Kamala Harris Scheduled to Visit Africa, Making Her the Most Senior-Level Official in Biden Administration to Visit Continent

by Xara Aziz
Credit: Big Stock Photo

The Biden administration has confirmed that Vice President Kamala Harris will travel to Africa later this month, becoming the United States’ most senior-level official to visit the continent.

Her trip comes on the heels of the administration’s efforts to strengthen relations between the US and Africa, as Russian and Chinese officials have begun to become key players in foreign relations on the continent.

According to the schedule released by Harris’ office Monday, she will visit Ghana, Tanzania and Zambia during the historic trip. It will be the first time a Black US vice president has visited the region, magnifying the highly-anticipated trip. Second gentleman Doug Emhoff will accompany her during the journey.

Harris’ visit will aim to “strengthen the United States’ partnerships throughout Africa and advance our shared effort on security and economic prosperity,” the Vice President’s press secretary Kirsten Allen said in a statement.

Harris’ trip is the latest among several officials who have visited Africa in recent months. Earlier this month, First Lady Jill Biden visited the continent, following recent trips from Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen, US Ambassador to the United Nations Linda Thomas-Greenfield and Secretary of State Antony Blinken. President Joe Biden is expected to visit later this year.

“Throughout the trip, in partnership with African governments and the private sector, the Vice President will advance efforts to expand access to the digital economy, support climate adaptation and resilience, and strengthen business ties and investment, including through innovation, entrepreneurship, and the economic empowerment of women,” Allen wrote.

During the US-Africa Leaders Summit in December, Harris alluded to US efforts in surpassing Russia and China as Africa’s key players in terms of trade and other foreign relations.  

“Our administration will invest our time and our energy to fortify partnerships across the continent. Partnerships grounded in candor, openness, inclusiveness, shared interests and mutual benefits,” she said at the event, which hosted nearly 50 African leaders in Washington. “And overall, our administration will be guided not by what we can do for Africa but what we can do with Africa.”

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