Week-long tour of the continent comes at a time when the US is searching for to counter the affect of Russia and China.
Vice President Kamala Harris has mentioned that the US will enhance funding in Africa and assist spur financial development as she started a week-long tour of the continent aimed toward countering the affect of rivals Russia and China.
China has invested closely in Africa in current many years, together with in infrastructure and useful resource growth, whereas Russian affect has additionally grown, together with by the deployment of troops from the personal army contractor Wagner Group in a number of international locations.
“On this journey, I intend to do work that’s targeted on rising investments right here on the continent and facilitating financial development and alternative,” Harris mentioned on Sunday shortly after touching down in Ghana, the primary vacation spot in a visit that may embrace visits to Tanzania and Zambia.
“We’re trying ahead to this journey as an extra assertion of the lengthy and enduring crucial relationship and friendship between the folks of the US and those that stay on this continent,” Harris mentioned.
The administration of President Joe Biden has sought to strengthen ties with Africa, partly to supply a substitute for rival powers, amid world competitors over the continent’s future.
African nations are conscious that there are ulterior motives for this push for a more in-depth alliance, observers say.
“African nations are usually not naive … The US has an extended historical past of meddling in African affairs, supporting dictators versus liberation actions, pushing laborious for US multinationals’ entry to African markets and assets, whereas leaving international locations with nothing,” mentioned Al Jazeera’s Shihab Rattansi, reporting from Washington, DC.
“So the US is saying, ‘That’s all up to now now, we’re companions, we are able to all achieve success’, whereas what we’re listening to from Africa is, ‘We don’t need to select between China, Russia and the US, however we’ll do what we really feel is in our greatest curiosity.’”
In December, forward of the US-Africa Leaders Summit, Washington dedicated $55bn to the continent over the following three years.
US Secretary of State Antony Blinken introduced $150m in new humanitarian help for Africa’s Sahel area throughout a go to to Niger this month, which got here lower than a yr after he visited South Africa, the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Morocco, Algeria and Rwanda.
This flurry of diplomacy is “in regards to the geopolitical struggles which are occurring, and the worry in Washington that it’s shedding floor, particularly now in Africa the place there’s a scramble for assets, the place there are rarer minerals to energy the Inexperienced Revolution, and so forth”, Rattansi mentioned.
Harris will meet Ghana President Nana Akufo-Addo this week and can go to a fortress from which individuals have been forcibly despatched to the US through the slave commerce period.
Harris can be in Ghana from March 26-29, then in Tanzania from March 29-31. Her ultimate cease is Zambia, on March 31 and April 1. She’s going to meet with the three international locations’ presidents and plans to announce public- and private-sector investments.