US Vice President Kamala Harris has embarked on a week-long tour of Africa to increase US investment in the continent and boost economic growth, amid concerns over China’s rising influence.
Harris said the trip aims to offer an alternative to rival powers that have invested heavily in Africa in recent years, such as China and Russia.
Harris arrived in Ghana on Sunday, her first destination, where she is set to meet with President Nana Akufo-Addo and visit a former slave castle. She will also visit Tanzania and Zambia during the tour.
“On this trip I intend to do work that is focused on increasing investments here on the continent and facilitating economic growth and opportunity,” Harris said shortly after touching down in Ghana, the first destination in a trip that will include visits to Tanzania and Zambia.
The US government, under President Joe Biden, has committed $55 billion to Africa over the next three years as part of efforts to strengthen ties with the continent. During a recent visit to Niger, Secretary of State Antony Blinken announced $150 million in new humanitarian aid for Africa’s Sahel region.
On her tour, Harris will also address concerns over China’s engagement in technology and economic issues in Africa, including its involvement in debt restructuring, according to senior US officials. She is expected to announce public- and private-sector investments during the trip. Biden has yet to visit Africa as president.
Harris will be in Ghana from March 26-29, then in Tanzania from March 29-31. Her final stop is Zambia, on March 31 and April 1. She will meet with the three countries’ presidents and plans to announce public- and private-sector investments.