“Let me reiterate that the call for reparations is not a plea for alms, but a valid demand for justice. If reparations can rightfully be paid to victims and descendants of the victims of the Holocaust, so can reparations also be paid to the descendants of the victims of the Slave Trade. It has been four hundred (400) years, and we want closure to this tragedy.”
These were the words of the President of the Republic, Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo, when he delivered an address at the opening of the Accra Reparations Summit, held at the Kempinski Hotel, on Tuesday, 14th November 2023.
Delivering his address at the event, President Akufo-Addo stated that the Trans-Atlantic Slave Trade, which begun with some twenty (20) slaves from West Africa being forcibly sent in 1619 to the United States of America, was devastating to the continent and to the African Diaspora, as it stifled the economic, cultural and psychological progress of Africa.
“But what we do know is that the African peoples built and contributed to the successes of the Americas, and even though they did not willingly make the journeys in the two hundred (200) years of the slave trade, once there, they were and have been an integral part of the success in their new homes, even though they have not benefitted nearly as much as they should have from their toil,” he said
The President noted, however, that reparations for Africa and the African diaspora are long overdue, with the question of reparations becoming 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,” he said.
President Akufo-Addo continued, “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.”
The President also indicated that 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.
He added that 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. Surely, this is a matter that the world must confront, and can no longer ignore,” he indicated.
And, even before these discussions on reparations conclude, President Akufo-Addo noted that the entire continent of Africa deserves a formal apology from the European nations involved in the slave trade for the crimes and damage it has caused to the population, psyche, image and character of the African the world over.
Whilst at it, the President pointed out that the subject of restitutions must go along with the matter of reparations.
“The initiative for the return and restitution of African cultural properties to the continent must also be a major issue of concern for all Africans. We must call for the return of African cultural properties that were illegally and shamelessly transported from the continent,” he said.
The President stated that he was aware of the efforts made by countries such as Senegal, Nigeria and Benin in successfully regaining possession of some of their cultural properties that were illegally moved out of their territories.
Ghana, he added, has also successfully recovered some of its stolen cultural properties and relics, pointing to the collaboration of Government and elders of Ahanta to return the severed head of Nana Badu II, who was executed in 1838.
Other success stories, he stated, include the return of some family collections of the Ashanti Royal Family and an Asante Stool in 1985, by the British Government.
“The return and restitution of African cultural properties to the continent will help Africans, and, in particular, the descendants of the communities, groups, and individuals who created and produced these cultural properties, to reconnect to their history, to their pioneers, to their knowledge and their skills,” the President added.
Let’s live harmoniously to safeguard Ghana’s peace – Peace Council on recent clashes
The National Peace Council (NPC) has called on Ghanaians to live harmoniously with each other to safeguard the country’s peace.
It has urged Ghanaians to protect “the peace and security of the country by creating and using avenues of tolerance, cooperation, and coexistence to sustain the country’s identity as an oasis of peace in Africa.”
This follows the unfortunate violent clashes in some parts of the country which have resulted in the deaths of some citizens.
Reports from Kintampo in the Bono East Region, Nkwanta in the Oti Region, and Wenchiki in the Northeast Region indicate that violence has led to the destruction of lives and property in these affected communities.
In a statement issued on Wednesday, the NPC reminded Ghanaians “of paragraphs (c), (d) and (i) of
article 41 of the 1992 constitution of the Republic of Ghana which states thus: The exercise and enjoyment of rights and freedoms is inseparable from the performance of duties and obligations, and accordingly, it shall be the duty of every citizen.”
“To foster national unity and live in harmony with others; to respect the rights, freedoms and legitimate interests of others, and generally to refrain from doing acts detrimental to the welfare of other persons. To co-operate with lawful agencies in the maintenance of law and order.”
Read the full statement from the NPC here
Defence and National Security Ministers to appear before parliament today over Kintampo clash
The Ministers of Defence and National Security are expected to appear before the Defence and Interior Committee of Parliament on Thursday, November 23, to provide a briefing on actions being taken by the government to forestall a clash between the Mo and Wangara tribes in the Kintampo North municipality.
This comes on the back of a summons by the Speaker of Parliament, Alban Bagbin.
According to the Member of Parliament for the area, Joseph Kwame Kumah, tensions were high when the Mo tribe requested to perform rituals within the months of November and December, coinciding with the annual Klubi festival of the Wangara community.
In response to calls for a ceasefire by the MP, the Speaker directed that the government must take immediate steps to ensure peaceful coexistence.
“As the first authorities to come to this house to brief the committee on Defense and Interior, this is an urgent matter that should be handled with dispatch. I think Thursday should be okay for the two ministers and their commanders to appear before the committee early tomorrow morning by 9 am to brief the committee. It is an urgent matter.”
“The National Security Council through their regional office should immediately intervene because the chieftaincy institution is one of the cornerstones of the peace and security of our country, and we hold that institution dearly. We will do everything to prevent that institution from falling into disarray,” he stated.
Watch how Quick Credit staff violently raided restaurant over ‘unpaid loan’
Some staff of a popular loan company, Quick Credit Ghana, stormed a local restaurant to recover a loan sum.
Videos available to GhanaWeb and shared on social media showed over half a dozen male workers in violent exchanges with the staff at the restaurant said to be located at Laterbiokoshie, a suburb of Accra.
According to a person videoing the encounter, the staff had forced their way into the facility, packed up the furniture and succeeded in locking up the place before leaving.
The video, shot in the evening, however, did not show any affected customers nor did it show any casualties.
The company has yet to issue an official statement on the development. GhanaWeb is also trying to reach out to the affected businesses.
Watch the video below:
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