During His Visit to Ghana, Harris Vows to Provide Security Support and Partnership
During her weeklong tour of the continent, Vice President Kamala Harris promised more than $100 million in U.S. aid to Ghana and emphasized that U.S. interests in African countries go beyond contending with China. This announcement was made on the first full day of her trip to Africa.
Harris said that more than $139 million in aid will be allocated, with the majority being used to support conflict prevention activities in the Sahel area, where extremist groups have increased their influence.
She spoke at Jubilee House, which is the Ghanaian President Nana Akufo-Addo’s official residence, alongside the President.
“To combat violent extremism, and foster stability, I am pleased to announce 100 million dollars in aid towards Benin, Ghana, Guinea, Côte d’Ivoire, and Togo.” Harris remarked. “Last week, President Joe Biden announced a strategic plan for coastal West Africa, as part of the United States Strategy to Prevent Conflict and Promote Stability. Today’s funding will provide implementation support, addressing security, governance, and development concerns in the region.”
Harris, the fifth senior U.S official to visit the continent in 2021, denied that the U.S views African countries simply through the prism of competing with China. Over the past few years, China has lent large sums of money and supplied considerable infrastructure to African nations, leading many to view it as a power strategically seeking influence and access in the region.
“The president and I had a conversation about this subject, though the conversation was not centered on China, rather on the critical and long-lasting connections that the United States maintains with African states, including Ghana,” she stated. “To be sure, the relationship between the United States and this continent, and its leaders, is an important one, not just historically, but also because of the opportunities that remain ahead.”
Akufo-Addo echoed Harris’ sentiment
“In America, the Chinese activity on the continent may carry too much significance, but it is not a notion shared in Africa,” he added. “China is among many nations Ghana cooperates with across the world. America is one of them. Almost all countries in the world are friends of Ghana, and we have links with all of them, albeit at separate levels of intensity. Our bond with America has gone on for several decades, ever since our independence.”
Harris toured Accra’s vibrant art scene, visiting a skateboarding park and a recording studio. Actor Idris Elba joined her for the trip and spoke to journalists.
“I believe this visit by the VP to Ghana and Africa sends a powerful message and serves as a vital catalyst for partnership and investment,” he stated.
Harris intends to spend another day in the West African country before heading east to Tanzania and then south to Zambia.