U.S. vice president Harris tours Africa, to address China’s influence.

U.S. Vice President Kamala Harris will begin a visit to Africa as the country seeks to pitch itself as a better partner than China, which has invested heavily in the continent over several decades.

Senior U.S. officials said Ms Harris would discuss China’s engagement in technology and economic issues in Africa that concern the United States, as well as China’s involvement in debt restructuring.

One of the three countries Ms Harris would visit is Zambia, which was the first African country to default on its sovereign debt during the COVID-19 pandemic, and was working with its creditors, including China, to reach an agreement.

A senior official said “we are not asking our partners in Africa to choose” describing the competition with China, although he added that the U.S. has “real concerns about some of China’s behaviour in Africa and its unclear business dealings.”

Ms Harris would be in Ghana from March 26-29, then in Tanzania from March 29-31. Her final stop is Zambia, on March 31 and April 1.

She would meet with the three countries’ presidents and planned to announce public- and private-sector investments.

The official, who spoke on condition of anonymity because of the sensitivity of the matter, said Ms Harris would discuss the best ways for the international community to address debt challenges faced by Ghana and Zambia.

The White House hosted an Africa Leaders Summit in December, and President Joe Biden is expected to travel to Africa this year.

“The Vice President is very much looking forward to returning to Lusaka, which is a part of her family’s story and a source of pride,” one of the officials said.

Ms Harris would also meet with young leaders and business representatives and discuss topics such as climate change and food insecurity.

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