Vice President Kamala Harris kept up her run of ponderous, head-scratching statements Monday on the first stop of a week-long trip to Africa, where the US is trying to head off China and Russia’s growing influence in the Third World.
“There are a number of things on the issue of the economy as a whole that we must do … and a lot of that work is the work that I am here to do on the continent,” Harris, 58, solemnly intoned during a news conference with Ghanaian President Nana Akufo-Addo.
“As you have mentioned, we have had today, this afternoon, a wide-ranging discussion,” she also said. “We have discussed a number of important topics, including the importance of concepts and priorities such as freedom and liberty.”
President Biden’s No. 2 also gave the White House undue credit for its economic policies, saying the US was “recovering” from decades-high inflation because of “the measures that our administration has taken to bring down the costs.”
Harris did not mention that while annual inflation has come down from the dizzying heights of 9.1% in June, it remains stubbornly at 6% — compared to 1.4% when Biden took office in January 2021.
The vice president used her visit to announce $100 million in US aid to the region, some of which will have to be approved by Congress as lawmakers attempt to negotiate an increase to Washington’s debt limit.
“What an honor it is to be here in Ghana and on the continent of Africa,” Harris said upon arrival in Accra. “I’m very excited about the future of Africa.”
“The median age on the continent of Africa is 19. Think about what that means in terms of potential,” Harris added. “Think about the fact that by 2050, one in four people occupying a place on Mother Earth will be on this continent, and what that means.”
Harris’ regular attempts to make grandiose statements have drawn mockery from her critics, with one comparing her to a student giving a book report on a book she has not read.
Last week, the VP marked Women’s History Month by repeating the word “history” three times in a matter of seconds at a White House event.
In addition to Ghana, Harris will also visit Tanzania and Zambia — three nations also courted by Beijing as part of its Belt and Road Initiative.
Ghana has made some infrastructure deals with Chinese companies, but Akufo-Addo maintained his country’s ties with Beijing pose no threat to the US.
“The relationships with America is a relationship that has been close over several decades,” said the Ghanaian president, who did voice concerns over the growth of Islamist terror groups in West Africa, as well as the encroachment of Russia’s Wagner Group mercenary force.
“It raises the very real possibility that once again our continent is going to become the playground for a great power conflict,” he said.
With Post wires