Apologises to Ghana for shameful and dark era
By John Eche
In a move that would clearly have gladdened the hearts of late Chief MKO Abiola and other champions of the reparations movement, the government of Denmark has apologised to Ghana over its shameful role in the trans-Atlantic slavery era.
Danish Foreign Minister, Anders Samuelson who conveyed this to the government and people of Ghana in the course of a visit to Accra this week stated that nothing can indeed justify the inhuman treatment meted out to human beings under the guise of the slave trade.
Samuelson made the comment when the Danish delegation paid a visit to Ghana’s president, Thursday.
The delegation was led by the Danish Queen Magarethe II.
It will be recalled that the then Gold Coast was formally made a Danish crown colony in 1750 after entrenching slave trade.
As events developed however, in 1814, the Danish government would later sell its territories including that of the Gold Coast to the British government.
Before this happened however, thousands of people from the territory had been shipped as slaves to Denmark and other European countries and the Americas
They were beaten, tortured and swapped with items like ivory, gold etc. They were later handed menial jobs in the countries they were shipped to and they helped in developing those countries.
Admittedly the Danish government were part of those who first abolished slave trade.
Several centuries later, the Danish government has apologized once again to the Ghanaian government for its role in the slave trade.
“We share a dark history of slave trade, a shameful, unforgettable part of Danish history. Nothing can justify it,” Mr Samuelson said, shortly after meeting Ghana’s president, Nana Akufo Addo.
Ghana’s Foreign Minister Shirley Ayorkor Botchwey who briefed the media after the meeting with the Danish Queen said illegal migration had been one of the major issues under discussion.
“Irregular migration and its associated challenges have been receiving lots of attention in the past few years.
“We deliberated on the underlining causes such poverty, pervasive youth unemployment, the proliferation of conflict and endemic instability in parts of our continent.
“We decided to work together towards stemming the tide of irregular migration, particularly the activities of human traffickers. At the same time we are committed to tackling the root causes of mass migration.
She said they are also agreed to respect the rights of all migrants including deportees.
As a marked departure from its shared dark history with Ghana, the Danish Foreign Affairs minister said the country is now looking forward to a progressive collaboration in technology, green growth.
Unfortunately however, this is happening at the same time that the equally repugnant evil of the trans-Sahara slave trade is yet ongoing in North Africa.