Question Nine

9. Reparations

  • Q: In relation to the Diaspora, Bristol has just passed a Reparations and Atonement motion with support of the African Heritage Communities at grassroots level. How does reparations play into the research aspect of PARC’s strategy? Peninah A-Kindberg 

A: This query goes to the heart of a more fundamental question that we must make space to address and that emerged strongly – even if not in the precise words – in the launch discussions.  It is this: 

“Wherein lies the value for Africa in global North-Africa research cooperation” Put differently, how must global North – Africa research relationships be configured to advance the achievement of Africa’s aspirations (in the shorter and longer term)?   

Or, rendered yet another way:  can change in global North-Africa research cooperation help advance a broader shift in the global research ecosystem in favour of Africa?  If yes, how must such research cooperation change and be configured?   

Other questions that speak directly to the issue of reparations arise from this:  

Is true mutuality of benefits (as generally defined) the aim? Ought benefits, as a matter of course – be stacked in favour of Africa? If so, would the principles of atonement of reparation be central rationales for this – and what would this look like in practice? 

PARC’s further discussion forums will support critical debate and reflection on these queries – with the aim of exploring answers and in the hope of forging consensus and clear directions for action.