The Executive Chairman of the Africa Prosperity Network (APN), Gabby Asare Otchere-Darko has suggested that a good start for reparation conversation for African countries affected by the Trans-Atlantic Slave Trade, must consider infrastructural investments.
He said such investments are required to facilitate free trade and movement across Africa, as well as between and within global Africa.
Mr Otchere-Darko, who is also the Senior Partner of the Africa Legal Associates, made the suggestion when he addressed the maiden Global Africa Forum (GAF) on the margins of the 78th UN General Assembly in New York on Thursday, September 21st, 2023.
The forum, which was on the theme, “Mobilising Global Africa Investment to Boost Intra-African Trade”, was jointly organised by the APN and the Africa-America Institute (AAI).
Making reference to President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo’s speech at the 78th UN General Assembly where he demanded for the payment of reparations for the countries affected by the Trans-Atlantic Slave Trade, Mr. Otchere-Darko said it was a “powerful speech”.
Posing the question of who should be compensated, the APN boss said for that to be meaningful, any compensation must be in line with the spirit of the time.
But, Mr Otchere-Darko pointed out that Africa is certainly not waiting on compensation. “We are on the move. Today, the African Union has formally recognised global Africa, and by making the Caribbean the sixth region of Africa. Last month, Afreximbank an institution that is boldly investing heavily in Africa’s progress, opened its first Caribbean office in Bridgetown, Barbados.
“This is Africa’s century – and for it to be our century we have to make it our century. This means the destiny of every person of African descent must be seen to be intrinsically linked to the destiny of Africa. This is because the dignity, respect, and wellbeing of every black person everywhere, whether we like it or not, is measured by the image and reality of Africa,” he stated.
He said the continent must get rid of its borders if the concept of global Africa will be more meaningful and find expression in the continent.
Mr Otchere-Darko stated: “Back in January 2021, we (Africa) gave birth to the Africa Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA) which potentially means that we are creating a single largest economy in the world by virtual of the AfCFTA. If that is going to happen, then every man and woman of African descent should see the role that they can play in that.”
The APN Executive Chairman said while China is investing heavily in Ghana and other parts of Africa, America is doing very little in that regard.
APD 2024 launched
As part of the ceremony, the APN launched the second edition of the Africa Prosperity Dialogues which will take place in Ghana from Thursday 25 to Saturday 27 January 2024, on the theme: “Delivering Prosperity in Africa by Producing what We Trade”.
President urges investment
In his special remarks, President Akufo-Addo encouraged the African diaspora to invest in the continent.
He said the coming of AfCFTA has set the stage for the continent to attract investments for industrial development and transformation.
“Like the vision of our forebears, the AfCFTA sets the stage for Africa’s industrialization and transformation. What is required now is for our respective governments and businesses to show bold leadership. We need coherent and complimentary strategic actions by governments and businesses, “ he said.
Among the other dignitaries at the forum were Professor Benedict Oramah, President and Chairman of the board of directors, Afreximbank; Albert Muchanga, Africa Union Commission’s Commissioner for Trade and Industry; Dr. Amany Asfour, President of the Africa Business Council; Ahunna Eziakonwa, Assistant Secretary-General UNDP-RBA; Derrick Johnson– President, NCAAP; Julius Mwale, President, and CEO of SBA Technologies.