When Vice President Kamala Harris touched down in Ghana on Sunday, 26th March, she was welcomed by dancers and school-aged children waving U.S. and Ghanaian flags – a symbol of the strong bonds of friendship and partnership between the two nations. Her visit marks the first stop of her week-long trip to the African continent which includes visits to Tanzania and Zambia.
For her first full day in the country, Vice President Harris met with Ghana’s President Akufo-Addo in a joint news conference to discuss critical matters affecting the region and the world at large. These discussions centered on democracy, good governance, human rights, regional security, long-term economic growth, and macroeconomic stability.
The visit also reaffirms the United States and its Biden-led administration’s commitment to supporting conflict prevention and stabilization in Coastal West Africa, promoting inclusive economic growth, investing in women and youth, elevating engagement with the African Diaspora, addressing shared health challenges, and partnering to build climate resilience and steward the shared Atlantic Ocean.
“Today I am pleased to announce $100 million in support of Benin, Ghana, Guinea, Cote d’Ivoire, and Togo,” she said. “Last week President Joe Biden announced a strategic plan for coastal West Africa as part of the United States strategy to prevent conflict and promote stability.”
She passionately expressed her hope that the recent funding will serve as a catalyst for implementing the bold and visionary policy outlined by the esteemed US President, Joe Biden, in his strategic plan.
As part of her itinerary, Vice President Harris also toured Vibrate Studio, a community recording studio for young creatives located at Freedom Skatepark in Accra. The space, which was recently opened in 2022 in partnership with Kendrick Lamar’s company pgLang, Spotify, and local sports NGO Surf Ghana, aims to empower next-generation creatives in the country by equipping aspiring music entrepreneurs in the alternative music scene with the necessary tools and skills to compete in the global music market.
During her visit to Vibrate Studio, Vice President Harris explore the facility and met with a group of musicians – both established and up-and-coming artists- including the likes of Moses Sumney, Amaarae, Black Sheriff, and Ria Boss who represent the new wave of Ghanaian and Ghanaian-American entertainers. “Your reputation collectively, all of the artists, everything that you have done, is an international reputation,” she said to the group of Ghanaian artists in attendance. This stop re-emphasized the growing orange economy and underscored the strong links between both nation’s artistic and diaspora communities. The Vice President was also joined by the celebrated actor and musician Idris Elba and actress Sheryl Lee Ralph, who were in the country for visits.
The day culminated in a state banquet, hosted by President Akufo-Addo and the First Lady Rebecca Akuffo-Addo, in honor of the Vice President and Second Gentleman’s visit to the Motherland. The event brought together about 300 guests, including several dozen distinguished members of the African Diaspora in the United States. Spike Lee, Ms. Bozoma St. John , Ms. Caroline Wanga , CEO ESSENCE Ventures, Mr. Derrick Johnson & Mrs. Letitia Johnson, President, NAACP, Wayne Frederick President, Howard University, Mr. Scott Mills & Ms. Chanda Gibson, CEO, BET among others were among the star-studded guests for the evening. The night was a true celebration of the long-standing relationship between Ghana and the United States, as well as a testament to the power of collaboration and partnership in advancing shared goals.
Speaking at the banquet, the Vice President also expressed her gratitude for President Akufo-Addo’s leadership in strengthening ties between Africa and the African Diaspora spotlighting his government’s initiatives like the ‘Year of return’ among others.
“Your vision, Mr. President has made this possible, so on behalf of all those who have made the return, all those from America who have joined you tonight and all those who will return in the future, we say thank you.”
Vice President Kamala Harris is expected to continue her tour of Ghana tomorrow where she will visit Cape Coast Castle, where enslaved Africans were once loaded onto ships bound for America. She will then move on to Dar es Salaam, in Tanzania to speak with leaders and also to commemorate the 1998 bombing of the US embassy.