Ghanaian President Nana Akufo-Addo has demanded the payment of reparations to African nations for the historical injustices of the transatlantic slave trade.
Speaking at the UN General Assembly on Wednesday, he emphasised that this was the time to bring the subject of reparations to the fore.
He said the world had for centuries been unwilling and unable to confront the consequences of slave trade.
“It is time to acknowledge openly that much of Europe and the United States have been built from the vast wealth harvested from the sweat, tears, blood and horrors of the transatlantic slave trade.”
He said “reparations must be paid” – adding that while no money would make up for the horrors of slave trade, it would make the point that millions of “productive” Africans were put to work without compensation.
It is not the first time the Ghanaian president has spoken about reparations – last year he said the time was long overdue to intensify discussions about the issue.
He then called for a formal apology by European nations that were involved in the trade, and urged the African Union to engage the diaspora to advance the reparations cause.
The transatlantic slave trade, which affected millions of Africans, was the largest forced migration in history and one of the most inhumane, according to the UN.
The exodus of Africans was spread to many areas of the world over a 400-year period.
Ghana was one of the points of departure for many of those enslaved in West Africa.