood that no amount of money could fully make up for the horrors endured by them during the slave trade.
“Reparations must be paid for the slave trade. 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 labor”
In addition, President Akufo-Addo noted that because slaves were viewed as commodities, owners of slaves received compensation for the loss of their “property” when slavery was outlawed.
The African Union (AU) has given Ghana permission to host a world conference on reparations in November in Accra, he declared, arguing that this historical precedent highlights the necessity of addressing the issue of reparations head-on.