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US VP, Kamala Harris Arrives In Ghana To “Deepen Ties With Africa”

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Kamala Harris landed at Ghana’s Kotoko International Airport on the first leg of her three-country tour of Africa.

The vice president has been dispatched to deepen ties with the continent amid growing competition from countries like China and Russia while trying to win support.

Later in the year, President Joe Biden will make his own journey.

Harris will begin her nine-day trip in Ghana before heading to Tanzania and Zambia – countries facing tough economic times.

US VP, Kamala Harris Arrives In Ghana To “Deepen Ties With Africa”

This follows Foreign Minister Antony Blinken’s visit to Ethiopia and Niger, and he hopes to overshadow Ghana’s Finance Minister Ken Ofori Atta’s visit to China.

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Ghana, with its focus on strengthening ties with the African diaspora and history of many peaceful democratic transitions, provides an ideal launch pad for Ms. Harris.

Her trip is aimed, according to an official statement, to “amplify” December’s US-Africa summit in Washington, where President Joe Biden said the US was “concerned about the future of Africa”.

But it is this future, supported by a young and growing population and the continent’s vast natural resources, that has attracted so many other powerful nations vying for influence.

While Foreign Minister Antony Blinken’s recent visit to Ethiopia and Niger focused on the security challenges in those two countries, the Vice President’s trip will take them to countries facing serious economic problems.

Ghana’s once prosperous economy is going through the worst financial crisis in decades.

The country is trying to restructure its debt with inflation above 50%. Finance Minister Ken Ofori-Atta held talks with the Chinese government in Beijing.

US VP, Kamala Harris Arrives In Ghana To “Deepen Ties With Africa”

Economist and finance professor at the University of Ghana Godfred Aluvar Bokpen does not believe the visit will bring “immediate dividends” to ease the country’s financial woes.

“Having China on board is complicated,” he said, while noting that Ms Harris’ visit was “a very important” one for Ghana as it “elevates our relationship with the US to another level”.

He told the BBC US interest in the country and its debt crisis is “good” but concerned about what he described as “unfavorable trading conditions” with creditor countries.

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