- US Vice President Kamala Harris will go to Ghana, Tanzania and Zambia throughout a three-country tour of Africa beginning this weekend.
- The journey is geared toward deepening ties with the continent and to counter China and Russia’s involvement in Africa.
- Five of President Joe Biden’s cupboard secretaries and First Lady Jill Biden have carried out Africa excursions.
US Vice President Kamala Harris will begin a three-country tour of Africa this weekend, selling the White House’s optimistic imaginative and prescient of the continent because the “future of the world.”
Harris’ journey to Ghana, Tanzania and Zambia is the most recent salvo in deepening US engagement with a continent largely ignored below Republican Donald Trump – and lengthy seen in Washington as extra of an issue space than a land of alternative.
“We want to dismantle long-held and often outdated notions of what it means to live, work and invest in Africa,” a senior US official instructed reporters, talking on situation of anonymity.
Harris “believes African innovation and ideas will shape the future of the world,” mentioned the official.
The tour can also be a part of Washington’s pushback in opposition to rising Chinese and Russian involvement within the resource-rich continent, with US officers touting what they are saying is the extra optimistic US message.
“It’s no secret that we are engaged in competition with China very clearly, to compete (with) China in the long term,” a senior US official mentioned. Citing “real concerns” about China’s use of loans to realize management over weak economies in Africa, the official insisted the United States shouldn’t be attempting to repeat Beijing’s strategies.
“Our relationship with Africa cannot and should not be defined by competition with China,” he mentioned, proclaiming an “affirmative agenda in Africa” that leans on public-private partnerships and transparency.
Preceding Harris, who lands Sunday in Ghana for the primary cease, have been journeys to Africa by 5 of President Joe Biden’s cupboard secretaries and First Lady Jill Biden.
The vice chairman’s journey, which is able to take her to Tanzania on Wednesday, then Zambia on Friday, has a particular poignancy. She is the primary Black particular person and girl ever within the White House quantity two job and she or he visited Zambia as a younger woman, when her maternal grandfather, who was from India, labored there.
The journey may also assist her burnish her international coverage credentials forward of what’s anticipated to be Biden’s bid for a second time period in workplace – along with her once more at his aspect.
Harris is because of meet with President Nana Akufo-Addo of Ghana, President Samia Hassan of Tanzania and President Hakainde Hichilema of Zambia.
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Topics will embody debt reduction, democracy, financial progress, meals safety, and impacts of Russia’s struggle in Ukraine.
A senior official mentioned the Biden administration acknowledges the “strategic importance” of Africa in international points together with local weather change, provide chain resilience and in addition as gamers within the United Nations.
An enormous general focus for Harris on her journey will likely be youth on this quickly rising continent, the place the common age is simply 19 and the place an estimated one in 4 individuals on this planet might be residing by 2050.
Highlights will embody a “major speech” to younger individuals in Ghana and a go to there to Cape Coast Castle, as soon as a slave buying and selling hub. Further stops will embody conferences with tech entrepreneurs, digital sector leaders, and teams advancing girls within the economic system.
In a reminder of the deep-rooted – and ongoing – unrest involving extremist Islamist teams, Harris will lay a wreath to commemorate the 1998 bombing of the US embassy in Dar es Salaam, Tanzania.