China has made significant investments in Africa in recent years, primarily in infrastructure and natural resources development, while Russian influence has increased due to the deployment of Russian military personnel by the private military contractor Wagner Group to support governments in several nations.
"On this trip, I intend to do work that is focused on increasing investments here on the continent and facilitating economic growth and opportunity," Harris made this statement shortly after landing in Ghana, the first stop of a journey that would also take her to Tanzania and Zambia.
In order to provide a rival power with a viable option, the Biden administration has worked to deepen ties with Africa. Prior to a U.S.-Africa meeting, the U.S. pledged $55 billion to the continent over the following three years in December. On a visit to Niger this month, Secretary of State Antony Blinken pledged $150 million in fresh humanitarian aid for Africa's Sahel area.
Senior U.S. sources noted that Harris will also touch on China's role in debt restructuring, as well as China's involvement in technological and economic concerns in Africa that the United States finds troubling.
This week, Harris is slated to meet with Ghanaian President Nana Akufo-Addo and subsequently visit a former slave fortress where captives were transported to America during the slave trade era.
Harris will also visit Tanzania from March 29 to 31 after her trip to Ghana which is scheduled from March 26 to 29. She would cap her visit to Africa off with her final stop at Zambia which will last from March 31 to April 1. She intends to announce both public and private sector initiatives during her meeting with the presidents of the three nations.