VP Harris Meets with President of Ghana

March 27, 2023

Vice President Harris met Monday with Nana Akufo-Addo, the President of Ghana, at the start of her weeklong trip to the continent of Africa.

Harris praised Afuko-Addo for his “democratic principles” as he faces rising discontent in Ghana over inflation and regional security. 

The Vice President is on a three-nation tour. She arrived in Ghana on Sunday and will continue her visit there through Wednesday. Then she visits Tanzania March 29-31. Her final stop will be in Zambia March 31-April 1. The Vice President has a personal connection to Zambia as she visited her grandfather who was working there when she was a young girl.

On Monday, Harris was welcomed into Ghana’s presidential palace, called the Jubilee House, where she promised $100 million in U.S. aid to the region for security assistance and increased investments.

Ghana had been one of the world’s fast-growing economies before the Covid pandemic. However, the price of food and other necessities has been skyrocketing, and the country is facing a debt crisis as it struggles to make payments.

During his meeting with Harris, Afuko-Addo called for countries like Ghana to work to get their economies “back on track.”

Sporadic fighting in Burkina Faso, with which Ghana shares a border, have raised security concerns, as has the presence of ISIS and Al-Qaeda offshoots in the Sahel region, which spans across Africa from Senegal in the west to Eritrea in the east.

Earlier this month, Secretary of State Antony Blinken visited Niger, which borders Mali and Burkina Faso, to announce additional assistance for the region.

The Vice President’s visit is also part of a concerted effort to widen U.S. influence at a time when China and Russia have entrenched interests of their own in Africa.

In remarks following their meeting, Harris told Afuko-Addo, “Under your leadership, Ghana has been a beacon of democracy and a contributor to global peace and security.”

Akufo-Addo, meanwhile, dismissed any concerns about China’s influence in the region, saying Ghana had relationships with many nations—including the U.S.—and they were separate from one another.

“The relationships with America is a relationship that has been close over several decades,” he added.

Some of the funding that Harris pledged will require Congressional approval, which could be a challenge amid ongoing budget disagreements between the White House and Republican lawmakers. The Treasury Department also plans to dispatch an adviser to Ghana’s capital city, Accra, to help the country manage its debt.

Harris’ travel to the continent comes one month after First Lady Jill Biden visited the African nations of Namibia and Kenya.

In December, President Biden wrapped the U.S.-Africa Summit at the White House by announcing to the leaders of 49 African nations that he intends to visit the continent sometime in the future, though he was not specific about which nations he would visit, or when he would make the trip.

PHOTO Source: @VP

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