The US Vice President, Kamala Harris, arrived in Ghana on Sunday to begin her week-long tour of Africa where she announced that the United States will increase investment in Africa and help spur economic growth. Her tour is aimed at offering a counterweight to the influence of rival China.
China has invested heavily in Africa in recent decades, including in infrastructure and resource development, while Russian influence has also grown, including through the deployment of troops from Russia’s private military contractor, the Wagner Group, to aid governments in several countries.
“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 tour comes at a time when the US government continues to struggle with how to reposition itself as a more advantageous partner than China, which has made significant investments in the region over many years.
Harris will also talk about China’s involvement in debt restructuring as well as China’s involvement in technological and economic concerns in Africa that the US finds troubling.
Zambia, the first African nation to default on its sovereign debt during the COVID-19 pandemic, is one of the three nations Harris will visit. Zambia is negotiating with its creditors, including China, to reach a settlement.
Harris will visit Tanzania from March 29 to 31, and Zambia will be her final trip on March 31 and April 1. She intends to announce both public and private sector initiatives during her meeting with the presidents of the three nations.
According to the source, Harris would talk about the best strategies for the international community to address the debt issues Ghana and Zambia are currently facing.
President Joseph Biden is anticipated to visit Africa this year.