US Vice President Kamala Harris set for Tanzania, Zambia and Ghana visit
AUTHOR: The East African | PUBLISHED: March 14, 2023
Tanzania President Samia Suluhu with US Vice President Kamala Harris in Washington DC in 2022 | Credit | Courtesy
The United States Vice President Kamala Harris will visit Tanzania, Zambia and Ghana later this month on her first trip to the continent.
The trip is part of continuing visits by senior US government officials to enhance ties with Africa amid an intense geopolitical contest with other world powers, including China and Russia.
“The trip will strengthen the United States’ partnerships throughout Africa and advance our shared efforts on security and economic prosperity,” her office said in a statement.
Ms Harris will land in Ghana on March 26, then Tanzania on March 29 and Zambia on March 31 to April 3. She is slated to meet Ghanian President Nana Akufo-Addo, Tanzania’s Samia Hassan and Hakainde Hichilema of Zambia with democracy, economic growth, food security and the impact of Russia’s war in Ukraine on the agenda.
Ms Harris will be the latest among 18 top American officials who have visited the continent since January this year.
Her trip, accompanied by her husband, Second Gentleman Douglas Emhoff, comes amid an anticipated tour of President Joe Biden, who promised to visit the continent this year during a December US-Africa summit in Washington.
In February, First Lady Jill Biden visited Namibia and Kenya, with US Secretary of Treasury Janet Yellen visiting Senegal, South Africa and Zambia in the same month.
Other top officials to visit the continent include US Ambassador to the UN Linda Thomas-Greenfield to market ‘American values’, including democracy and the fight against corruption and women empowerment.
Tanzania’s relations with Washington have thawed after President Suluhu took over from the late John Pombe Magufuli, who died in office in 2021. The Magufuli era saw ties with the US become frosty, with American agencies, including the Millennium Challenge Corporation exiting, citing disregard for civil liberties.
President Suluhu met with Ms Harris at the White House in Washington in April last year, where they discussed bilateral cooperation.