‘We all have a stake in Africa’ – U.S. Vice President Harris calls for more investment in Africa
US Vice President Kamala Harris on Tuesday called for increased investment in innovation in Africa in a speech highlighting her optimism about the continent she is on tour.
Her visit to Ghana and later this week to Tanzania and Zambia follows a December summit hosted by President Joe Biden in Washington with African leaders to balance the growing influence of China and Russia on the continent.
Harris: “We’re all in Africa”
After stopping at a recording studio in Ghana’s capital, Harris addressed a crowd of young entrepreneurs and leaders gathered at the Black Star Gate landmark.
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“African ideas and innovation will shape the future of the world, so we must invest in African ingenuity and creativity that will unlock incredible economic growth and opportunity,” she said.
She highlighted three areas where the US believes more investment could benefit: women’s empowerment, the digital economy, good governance, and democracy.
Noting some of the challenges facing the region, from insecurity to climate change to barriers to economic growth, Harris said the United States will remain “a constant partner in progress.”
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“We are all in Africa,” she added, echoing Biden’s words at last year’s U.S.-Africa leaders’ summit.
“This means the United States is committed to strengthening our partnerships across the continent… based on openness, inclusiveness, sincerity, common interests, and mutual benefit.”
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Later on Tuesday, she plans to tour Cape Coast Castle, a UNESCO World Heritage Site where slaves traveled to the Americas and the Caribbean.
At a state banquet on Monday with President Nana Akufo-Addo, Harris praised his initiatives called “The Year of the Return” and “After the Return,” which have encouraged descendants of slaves to “come home” since 2019.
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“Hundreds of thousands of black Americans and members of the diaspora from all over the world came here four years ago … every year there are more of them. Your vision, Mr. President, has made this possible,” she said.
Harris is expected to visit Tanzania on Wednesday and Zambia later this week as part of a three-country tour of the continent.
Earlier Monday, the United States said it “intends to provide $139 million in bilateral assistance to Ghana” for economic, medical, business and cultural initiatives.
He also intends to invest more than $100 million to “support conflict prevention and stabilization efforts in coastal West Africa.”
Ghana, along with neighboring Ivory Coast, Benin and Togo, is at risk of jihadist violence spreading beyond its northern borders from the Sahel.