US Vice President Kamala Harris said on Sunday that the United States would increase investment in Africa and help boost economic growth as she began a week-long tour of the continent that countered the influence of rival China.
China has invested heavily in Africa in recent decades, including in infrastructure and capacity development, while Russia’s influence has also grown, including by deploying forces from Russian private military contractor Wagner Group to support the government in various countries.
“I plan to do work on this trip that focuses on increasing investment here on the continent and facilitating economic growth and opportunity,” Harris said shortly after landing in Ghana, the first destination of the trip that will include visits. Tanzania and Zambia .
The administration of US President Joe Biden has sought to strengthen ties with Africa, in part to offer an alternative to rival powers.
In December, ahead of the US-Africa summit, the US committed $55 billion to the continent over the next three years. Secretary of State Anthony Blinken announced $150 million in new humanitarian aid for Africa’s Sahel region during a visit to Niger this month.
Biden has yet to visit Africa as a president.
During this trip, Harris will also discuss China’s involvement in technology and economic issues in Africa that are relevant to the United States, as well as China’s involvement in debt restructuring, senior US officials said last week.
Harris will meet Ghanaian President Nana Akufo-Addo this week and visit the former slave fort from which slaves were transported to the United States during the slave trade.
Harris will be in Ghana from March 26-29, then in Tanzania from March 29-31. Their last state is Zambia, March 31 and April 1. The presidents of the three countries will meet and announce plans for public and private investments.