Are there imprescriptible crimes on the scale of centuries, beyond the renewal of generations and despite changes in political regimes? Accused of swaying too much with unfashionable Westerners and of having reneged on his promise of independence from the International Monetary Fund, the President of Ghana draws a joker: the memory of slavery.
Chronology: key dates in the history of slavery practiced by France
Posted this Tuesday, tweets from Nana Akufo-Addo chant that the time has come for a debate on repairs to pay to the continent whose “20 million sons and daughters have had their freedom curtailed and have been sold as slaves”. Emphatic, the series of posts insists: “there are a myriad of stories of torn families. Fathers gone fishing who never returned, boys gone to play who never came home, girls gone to fetch water who never saw their parents again. More prosaic, it evokes devastating consequences “over several centuries”.
Appeal to the African Union
The Ghanaian president pleads for recognition of this tragedy, apologies from European nations and reparations, while specifying that no amount of money can repair the stifling of the “economic, cultural and psychological progress” of the continent . And the indignant of the day to summon the delicate competition of memories via the evocation of the survivors of the Holocaust and the Amerindians who have all received of the repairs…
— Nana Akufo-Addo (@NAkufoAddo) August 2, 2022
Akufo-Addo urges the African Union to form a united front around this cause, with Africans in the Diaspora. Why him and why now? A few weeks after returning the apron of current president of ECOWAS, what is the legitimacy of Nana Akufo-Addo to embody this debate which resembles a sea serpent? The route of many slaves from West Africa passed through the ancient Gold Coast, notably through the city of Cape Coast.
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As for the timing issue, the Ghanaian president’s series of tweets were posted the day after a summit on “slavery reparations and racial healing”. In addition, by increasing the focal length, Akufo-Addo may hope to surf on this new African pride which is rising, especially in West African states of exception which catalog the Ghanaian president among the cronies of neocolonialism. For a presidential image lift, invoking the ancestors does not eat Sugar bread…