A delegation from the United States Congress has been in Ghana since July 28. Their visit is aimed at observing 400 years since the first African slaves were shipped to America.
Apart from being a major route from which slaves were shipped out of Africa, there is a reason why Ghana was chosen for this visit.
Ghana’s President, Nana Akufo Addo is one the African leader who has been in the forefront voicing out issues of slavery and colonialism. Addo is one of the vocal pan-African leaders on the continent who has widely criticized slave trade.
Several times, he has been quoted blaming Europe and America as the regions that heavily practiced slave trade and for their colonial actions. The Ghanaian leader had earlier declared 2019 as the year of return for Ghanaians in the diaspora.
The head of the United States delegation reserved praise for the African leader for the initiative. The delegation was led by United States House Speaker Nancy Pelosi. Pelosi described her visit to the ancient West African nation as a transformative experience. Her high delegation team of U.S. Congressmen and women were led to slave sites and the famous ‘Door of No Return’.
“The Cape Coast Castle we stood before the "Door of no Return" where countless millions caught their last glimpse of Africa before they were shipped to a life of enslavement. Being here has been a transformative experience for all of us,” Pelosi said in her address which was broadcast on state television.
“Today was deeply transformative. We saw the horrors of slavery and humbly walked through the ‘Door of Return’ w/a renewed sense of purpose to fight injustice and inequality everywhere. We honored the rich traditions of Ghana and thanked the Paramount Chiefs for our enduring friendship.” She posted on Twitter.
The trip to Cape Coast was the second major leg of her visit before her address to the parliament of Ghana.
As part of her engagements, she met with President Akufo-Addo at the Flagstaff House – the seat of government to reaffirm the commitment of both nations to the ties that bind them.
The ‘Door of No Return’ was the last glimpse for millions of Africans who were shipped out of the continent as slaves during the slavery and colonial era.
There are many such doors across the continent in Nigeria, Senegal and other African countries that served as slave routes.
Header Image Credit: Africanews