Welcome, US Vice President Harris!

The Vice President of the United States (US), Kamala Harris, was yesterday welcomed to Ghana to begin a week-long visit to Africa.

After spending three days in the country, she will spend two days in Tanzania before another day in Zambia.

The Ghanaian Times welcomes you and your entourage to our country, which has hospitality as its trademark.

We believe the cheers schoolchildren, dancers, and drummers offered you and the handshakes from state officials upon your arrival at the Kotoka International Airport have increased your optimism about your stay in Ghana.

We wish you and your entourage a fruitful visit.

On the global political arena, the US can be said to be at the top of the movers and shakers and as the Vice President of such a power, you move with the spirit of your great nation.

Thus, your presence here literally means the US is with us in this country in particular and Africa in general.

That is to say that you represent the US and your promises to Africa will be binding on the US state and will be fully fulfilled.

Some African leaders and even citizens believe their countries are shortchanged after such visits.

A quote from a March 25, 2023 CNN article titled ‘Vice President Harris embarks on history-making Africa trip amid US-China competition’ captures this concern: For all the hope of Obama’s presidency, many African leaders still voiced frustrations at the continuation of the longstanding sense that promises made were only marginally kept in a region too often left on the sidelines during defining international debates.

We know Vice President Harris would not be included in the status quo.

We are encouraged that this is not going to be the case because for the American administration, the objective of Harris’s visit is “to deepen and reframe US relationships in Africa, focusing on the continent as a place of growth and investment destination, not just aid packages.”

Besides, in a radio interview in the US on Friday, Vice President Harris herself said, “I’m going to Africa mainly to talk with African leaders about what we as the United States are prepared to do to have our role in investing in the future of that continent.”

Furthermore, her officials have said that Harris hopes to build on themes of African innovation and technology, regional security, food security, women empowerment, climate and democracy and that she will bring with her continent-wide public and private sector investments.

It is interesting to learn from these officials that *some sources, including the CNN article already referred to, think Harris’s presence in Africa can be viewed as part of an attempt by the USto deal with the geopolitical rivalry between it and China.

We do not discount this but we want to say that Africa is at a place where it needs foreign assistance to develop and definitely will accept this from caring and friendly countries, two of whom are the US itself and China.

We think that rivalry should not affect efforts to help Africa grow economically.

We rather think the US and China should team up to fight corruption among African politicians and other public officials through whom assistance packages from the two countries are channelled into their respective countries.

That way, the ordinary people can enjoy the full benefits of their investments.

Once again, “Welcome, Vice President Harris to Africa!”

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