Yellen, in former slave port, sees path to renewal for Africa and the US By Reuters


© Reuters. U.S. Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen attends a gathering on the Normal Delegation for Fast Girls and Youth Entrepreneurship (DER) in Dakar, Senegal, January 20, 2023. REUTERS/Ngouda Dione


By Andrea Shalal

ILE DE GOREE, Senegal (Reuters) – U.S. Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen spoke on Saturday of the “indescribable cruelty” and lingering penalties of the transatlantic slave commerce, however mentioned she was inspired by indicators of progress and revival in the US and Africa.

Yellen visited the Home of Slaves, a fort constructed within the late 18th century on the island of Gorée off the coast of Senegal as a transit level for human beings earlier than they have been forcibly transported throughout the Atlantic, as she continued a three-country tour of Africa.

“I take from this place the significance of redouble our dedication to combat for our widespread ideas and the values ​​of freedom and human rights wherever they’re threatened – in Africa, in the US and world wide”, she wrote within the customer’s message. Log.

The location, now a museum, usually attracts high-profile American guests, together with former President Barack Obama, the primary American president of African descent, who visited there along with his household in 2013.

“Finally, Gorée Island reminds us that the histories of Africa and America are intertwined,” Yellen mentioned after visiting the island. “We all know the tragedy did not finish with the technology of people kidnapped from right here.”

The mayor of Gorée, Augustin Senghor, offered Yellen with a certificates appointing her as a lifetime ambassador of the island’s historical past.

Yellen, whose work in economics has centered on ending the historic disparities that plagued black People lengthy after slavery was abolished in 1865, mentioned Africa and the US had made huge progress, however that extra work was wanted to counter the brutal penalties of slavery. Commerce.

Below Yellen, the US Treasury established a racial fairness job drive that angered Republicans, and the division labored laborious to enhance financial circumstances for communities of colour.

It was important to inform the story of the slaves, which “though stuffed with struggling, can also be stuffed with perseverance and hope,” she mentioned, citing the necessary contributions of African American women and men to American financial system and democracy.

“With remembrance, I imagine, can come progress and renewal,” Yellen mentioned, pointing to what she referred to as “indicators of vibrant life round Gorée – a premier artwork scene, a spot of schooling and hundreds of people that inhabit this place”.