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Kamala Harris is touring three African countries, considering the continent “the future of the world”


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On Sunday, March 25, 2023, US Vice President Kamala Harris begins a tour of three African countries with the aim of promoting Washington’s positive vision, which sees this continent as “the future of the world.”

Harris’ visit to Ghana, Tanzania and Zambia is the latest initiative taken to strengthen relations between the United States and a continent that was largely neglected during the tenure of former Republican President Donald Trump and which Washington has long viewed as an area of ​​trouble rather than opportunity.

“We want to (dispel) the prevailing and generally outdated ideas about what it means to live, work and invest in Africa,” said a senior US official, speaking on condition of anonymity.

He added that Harris is “convinced that innovation and African ideas will shape the future of the world.”

This trip also falls within the framework of Washington’s strategy aimed at limiting the growing presence of Beijing and Moscow on this resource-rich continent and sending a more positive message from the United States, according to US officials.

“It is well known that we are in competition with China, very clearly to counter Chinese competition in the long term,” said a senior US official.

After talking about “actual concern” about Chinese loans that allow Beijing to increase its control over the weak economies on the continent, the US official stressed that Washington does not seek to replicate Chinese methods.

“Our relationship with Africa cannot and should not be defined by competition with China,” he added, announcing a “positive program for Africa” ​​based on transparency and public-private partnerships.

Personal history

Harris’ tour, which arrives Sunday in Ghana, comes as the first leg of her trip, after other visits to Africa by members of President Joe Biden’s government, as well as his wife, Jill Biden.

This visit, which she will lead Wednesday to Tanzania and then Friday to Zambia, has a special dimension. Harris is the first black person and the first woman to serve as vice president in the United States. I had visited Zambia as a child, where her maternal grandmother, who was from India, worked.

This visit will also allow her to enhance her qualifications in the field of foreign policy in anticipation of Biden’s candidacy for a second term in 2024, when she will be by his side.

The US vice president will also meet Ghana’s President Nana Akufo-Addo, Tanzania’s Samia Soloho Hassan, and Zambia’s President Hakainde Hichilema. Debt relief, democracy, economic growth, food security and the consequences of the Russian invasion of Ukraine will also be discussed.

The Joe Biden government recognizes the “strategic importance” of African countries in relation to global issues such as climate change and the resilience of supply chains as well as as “actors” within the United Nations.

Youth is one of the main topics of Harris’ visit, while the average age is only 19 years in this fast-growing population, which is estimated to be one in four of the Earth’s population residing in it by 2050.

In Ghana, the US Vice President will deliver an “important speech” to young people and visit a former slave-trafficking center, Cape Coast Castle (south). Interviews will also be held with tech entrepreneurs, digital leaders, and groups promoting the place of women in the economy.

Also, Harris will lay a wreath on the anniversary of the 1998 bombing of the US Embassy in Dar es Salaam, Tanzania.

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