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 stated that the USA will improve funding in Africa and assist spur financial progress as she started a week-long tour of the continent geared toward countering the affect of rivals Russia and China.
China has invested closely in Africa in latest 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 nations.
“On this journey, I intend to do work that’s targeted on rising investments right here on the continent and facilitating financial progress and alternative,” Harris stated on Sunday shortly after touching down in Ghana, the primary vacation spot in a visit that may embody visits to Tanzania and Zambia.
“We’re wanting ahead to this journey as an extra assertion of the lengthy and enduring crucial relationship and friendship between the individuals of the USA and people who reside on this continent,” Harris stated.
The administration of President Joe Biden has sought to strengthen ties with Africa, partially 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 a protracted historical past of meddling in African affairs, supporting dictators versus liberation actions, pushing exhausting for US multinationals’ entry to African markets and sources, whereas leaving nations with nothing,” stated Al Jazeera’s Shihab Rattansi, reporting from Washington, DC.
“So the US is saying, ‘That’s all previously now, we’re companions, we are able to all achieve success’, whereas what we’re listening to from Africa is, ‘We don’t wish to select between China, Russia and the US, however we are going to 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 assist 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 “concerning the geopolitical struggles which might be happening, and the concern in Washington that it’s dropping floor, particularly now in Africa the place there’s a scramble for sources, the place there are rarer minerals to energy the Inexperienced Revolution, and so forth”, Rattansi stated.
Harris will meet Ghana President Nana Akufo-Addo this week and can go to a citadel from which individuals had been forcibly despatched to the US in the course of the slave commerce period.
Harris might be in Ghana from March 26-29, then in Tanzania from March 29-31. Her closing cease is Zambia, on March 31 and April 1. She’s going to meet with the three nations’ presidents and plans to announce public- and private-sector investments.