Delegates convened at a reparations summit in Ghana and reached a consensus on the establishment of a Global Reparations Fund aimed at seeking compensation for millions of Africans who were enslaved during the transatlantic slave trade era.
The summit, held in Accra, gathered support for reparations following the exploitation of approximately 12 million Africans by European nations from the 16th to the 19th centuries. These individuals were forcibly taken and enslaved, contributing to the creation of immense wealth while enduring immense suffering.
Despite the abolition of the slave trade, descendants of those enslaved still face enduring systemic racial discrimination and targeted attacks, according to a recent United Nations report. The report considers reparations as pivotal to achieving justice in the 21st century.
President Nana Addo Akufo-Addo of Ghana underscored the importance of reparations, emphasizing that it’s time for Africa, whose citizens suffered through slavery, to receive compensation. He criticized European countries, particularly the British, for amassing riches through the exploitation of enslaved Africans without offering them any compensation.
Although specifics on the operation of the reparations fund were not outlined during the Accra conference, Gnaka Lagoke, an assistant professor, suggested that the fund should address various economic challenges across the continent.
Ambassador Amr Aljowailey, representing the African Union Commission, highlighted the compensation’s basis on moral and legal rights, mentioning the establishment of an expert committee to support the Global Reparations Fund in collaboration with African nations. He also announced the appointment of a special envoy to engage in advocacy, litigation, and legal initiatives.
Activists stressed that reparations should encompass more than monetary compensations. They advocated for development aid to nations, restitution of colonized resources, and the rectification of oppressive policies and laws.
Nkechi Taifa, Director of the Reparation Education Project in the United States, emphasized that the negotiated settlement for compensation should serve the broader community.