Kamala Harris: African ideas will change the world
STORY: African ideas and innovations will "shape the future of the world".
So said U.S. Vice President Kamala Harris as she delivered a speech to thousands of young Ghanaians on Tuesday (March 28).
Her three-country African tour, starting in Ghana, is part of a charm offensive by Washington aimed at countering the growing influence of China and Russia on the continent.
"This continent of course has a special significance for me personally as the first Black vice president of the UnIted States of America."
Harris delivered her speech in front of the Black Star Gate in Accra - a monument built on the site where Ghana declared its independence from Britain in 1957.
She cited examples of African innovations introduced before such services were available in the U.S. - including pioneering mobile phone payments in Kenya and healthcare deliveries by drone in Rwanda.
"And so to you I say, it is your spark, your creativity, and your determination that will drive the future."
Harris also turned to the empowerment of women - noting that though women grow the majority of food on the continent, they are less likely to own the land they farm.
Empowering women, she said, would benefit not only themselves but also the entire economy.
"I am optimistic about the future of the world because of you. The woman who will shatter every glass ceiling, the entrepreneur who will identify the next digital breakthrough, the activist who will fight for the dignity of every human being. Students and scientists, athletes and artists, farmers and fishers, and the young innovators who will solve problems that we haven't yet identified with solutions we can't even yet imagine."
Harris, whose trip also takes in Zambia and Tanzania, said there are two other areas where the U.S. would work with African partners.
They are digital inclusion and good governance and democracy.
The latter she described as "a work in progress, including in my own country" - an apparent allusion to the turbulence, and at times chaos, seen in U.S. politics and elections in recent years.
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