The Accra Reparations Conference (ARC) is scheduled to hold at the Kempinski Gold Coast Hotel in Accra, Ghana from 14-17 November, 2023, under the theme, “Building a United Front to advance the cause of justice and the payment of reparations to Africans.”
The Conference is co-organised by the African Union Commission and the Government of the Republic of Ghana to promote dialogue, knowledge sharing, and actionable strategies among diverse and relevant stakeholders on the way forward regarding addressing historical injustices against Africans and peoples of African descent through the slave trade, colonialism, etc.
ARC2023 intends to bring together all ongoing and past efforts on the topic of reparations in order to forge a unified front to advance the cause of reparatory justice. An African Committee of Experts on reparations, drawn from relevant fields, including law, will be established for the purpose of developing a Common African Position on Reparations and incorporate therein, an African Reparatory Programme of Action.
The Committee, among other things, will collaborate with the Caribbean Community (CARICOM) to establish an African Caribbean Joint Mechanism on Reparatory Justice based on the resolve of the Global African Diaspora Summit held in South Africa in 2012. To assist the Committee in the discharge of its mandate, a global reparations fund will also be created.
The Republic of Ghana has been at the forefront of championing reparations and healing from the deep-rooted legacies of slavery, colonialism, and apartheid. Under the leadership of H.E. President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo, Ghana has demonstrated exceptional political will in advocating for an equitable and just world that treats the global black community with respect and fairness.
In August 2022, in Accra, Ghana’s capital, the African Union (AU), the African Transitional Justice Legacy Fund (ATJLF), and the Diaspora Affairs Unit in the Office of the Presidency of Ghana co-organised the inaugural global Conference on “Reparations and Racial Healing.”
Building on the 1993 Abuja Proclamation and the 2001 Durban Declaration and Program of Action, the ARC Conference aimed to reframe the discourse surrounding reparations for historical injustices such as colonialism, apartheid, and slavery as well as contemporary forms of exploitation, xenophobia, and colonialism. This resulted in a new perspective on reparatory justice for Africans and people of African descent.
Following the President’s remarks at the 2022 Conference, the Republic of Ghana submitted a draft Decision to the African Union Assembly of Heads of State and Government (AU Assembly) during the African Union Summit held in February 2023 in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia. The submission resulted in the Assembly formally and unanimously passing the landmark Decision: Assembly/AU/Dec (XXXVI) entitled “Decision on Building a United Front to Advance the Cause of Justice and the Payment of Reparations to Africans,” — this led to the Accra Reparations Conference.
The inaugural 2023 Conference will be attended by legal experts, policymakers, academics, and stakeholders from the Caribbean Region, Reparations Commissions-Americas and the Caribbean, the United Nations System, California Reparations Task Force, African Civil Society organisations and Regional Economic Communities of AU Member State, the Diaspora Focal Points etc.
In addition, fifteen (15) selected Heads of State and Government from Africa and the Americas will be in attendance.
Attendees will experience a unique conference with the thoughtfully curated four-day programme. Each minute will unveil fresh concepts and diverse perspectives on the topic of reparations.
The 2023 Conference is expected to result in an African Reparatory action plan/programme, outlining key strategies, timelines and the responsible stakeholders, for a sustainable reparatory justice process; Increased awareness, mobilization of support from all relevant stakeholders on the is-sue of reparations at the global level through engagement with international institutions etc; and strengthened unity and collaboration among Africans, peoples of African descent, the diaspora etc., through the establishment of an African-Caribbean Joint Mechanism on reparatory justice.
It is also expected to lead to the establishment of an African Committee of Experts on Reparations for the purpose of developing a Common African position on reparations as well as to implement the Action Plan of the Accra Reparations Conference; the establishment of a global Reparations Fund to support the activities of the Committee of Experts on Reparations; and opportunities for experience sharing, greater networking, synergism and capacity building among participants.
Speakers include well-established and resourceful leaders who are known to be champions of the quest of Africans and people of African descent for reparatory justice. The welcome address will be given by Hon. Shirley Ayorkor Botchwey, Minister of Foreign Affairs and Regional Integration, Ghana. The event’s keynote speaker is H.E. Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo, President of the Republic of Ghana.
Other speakers include H.E. Mia Mottley, Prime Minister of Barbados; H.E. Francia Marquez, Vice President of the Republic of Colombia; H.E. Moussa Faki Mahamat, Chairperson of the African Union Commission (AUC); H.E. Dr. Carla Natalie Barnett Secretary-General, CARICOM; and H.E. Amina Mohammed Deputy Secretary-General, United Nations.
Interested participants are requested to register online at accrareparationsconference.com.
Written by: Oral Ofori