PoliticsForeign Policy


Vice President Harris touts US-African partnerships in 3-nation tour

Vice President Kamala Harris' week-long tour in Africa seeks to strengthen U.S. ties with key African nations as China and Russia also eye the region.
Posted at 7:31 PM, Mar 29, 2023

Vice President Kamala Harris forecasted strong U.S. partnerships with African countries during a pivotal trip this week, as the U.S. and other worldly countries seek closer ties to the continent.

"I am more optimistic than I have ever been about the future and the future of the continent of Africa," she said in a speech in Ghana on Tuesday.

The vice president is the highest-ranking administration official of the five who have traveled to Africa this year. 

Speaking to a crowd of 8,000 in front of the historic Black Star Gate in Ghana's capital city, Accra, Harris pledged continued U.S. investment in innovation in the continent.

"Together we can unleash growth and opportunity that far exceeds what either the public or private sector can achieve on its own," she said.

Harris — who is the first Black, South Asian and female vice president — called on political leaders and businesses to work together to empower African women and foster "digital inclusivity."

She honed in on that effort Wednesday when she participated in a roundtable with women entrepreneurs and unveiled a $60 million joint fund with the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, which she said would "address access, affordability, digital literacy and gender inequality."

U.S. Vice President Kamala Harris is greeted by traditional dancers as she arrives in Accra, Ghana.
Previous reporting

Kamala Harris embarks on weeklong Africa trip

After touching down in Ghana, Vice President Kamala Harris said she's excited about the future of Africa.


But the vice president also looked to the past, touring a seaside fort where enslaved Africans were held before boarding ships bound for the Americas.

"Being here was immensely powerful and moving," she said through tears.

On Monday, Harris participated in a bilateral meeting with Ghana's president and announced $100 million in U.S. aid to coastal West Africa. She also attended a star-studded state banquet.

Later this week she will travel to Tanzania and Zambia.

Her week-long tour comes amid escalating tensions with Russia and China, as both countries seek greater influence in a long-neglected region now open for economic partnerships.

Harris told reporters her trip there is not about countering China but is focused on advancing U.S. partnerships.

"The president and I had a conversation on this very topic, but the conversation was not about China as much as it is about the enduring and important direct relationship that the United States has with Ghana and with the African nations," she told reporters at a joint press conference with Ghana's president on Monday. 

President Biden is expected to travel to Africa sometime this year, though a date has not yet been set.