President Akufo-Addo stated during the 78th UN Session that reparations for the slave trade must be made.

President - Rapid News GH

The payment of reparations for the nations impacted by the Trans-Atlantic Slave Trade is something that President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo has advocated.

“No amount of money will ever be able to compensate for the horrors,” asserts President Akufo-Addo, “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 labor.”

The President said that it is now time for Europe and the United States of America to acknowledge that the immense wealth they currently enjoy was derived from the sweat, tears, blood, and horrors of the trans-Atlantic Slave Trade and centuries of colonial exploitation. He was giving Ghana’s national statement at the 78th session of the United Nations General Assembly.

He said, “Perhaps we should also acknowledge that it cannot be easy to establish self-assured and successful civilizations in nations whose natural riches have, for ages, been pillaged and their peoples trafficked as commodities.

The world has been unable and unwilling to face the truth about the effects of the slave trade, President Akufo-Addo emphasized.

He did, however, say that this is rapidly shifting and that it is time to bring the topic of reparations front and center.

“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 continued, “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 labeled as property, deemed to be commodities. Surely, this is a matter that the world must confront, and can no longer ignore. The AU has authorized Ghana to hold a global conference on the issue in November in Accra.”

Regarding the contentious issue of illicit financial outflows from Africa, he cited the report of the panel on the subject, which was presided over by the highly regarded former South African President, Thabo Mbeki. The report claims that Africa is losing more than $88 billion in annual illicit financial outflows.

“Yes, those funds must also be transferred back to the continent. It is unclear why the recipient nations feel at ease withholding such contributions and are delighted to label the nations from whom the money is stolen as corrupt, according to President Akufo-Addo.

He thought the African Union Commission and the OECD Secretariat should work together on a task force under the supervision of the UN to figure out how to stem the destructive outflows.

Regarding the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) for 2030, the President said that prior to the COVID-19 epidemic, Ghana, like many other countries throughout the world, was making progress on the seventeen (17) SDGs, and she had good cause to expect she would meet the 2030 goal.

“At the moment, our performance doesn’t look too promising. We are not on schedule to meet many additional targets by 2030, and the majority of the twenty-one (21) targets set for achievement by 2020 have not been achieved, he said.

In fact, only 12% of the SDG targets are on track to be met, according to the 2023 SDG report.

“On fifty percent (50%) of the targets, progress has been slow. The fact that we have fallen short of more than 30% of the targets is the most discouraging. The entire project needs to move forward more quickly, the President said.

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