The U.S. Embassy in Ghana welcomed Vice President of the United States Kamala Harris and Second Gentleman Douglas Emhoff to Ghana March 26-29, 2023.
Ghana was the Vice President’s first stop on a weeklong journey, which also included stops in Tanzania and Zambia. Her trip focused on increasing investments in Africa, facilitating economic growth and opportunity – especially for women and girls, empowering entrepreneurs, advancing digital inclusion, and supporting work on food security, including adapting to the effects of the climate crisis.
In Accra, Vice President Harris and the Second Gentleman were warmly welcomed by Ghanaian officials, as well as children from BASICS International, an NGO based in Accra focused on providing educational opportunities and support for underprivileged children. Vice President Harris’s remarks on arrival highlighted the importance of the continent of Africa, its people, and its future.
During her first full day in Ghana, Vice President Harris met with President Nana Akufo-Addo and Government of Ghana officials. After their meeting, she announced new U.S. initiatives to strengthen U.S. partnership with Ghana and regional security.
Later in the day, the Vice President joined members of the diaspora at Vibrate Studio, a creative workspace in East Legon, to engage with Ghanaian musicians and creative professionals that are making Ghana a home to arts, music, and entertainment. “The creative work that is happening on this continent, as represented by the work that is happening here in Ghana, is extraordinary in terms of the international global impact,” said the Vice President during the event (full remarks).
The Vice President and the Second Gentleman then returned to Jubilee House for a special state dinner, hosted by President Nana Akufo-Addo and his wife, First Lady Rebecca Akufo-Addo. American and Ghanaian guests at the dinner included actors, musicians, creative professionals, activists, and academic leaders. In her toast to the President of Ghana, the Vice President highlighted the rich connections between the people of Ghana and the United States supported by the diaspora.
The next day, Vice President Harris joined thousands of young Ghanaians, including many alumni of U.S. Government exchange programs, university students, civil society leaders, and entrepreneurs at Accra’s iconic Black Star Gate.
Following an introduction by Shamima Muslim, a 2015 alumna of the Mandela Washington Fellowship, Vice President Harris addressed the enormous crowd. Highlighting the importance of the continent of Africa to the future of the world, the Vice President noted: “It is your spark, your creativity, and your determination that will drive the future. And with that then, African ideas and innovations will shape the future of the world.”
Following her speech, the Vice President traveled to Cape Coast, where she paid her respects to Osabarima Kwesi Atta II, Paramount Chief of Cape Coast.
She then toured Cape Coast Castle with the Second Gentleman. Her tour guide, Kwesi Essel-Blankson, Regional Director of the Ghana Museum and Monuments Board is an alumnus of the U.S.-sponsored International Visitor Leadership Program.
Following the guided tour of Cape Coast Castle, the Vice President gave emotional remarks reflecting on the profound impact of slavery on both the United States and Ghana. She noted the importance of teaching the history that the Cape Coast Castle represents: “And so, all these stories must be told. All these stories must be told in a way that we take from this place — the pain we all feel, the anguish that reeks from this place. And we then carry the knowledge that we have may gained here toward the work that we do in lifting up all people, in recognizing the struggles of all people, of fighting for, as the walls of this place talk about, justice and freedom for all people, human rights for all people.”
On her last day in Ghana, the Vice President met with six Ghanaian women entrepreneurs in a roundtable table discussion at The Mix, a woman-owned co-working space in Accra. During her remarks, the Vice President announced over $1 Billion in public and private initiatives focused on economic empowerment of women.
The Vice President of the Republic of Ghana accompanied Vice President Harris and the Second Gentleman for their farewell at Accra’s Kotoka Airport, where the two waived farewell to their Ghanaian hosts, before departing for Tanzania.