President Akufo-Addo (middle) in a handshake with Dr Keith Christopher Rowley (4th from left), Prime Minister of Trinidad and Tobago, at the Jubilee House. With them are some Government officials. Picture: Samuel Tei Adano
President Akufo-Addo (middle) in a handshake with Dr Keith Christopher Rowley (4th from left), Prime Minister of Trinidad and Tobago, at the Jubilee House. With them are some Government officials. Picture: Samuel Tei Adano

Africa, Caribbean must fight for reparation — Trinidad and Tobago Primier

The visiting Prime Minister of Trinidad and Tobago, Dr Keith Christopher Rowley, has stated that the Home Coming organised by Ghana provides the best platform and impetus to redouble efforts for reparation for the Trans-Atlantic slavery.
He explained that the Caribbean Community (CARICOM), made up of emancipated slaves and the African Union (AU) led by Ghana, must push the Western world in particular for reparation for the inhumane treatment of its the people.
Dr Rowley stated this when he paid a visit to President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo at the Jubilee House in Accra as part of his three-day official visit to Ghana at the invitation of Otumfuo Osei Tutu II.
He was in the country in 2020 for the country’s 63rd Independence Day celebration, and his current visit, together with a 10-man delegation, is to grace the 73rd birthday and 25th anniversary of the ascension of Asantehene to the Golden Stool.

Role

Dr Rowley indicated that Trinidad and Tobago was taking active role in many activities, and that the leading one among them was the call for reparation from those who enslaved millions of Africans. 
“We should also not forget the impact that development had on us. Your Home Coming initiative is an appropriate follow-up for a united voice to redouble efforts for reparations,” he added.

Africa Emancipation Day

He announced that Trinidad and Tobago used to have Emancipation Day but his government had changed it to African Emancipation Day because it was observed that a number of people felt entitled, seeking to attach themselves to the former day, including those with a repressive colonial past.
Dr Rowley explained that it was the descendants of the enslaved who were emancipated from the inhumanity and “we have been fighting this on our own and with Africa.” He, therefore, called on Ghana to speak to the AU to join CARICOM to inform the world that “we have overcome the Gate of no Return which was built in Ghana and we will keep coming back.”

Commonwealth 

Dr Rowley said although he initially did not want to attend the Commonwealth Conference in Samoa, he had rescinded his decision so that he would mobilise support from CARICOM and others for Ghana’s candidate, Shirley Ayorkor Botchwey, for the Secretary General of the Commonwealth. 

AU

President Akufo-Addo said the AU charged member countries last year to follow the example of CARICOM to set up institutions for the movement towards the payment of reparations, and Ghana was given the authority to convene an international conference on the issue in Accra which was successfully executed.
He said what was required was the establishment of a body to engage with CARICOM and others, and gave an assurance that with the current African body, it was fully committed to reach out to their kith and kin across the Atlantic.
He said it should not just be about talking but there should be an effective strategy to sit down across the table to discuss how to achieve the goal, adding that the AU was in support of the initiative.
“It is time the Caribbean and those of us on this side of the Atlantic got together on this matter. It is a common fight, a common issue. The people were taken from here and dumped across the other side of the ocean. It is extremely important for our self-confidence and our self-worth,” President Akufo-Addo added.

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