US Vice President Kamala Harris arrived in Ghana on Sunday for a weeklong visit to Africa, with the aim of strengthening US relations with the continent amid global competition. Harris was greeted by schoolchildren, dancers and drummers as she stepped off her plane, smiling and placing a hand on her heart as she passed by the dancers. She expressed her excitement about the future of Africa, and her desire to promote economic growth and food security while witnessing firsthand the innovation and creativity occurring on the continent.
Ghana, one of the continent’s most stable democracies, faces severe economic challenges, including a debt crisis and soaring inflation that has driven up the cost of food and other necessities. In addition, the country is wary of threats from instability in the region, as Burkina Faso and Mali have each endured two coups in recent years, and local offshoots of al-Qaida and the Islamic State group operate in the area known as the Sahel, which is north of Ghana.
On Monday, Harris is scheduled to meet with Ghana’s President, Nana Akufo-Addo, where they are expected to discuss economic and security challenges facing the country, and hold a joint news conference. Harris is the highest-profile member of President Joe Biden’s administration to visit Africa this year, and after Ghana, she plans to visit Tanzania and Zambia. The expanded outreach is intended to counter China’s influence in the region, which has become entrenched in recent years through infrastructure initiatives, lending money, and expanding telecommunications networks.
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