Vice President Kamala Harris traveled to Africa for a major trip across the continent. We’ll tell you what she hopes to accomplish.
The United States will provide $100 million to Ghana and four other West African countries to help them deal with violent extremism and instability, Vice President Kamala Harris said on Monday during a visit to Ghana. Harris was in Accra at the start of a week-long, three-nation African tour, the latest in a series of visits by senior U.S. officials as Washington seeks to counter growing Chinese and Russian influence on the continent. >> Full story
- More: Harris seeks to reset U.S.-Africa relations on 3-nation tour (Politico)
- Go deeper: Can U.S. charm offensive woo continent from China? (BBC)
- For context: 10 Things to Know about the U.S.-China Rivalry in Africa (U.S. Institute of Peace)
Harris: “When I look at what is happening on this continent, and the fact that the median age is 19 years old, and what that tells us about the growth of opportunity, of innovation, of possibilities, I see in all of that great opportunity, not only for this content, but the people of the world.”
Angie: That’s Vice President Harris in late March, speaking as she embarks on a weeklong trip across Africa. She’s visiting three countries, Ghana, Tanzania, and Zambia, as part of a concerted effort by the Biden administration to strengthen ties with the continent.
In late March, Harris announced a $139 million aid package for security and development assistance.
Critics say the US has long underinvested in the continent, treating African nations more like charity cases than true partners. A lack of focus on Africa left an opening for new partnerships by US rivals like China, which has made significant investments in infrastructure and economic development, and Russia, whose private mercenary group provides security services in many African nations.
With new public commitments to aid and American business investments, the US seeks to forge deeper links to Africa instead of focusing on corruption and violence across the continent.
The Vice President herself has ties to Zambia, which she visited in the 1960s and where her grandfather worked for the government to help resettle refugees.
President Biden plans to visit Africa later this year to continue building stronger relations.