For Washington, the future of Africa is as arena for geopolitical competition: China Daily editorial
The unusually heavy presence of US security staff encircling US Vice-President Kamala Harris during her arrival at Kotoka International Airport in Accra, Ghana, on Sunday was a vivid sign of Washington's psychological distance from Africa.
Harris said that she was "very excited" about the future of Africa upon her arrival in Accra. But she should have done her homework on what the United States has done for Africa, which in effect would have deprived the continent of its future were it not for China's engagement with it.
As some observers said, African nations are not naïve. They are aware that the US has a long history of meddling in African affairs and instigating internal conflicts.
If that is too embarrassing for her to contemplate, given the stated anti-China objective of her seven-day trip, Harris should at least have been briefed beforehand that all three of the major airports in the countries she is visiting, the other two being Zambia and Tanzania, are partially or wholly funded, designed, upgraded or built by Chinese entities. Not to mention many of the public buildings that China built in these countries in some of which she will put on the US' anti-China talk show.
Pressing her hosts to estrange their largest investor, trade partner and development supporter, as senior officials of the Joe Biden administration made clear was the rationale for the trip before her departure, could be considered insultingly patronizing.
Likewise, she should have been reminded that much of "the extraordinary innovation and creativity that is occurring on this continent" that she was able to "witness firsthand" also stems from the projects China supports to help enhance education, medical care and technological upgrading in these countries.
And with about 70 to 80 percent of Africa's sovereign debt attributable to Western, if not US, entities and individuals as World Bank data indicates, Harris has no reason to talk about "China's involvement in debt restructuring" in Africa.
As some African analysts have said, since even the most sincere promises former US president Barack Obama made during his welcome-home visit to Africa 15 years ago were only marginally kept, and his successor made no secret of his disdain for the continent, there is no reason Harris' words should be taken seriously this time. Particularly since the Joe Biden administration has paid only lip service to the continent, which Biden has yet to visit as president.
The need to act on promises is a lesson she should learn and take back from her trip.