Europe and West have been built on Racism. The forced slavery of millions of Africans and the colonial conquest by European powers was made possible by the 15th and 16th century genocide of approximately 80% of the native people of Africa.
The British Empire once spanned two-thirds of the planet, making it the only place on earth where the sun never set. The blood, labour, and wealth that were extracted from the “darker nations” throughout the world were the only things that made the scientific, political, and industrial revolutions of which the British educational system today is so proud.
The wounds of European Colonialism are still carried by Africa. With corrupt trade policies and foreign economic dominance, the African continent’s underdevelopment persists. Sub-Saharan Africa has a mortality rate of one in twelve children before the age of five, in large part due to the continent’s continued dependence on western “development.”
Africa is still reeling under the shadow of “colonialism.” The wicked way to contain it in the name of “Climate Change” has hurt its economic aspects. It’s still being looted by the Western powers by prolonging the instability because of infighting in several countries.
Africa demands reparations
Several African countries who share the wounds of Europe’s barbarity are aggrieved by the denial of European powers to their sombre past. The voices were resonated at a summit on Reparations and Racial Healing in Accra, Ghana.
The demand the reparations for the inhumane treatment suffered by them on the hands of colonial powers was put forth.
It was organised to coordinate a comprehensive global strategy and agenda to win reparations for the Trans-Atlantic slave trade and European colonialism in Africa. It was co-hosted by the African Union Commission and the Africa Transitional Justice Legacy Fund.
Ghana’s president, Nana Akufo-Addo became a leading voice at the summit. Akufo-Addo declared that, “No amount of money can restore the damage caused by the transatlantic slave trade and its consequences spanning over many centuries, but nevertheless it is now time to revive and intensify the discussions about reparation for Africa.”
The leader of Ghana believes that restitution for crimes committed during colonialism and slavery are “far overdue” because Ghana was one of the countries in West Africa from where many people who were forced into slavery.
Many of the Africans who are alive now are descendants of enslaved people. Before we even discuss the sizeable populations found elsewhere on the continent, such as those in Nigeria and Benin, there are hundreds of thousands of descendants of chattel slavery living in Cape Verde, Liberia, and Sierra Leone. According to research by Nathan Nunn from 2008, up to 47% of the wealth gap between countries in West and Central Africa and the rest of the globe can be attributed to slavery.
The transatlantic slave trade led to more than three centuries of suffering, trauma, dehumanisation, and white supremacy. Although there have been numerous slave trades in the course of human history, none have had the same devastating and ongoing effects as the Trans-Atlantic slave trade on the “population, psyche, image & character of an African the world over,” to quote Akufo-Addo. Addo’s Africans and people of the African diaspora have been clamouring for reparations since the slave trade started for this reason. That is why the demand for reparations will never go away.
Europe owes Africa
According to a commonly recognised estimate from the Trans-Atlantic Slave Trade Database, some 12.5 million individuals were enslaved and taken from Africa, however some estimates contend that as many as 20 million people were enslaved.
The transatlantic slave trade flourished at the cost of human lives lost in the African continent. Africa lost more than simply labour and money; it also lost creativity, innovation, and relationships. Over hundreds of years, such losses were amplified by millions of lives, limiting the growth of a continent whose governments have since struggled to muster the courage to demand compensation.
According to Diop-Mas, any compensation should take into account the 100 million lives lost, not just the 12.5 million captured, but also the descendants of those people who may have continued to contribute to Africa’s uninterrupted progress.
Slavery not only reduced the population of Africa, but also undermined its institutions. Babacar M’Baye, an English professor at Kent State University in Ohio, claims that the continent’s economy was reduced to a monoculture centred on the sale of human beings.
The Eminent Persons refrained from giving a numerical value to each life lost; claiming that doing so would diminish the sacrifices made by the victims. A Truth Commission in Accra attempted to accomplish this in 1999 and came up with a sum of $777 trillion, excluding interest.
$777 trillion without interest!!!
Another estimate put the cost of reparations at $100 trillion and assigned a value of $75,000 per person lost, based on a model of the historical development and population growth of Asia over the same period, by academic Daniel Tetteh Osabu-Kle in a 2000 article published in the Journal of Black Studies.
Germany has admitted that its colonial soldiers killed people in Namibia at the start of the 20th century, and now it is paying Namibia compensation.
It took Germany a little over six years, according to The Wall Street Journal, to admit that its troops killed tens of thousands of Herero and Nama people in Namibia to advance their White supremacy. German will provide 1.1 billion euros ($1.3 billion) toward rebuilding and development projects in reparations to Africa.
If the conversation on reparations to Africa were to resume in earnest, it would need to start with the West’s admission of guilt, if only to address the psychological toll and pervasive legacy of racism across the globe, which is arguably the most painful consequence of slavery and colonialism.
As Malcom X said, “If you stick a knife in my back nine inches and pull it out six inches, that’s not progress. If you pull it all the way out, that’s not progress. The progress comes from healing the wound that the blow made.”
But for the progress to be made, you need to accept that a knife is there in the first place.