Could There Be A Global Reparations Fund For Transatlantic Slavery? These Leaders Are Pushing For It | Essence

AP Photo / Misper Apawu

As calls for reparations across the United States continue to grow, the movement is also gaining traction in both African and Caribbean countries.

At the 2023 Accra Reparation Conference in Ghana, delegates “agreed…to establish a Global Reparation Fund to push for overdue compensation for millions of Africans” whose descendants were enslaved up until the late 1800s.

Nana Addo Akufo-Addo, President of Ghana, spoke the first day of the convening, stating “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.”

“It is time for Africa — whose sons and daughters had their freedoms controlled and sold into slavery — to also receive reparations,” President Akufo-Addo added. “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,” stated Akufo-Addo.

“You cannot quantify the effects of such tragedies, but they need to be recognized,” said Akufo-Addo. The president also specifically called out European nations like the British who profited immensely from slavery, wherein “enslaved Africans themselves did not receive a penny.”

As applause resounded from the audience, which consisted of individuals in high-level leadership from African and Caribbean countries, Afuko-Addo declared, “We in Africa must work together with them to advance the cause.”

The delegates did not determine the exact mechanics for operations of the reparations fund, but Ambassador Amr Aljowailey did say that compensation would be based upon “moral and legal rights and dignity of the people.”

In addition, Aljowailey, who is also “strategic adviser to the deputy chairman of the African Union Commission,” indicated the Fund would “be championed by a committee of experts set up by the A.U. Commission in collaboration with African nations, ‘a special envoy will engage in campaigns as well as litigation and judicial efforts.’”

These efforts are occurring following the release of a report from a special U.N. forum, supporting “reparations as ‘a cornerstone of justice in the 21st century.’”

Findings from the report concluded that the ramifications of slavery extended far beyond the conclusion of the slave trade and that descendants of Africans “around the world continue ‘to be victims of systemic racial discrimination and radicalized attacks.’”   

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