EDINBURGH City Council has nominated a chair to implement the recommendations of the city’s review into its history of slavery and colonialism.

Last year, the council endorsed ten recommendations produced by the independent Edinburgh Slavery and Colonialism Review Group, which was chaired by academic Sir Geoff Palmer.

They include initiating “friendship agreements” with cities most impacted by Edinburgh’s role in the slave trade and commissioning a “significant public artwork” which acknowledges the city’s links with slavery.

Irene Mosota, an Edinburgh-based social enterprise practitioner, has been nominated to fill the role with councillors set to consider her nomination next week.

Mosota is the founder and director of Knowledge Bridge – a company which works with organisations to help them become sustainable, equal and diverse.

The National: Irene MosotaIrene Mosota (Image: City of Edinburgh Council)

She said that she hopes implementing the recommendations of the review will help the city work towards a “more equitable future”.

“Our city acknowledges the impact of the past, yet we must also embrace the present and work towards a future that embodies the fundamental values of dignity and equality for all,” she said.

“We possess the power to heal and pave the way towards a more equitable future, and it is our obligation to ensure that all voices are heard and all people are valued, not just for our own sake, but for the sake of future generations.”

Leader of Edinburgh City Council, Cammy Day, said he welcomed Mosota’s nomination and was delighted that all of the review’s recommendations would be taken forward.

He said: “We originally commissioned the independent review because we felt it was an important and useful starting point for a wide-ranging public discussion about the modern-day impact of this legacy.

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“Racism must be talked about, and action to end it must be supported if it is to be stamped out and we are to be the inclusive and welcoming city that the vast majority of its residents wants and expects it to be.

Following on from the endorsement of the Group’s recommendations, the Council has apologised for the city’s past role in sustaining slavery and colonialism and now I’m delighted that things are moving forward to implement the remaining recommendations.

I very much welcome the nomination of Ms Mosota, whose contribution to the Edinburgh Slavery and Colonialism Legacy Review Group was invaluable. Her skills in change management, research and diversity, equity and inclusion, will be key in taking the work of the group forward.”

Some of the review’s recommendations, such as presenting statues, monuments and street names in a manner that explains their colonial legacy, have already been started.

However, a plaque installed on the Melville Monument in St Andrew Square – which explains the role of Henry Dundas in delaying the abolition of slavery – was recently subject to controversy after planning officials recommended that councillors agree to its removal.

The council later clarified that the recommendation was a “technicality” and that the plaque would remain in place.