In Africa, Kamala Harris Looks to Deepen Relations Amid China's Influence

The Vice President is set to visit Ghana, Tanzania, and Zambia next week in an effort to strengthen the U.S.'s relationships with those countries.

In Africa, Kamala Harris Looks to Deepen Relations Amid China's Influence

In Beijing, President Samia Suluhu, of Tanzania, met with China's top leader, Xi Jinping. They signed multiple economic, infrastructural and other agreements, including one that gives Chinese markets greater access to Tanzanian agricultural goods. In December, Tanzania signed a $2.2 million railway agreement with China.

China is the country's largest debtor, and Zambia has been a notable exception. Beijing has rejected the 'debt trap diplomacy' narrative. President Hakainde Haichilema, of Zambia, has promised to establish a'special relationship' with China.

Many officials have flocked from Africa to Washington since Mr. Biden hosted a summit of African nations in Washington in Dezember. They include Secretary of State Antony J. Blinken, the first lady Jill Biden, the United Nations Ambassador, Linda Thomas Greenfield, and Treasury Secretary Janet L. Yellen. Janet L. Yellen stated that China was a 'barrier to ending the debt crisis in southern African countries.

Ms. Harris is the first U.S. woman of color to be elected vice president. The trip offers an opportunity to share a unique message. Elizabeth Shackelford, an ex-diplomat to Africa, is now senior fellow at Chicago Council on Global Affairs.

Ms. Shackelford stated that she came out as a strong, independent woman who had worked her way up the ranks, and who was a minority who rose to the top echelons. It will be an inspiration to many girls and women who see her in that role.

Zolan Kanno­Youngs reported in Accra, Ghana and Abdi Latif Dahir, Nairobi, Kenya. Collins Sampa contributed reporting in Lusaka, Zambia.