Newswire: At African conference, action planfor reparations wins support

Ghanian President Nana Addo Akufo-Addo
Nov. 20, 2023 (GIN) – “It is time that Africa, whose sons and daughters had their freedoms controlled and were sold into slavery, also received reparations.” 
“No amount of money can restore the damage caused by the transatlantic slave trade … But surely, this is a matter that the world must confront and can no longer ignore.”
With those words, Ghanaian President Nana Addo Akufo-Addo launched a four-day reparations conference in Accra, the Ghanaian capital.
The event is expected to produce an African-led action plan to push for reparatory justice, establish an African committee of experts to oversee the plan’s implementation, and boost collaboration with the broader diaspora, according to the meeting website. 
Attending the Accra Reparations Conference have been senior government officials from across the continent as well as members of the diaspora community.
In his opening speech, the President called out British and other European countries for enriching themselves during the slave trade while “enslaved Africans did not receive a cent”. 
“The entire period of slavery meant that our progress, economically, culturally, and psychologically, was stifled. There are legions of stories of families who were torn apart,” Akufo-Addo said. “You cannot quantify the effects of such tragedies, but they need to be recognized.”
Ghana’s president said he welcomed a similar call from Caribbean nations for reparations.
“We in Africa must work together to advance the cause,” he said to applause from the audience that included other African, Caribbean and other high-level delegates.
In response, the delegates agreed to establish a Global Reparations Fund to seek compensation owed to millions of Africans enslaved during the transatlantic slave trade.
The delegates did not specify how such a reparations fund would work. But Gnaka Lagoke, assistant professor of history and Pan-African studies, said it should be used to “correct the problems” the continent faces in all sectors of its economy.
Togo’s Prime Minister Victoire Tomegah Dogbé also attended the conference. She listed the “scars of exploitation, dispossession and cultural erasure persist, manifesting themselves in contemporary challenges such as economic inequality, political instability and cultural disintegration.”  
Activists say reparations should go beyond direct financial payments and also include development assistance to countries, restitution of colonized resources, and systemic correction of oppressive policies and laws. 

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