Ahorsu: Kamala Harris is touring Africa for America’s parochial interest

Harris is on a week-long visit to three African countries namely Ghana, Tanzania and Zambia - her first official trip on the continent

A senior research fellow at the Legon Centre for International Affairs and Diplomacy Dr. Ken Ahorsu has said the visit of the US Vice-President Kamala Harris to Africa is to help the US explore its own interest.

Harris is on a week-long visit to three African countries namely Ghana, Tanzania and Zambia – her first official trip on the continent.

Speaking to Beatrice Adu on The Big Bulletin on Tuesday (28 March), Ahorsu said it is ironical that the US selected only countries that are hugely indebted to China.

“It’s very welcoming that Ghana has been chosen,” he said. “The irony, however, is that unlike former presidents Jerry John Rawlings, John Agyekum Kufuor and John Mill’s time when Ghana was chosen for a positive purpose, in the sense that our economy was doing very well and democracy was thriving.

“This time round Ghana has been chosen with Tanzania and Zambia, largely because of our large indebtedness to the outside world,” he said.

“And I think the main reason is that US is engaging these countries that are heavily indebted when the large part of debt is owed to China,” Ahorsu said.

Increased investment

Meanwhile Vice-President Harris said on Sunday that the US will increase investment in Africa to speed up economic growth and opportunity on the continent.

She said this when she arrived in Ghana, kicking off a week-long trip to the continent that will take her to Tanzania and Zambia.

“In particular on this trip, I intend to do work that is focused on increasing investment here on the continent and facilitating economic growth and opportunity, specifically in the areas of economic empowerment of women and girls, empowerment of youth entrepreneurship, digital inclusion, and to support the work that must be done to increase food security, including adaptation to the effects of the climate crisis,” the vice-president said.

Harris, who is on her first trip to Africa as vice-president, was met on arrival at Kotoka International Airport in Accra by her Ghanaian counterpart, Dr Mahamudu Bawumia; the Minister of Foreign Affairs for Ghana, Shirley Botchwey; and a host of other top government functionaries.

The US vice-president told guests at the airport that her trip to Africa was a “further statement of the long and enduring cordial relations and friendship between the United States and those who live on the continent of Africa”.

She said she was excited about the impact of the future of Africa on the world, including the United States.

“When I look at what is happening on this continent and the fact that the median age is 19 … and that tells us about the growth, of opportunity, of innovation, and of possibilities … I see in all of those great opportunities not only for the people of this continent but for the people of the world, especially when we understand that by the year 2050, one in four people on earth will be from Africa.

“So, I am here to address some of the issues that relate to the partnership between this continent, its people and the people of the United States, and to reinforce the work that we would continue to do together, be them on addressing the climate crisis, to supply chains and our work together in international rules and norms,” she stressed.

Reporting by Fred Dzakpata in Accra

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