WASHINGTON (AP) — Vice President Kamala Harris promises a new era of partnership with Africa on Tuesday as she speaks at the Black Star Gate to mark Ghana’s independence from colonialism.
A full two-day speech in Ghana is part of a week-long trip that includes visits to Tanzania and Zambia. Harris is the most prominent member of the Joe Biden administration to visit Africa as the United States escalates its outreach to the continent.
“Together, we will address the challenges we face and the opportunities ahead,” she said in an excerpt from a speech provided by her office.
Many of the Vice President’s remarks have focused on innovation and entrepreneurship as part of her effort to spotlight Africa as a destination for American private sector investment. Ghana’s President Nana Akufo Addo said she hopes it will be seen after years of going unnoticed.
“We want to change that dynamic,” Akufo-Addo said when he met with Harris on Monday.
After the speech, Harris planned to tour Cape Coast Castle, a seaside fort where enslaved Africans were loaded onto ships bound for the Americas. Harris was also scheduled to speak there.
U.S. outreach is part of a global race for Africa’s future, and China and Russia are also each defending their own interests on the African continent. But Harris has been careful to downplay the role of geopolitical conflict during his travels here.
In a speech on Tuesday, Harris said in a prepared remark, “America will be guided not by what it can do for its African partners, but by what it can do with them.” .
On Monday night, Harris and her husband, Doug Emhoff, attended a dinner hosted by Akufo Addo. In addition to officials from both countries, American celebrities, businessmen and civil rights leaders were also present.
Guests included actors Idris Elba and Rosario Dawson and director Spike Lee.
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