The President of Ghana, Nana Addo Dankwa Akuffo-Addo at the just ended UN General Assembly demands for payment of reparations for African Countries affected by the Trans-Atlantic Slave Trade.

 The President stated that; “ 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 labour.”

The President delivering Ghana’s national statement at the 78th Session of the United Nations General Assembly said that the time has come for Europe and the United sates of America to admit that their wealth springs from the sweat,tears, blood, and horrors of the trans-Atlantic Slave Trade and centuries of colonial exploitation.

“Maybe we should also admit that it cannot be easy to build confident and prosperous societies from nations that, for centuries, had their natural resources looted and their peoples traded as commodities,” he added.

President Akufo-Addo emphasized that the world has been adamant and unable to come to terms with the realities of the effects of the slave trade.

He, however, indicated that, this is changing gradually, and it is time to bring the subject of reparations firmly to the fore.

“Granted that current generations are not the ones that engaged in the slave trade, but that grand inhuman enterprise was state-sponsored and deliberate; and its benefits are clearly interwoven with the present-day economic architecture of the nations that designed and executed it,” he said.

The President went on to say, “If there are any hesitations in some minds about the paying of reparations, it is worth considering the fact that, when slavery was abolished, the slave owners were compensated for the loss of the slaves, because the human beings were labelled as property, deemed to be commodities. Surely, this is a matter that the world must confront, and can no longer ignore. The AU has authorised Ghana to hold a global conference on the issue in November in Accra.”

Speaking on the issue of illegal financial flows from Africa, he referred to the report of the panel chaired by the former South African President, Thabo Mbeki, on the illegal flow of funds from Africa, which states that Africa is losing, annually, more than eighty-eight billion United States dollars ($88 billion) through illegal financial outflows.

“Yes, those monies too must be returned to the continent. It is difficult to understand why the recipient countries are comfortable about retaining such funds, and are happy to call those countries from whom the monies are taken as corrupt,” President Akufo-Addo stated.

He believes that a joint taskforce of the African Union Commission and the OECD Secretariat, under the auspices of the UN, should be charged to find ways of stopping the damaging outflows.

On the matter of the 2030 Sustainable Development Goals, the President stated that, before the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic, Ghana, like many other parts of the world, were making progress with the seventeen (17) SDGs, and she had good reason to believe she would achieve the 2030 target.

“Today, the picture we have on our performance is not very bright. Most of the twenty-one (21) targets designated for achievement by 2020 have not been met, and we are not on track to achieve many other targets by 2030,” he said

Indeed, according to the 2023 SDG report, just twelve percent (12%) of the SDGs targets are on track to be achieved.

“Progress on fifty percent (50%) of the targets is weak. The most disappointing part is that we have stalled or retrogressed more than thirty percent (30%) of the targets. We need to accelerate action on the entire project,” the President stated.

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