US VP promises more investment in Africa

US Vice President Kamala Harris said Sunday the United States will increase investment in Africa and boost economic growth as she begins a week-long tour of the continent to counter the influence of rival China.

China has invested heavily in Africa in recent decades, including in infrastructure and resource development, while Russia’s influence has also grown, including using troops from the private Russian military company Wagner Group to support 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.

US President Joe Biden’s administration has sought to strengthen ties with Africa, in part to offer an alternative to rival powers.

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In December, ahead of the US-Africa summit, the US pledged $55 billion to the continent over the next three years. Secretary of State Anthony Blinken announced $150 million in new humanitarian aid to Sahel Africa during a visit to Niger this month.

Biden is yet to visit Africa as president.

During the trip, Harris will also discuss China’s involvement in technological and economic issues in Africa affecting the United States, as well as China’s involvement in debt restructuring, senior US officials said last week.

Harris will meet with Ghanaian President Nana Akufo-Addo this week and visit a former slave castle where slaves were shipped to America during the slave trade era.

Harris will be in Ghana March 26-29, then in Tanzania March 29-31. Her final stop is Zambia, on March 31 and April 1. She will meet with the three countries’ presidents and plans to announce public- and private-sector investments.


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