The Minister for Foreign Affairs and Regional Integration, Madam Ayorkor Botchwey, has called on the African Union (AU) to establish an African Committee of Experts on Reparations.
She explained that the committee would develop a Common African Position on Reparations, incorporating therein an African Reparatory Programme of Action.
The Minister, who made this call at the 42nd Session of the AU Executive Council, held from the 15th to the 16th February 2023 in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, noted that the call was made in consultation with Member States, the Economic, Social, and Cultural Council (ECOSOCC), Regional Economic Communities (RECs), and other AU Organs.
“Also collaborate with the Caribbean Community (CURICOM) to establish an African-Caribbean Joint Mechanism on Reparative Justice, based on the resolve of the 2012 Global African Diaspora Summit held in South Africa,” she added.
Madam Botchwey indicated that this was to add momentum to ongoing efforts by Africans and people of African descent for reparative justice, following the terrible tragedies that engulfed Africans through slavery, colonialism, apartheid and neo-colonialism.
She acknowledged that the devastation brought on by the slave trade along the coastline of Central and West Africa and its repercussions, which have lasted for many centuries, could not be repaired with money.
“However, the continent as a whole should use the declarations and admissions of guilt for slavery and colonialism as a compelling reason and a foundation for a demand for reparations,” she noted.
The 42nd Session of the Executive Council considered several reports which included the Annual Report of the Activities of the Union and its Organs, the Progress Report on the Establishment and Operationalization of the Africa Medicines Agency (AMA) and the Report of the Implementation of Activities on the Roadmap of the AU Theme for the Year 2022 on Nutrition.
Patience Anaadem, ISD