Return of looted African artefacts must come with reparations – President Akufo-Addo

President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo has said the return of looted African treasures and artefacts during the colonial era must be accompanied by reparations.

“We must call for the return of African cultural properties that were illegally and shamelessly transported from the continent,” he said adding that , this must come with financial reparations.
President Akufo-Addo made the call when he addressed the Accra Reparations Summit on Tuesday, November 14, 2023.
It is being held on the theme, “Building a United Front to Advance the Cause of Justice and Payment of Reparations to Africans”.

Return of artefacts

Some Western countries have recently moved to acknowledge the wrongs of the colonial era in Africa, and museums have begun returning looted treasures.
In Ghana, Asantehene, Otumfuo Osei Tutu II, has stepped up negotiations for the possible return of Asante regalia items taken from Kumasi by the British army, after the Asante war against the British in 1874.

Strong voice

President Akufo-Addo has been a strong African voice for the payment of reparations. In his address to the UN General Assembly this year, he demanded more attention to the ills of colonial exploitation, mentioning specifically the Trans-Atlantic Slave Trade during which millions of slaves were shipped from West and Central Africa.

United Africa

President Akufo-Addo rallied African leaders for a united front on demands for reparations for the Trans-Atlantic Slave Trade and colonial-era damages.
He stated that the call for reparations for Africa and the African diaspora is not a plea for alms, but a valid demand for justice.
He said if reparations can rightfully be paid to victims and descendants of the victims of the Holocaust, so can reparations also be paid to the descendants of the victims of the slave trade.

‘It has been 400 years, and we want closure to this tragedy,” he said.
He added: “No amount of money can restore the damage caused by the Trans-Atlantic Slave Trade and its consequences. But surely, this is a matter that the world must confront and can no longer ignore.”
“Even before these discussions on reparations conclude, the entire continent of Africa deserves a formal apology from the European nations involved in the slave trade,” he added.


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