On her trip to Africa, US Vice President Kamala Harris’ favorite number is 19. That is the average age on this continent, and she emphasizes it at every chance.
It is not a bit of trivia for Harris, but rather the driving force behind the United States’ reenergized outreach to Africa. Washington is racing to form alliances on the world’s oldest inhabited territory with the youngest population. A test that could reshape the local economy and, by consequence, the rest of the world.
According to her office, Harris plans to announce more than $1 billion in public and private financing for women’s economic empowerment on Wednesday as part of this effort. The funding is anticipated to come from a combination of nonprofit foundations, private companies, and the federal government. And it will use to increase access to digital services, provide job training, and assist entrepreneurs.
The news is set to be made by the American vice president during a meeting with six Ghanaian female entrepreneurs. Her final event was in Ghana before continuing her weeklong trip in Tanzania and Zambia.
US increases its outreach amid global rivalry over Africa
Harris is the most visible member of President Joe Biden’s administration to tour Africa this year. As the United States increases its outreach amid global rivalry over the continent. During her tenure in Ghana, she focused on economic development and young people in particular.
Harris has toured a skate park and a recording studio, released a Spotify playlist of African musicians. Spoken to thousands of young people, and called a select group of celebrities, civil rights leaders, and business leaders to a banquet in her honour.
It’s a carefully crafted effort to reframe Americans’ perceptions of African opportunities. New investments could not only assist US businesses but also help to solve one of the country’s most pressing problems.
“If we don’t find jobs — because that’s what it’s about — for this growing young population. It will be dangerous for the political stability on the continent,” said Rama Yade, senior director of the Atlantic Council’s Africa Center. “Because they will attack the institutions if they don’t have the means for living.”