No amount of money would be enough to compensate Africa for the horrors of the slave trade, but reparations must still be paid by the West as an acknowledgment of the crime, Ghana’s President Nana Akufo-Addo said during the UN General Assembly.
“The world should not pretend” that the economic and social problems currently experienced by the African continent “have nothing to do with the historical injustices that have fashioned the structures of the world,” Akufo-Addo told world leaders in New York on Wednesday.
“Much of Europe and the US have been built from the vast wealth harvested from the sweat, tears, blood and horrors on the transatlantic slave trade [between the 16th and the 19th centuries] and the centuries of colonial exploitation,” he said.
It’s no wonder that African countries are struggling to build prosperous societies after they had “their natural resources looted and their peoples traded as commodities” for such a long time, the president added.
If anyone needs to be paid for the Atlantic Slave Trade, it’s the descendants of black slaves in the Carribean, North and South America. Technically, Africa also needs to pay these people reparations because their ancestors were sold by fellow Africans.
So what about the Arab Slave Trade. Who will pay?
Let’s be honest for a second, who participated in slave raids and how many of these so called “African kingdoms” had the know how and the ability to exploit coal, iron, lead, rubber, textiles, glass, crude oil and natural gas?
African kingdoms largely benefited by obtaining small arms (a major problem even today) to subdue their neighbours, increasing their wealth and prestige. Europeans benefitted much more because they turned slaves into a means of production.
Long story short, bringing other factors into play, Europe underwent an industrial revolution, creating a massive demand for raw materials, and markets to sell finished goods. Meanwhile, Africa declined and ended up serving those two requirements, first by being forced, then more or less willingly.