Thomas Sheehy on Vice President Kamala Harris’ Visit to Africa
Vice President Kamala Harris’ trip to Ghana, Zambia and Tanzania is further indication that “the U.S. is finally waking up” to opportunities in Africa, says USIP’s Thomas Sheehy. “Africans want choices, they don’t want to be dependent just on Chinese investment … they want the U.S. engaged.”
Vice President Harris Helps Focus on Ghana, West Africa
Vice President Kamala Harris’ choice of Ghana this week as the place to launch her show of U.S. commitment to a new partnership with Africa can be no surprise. Ghana is one of Africa’s more established democracies and is at the center of the coastal West Africa region that the United States has targeted for focused efforts to prevent instability and the spread of extremism that is driving insurgencies in the neighboring Sahel region. As Ghana confronts that threat, notably in its vulnerable north, its community and civil society groups form an essential resource that partners should support.
Coastal West Africa Senior Study Group Final Report
The countries of Coastal West Africa are currently facing significant challenges to peace and security as extremist violence spills over from the neighboring Sahel region. Attacks in 2022 in the northern parts of Benin, Côte d’Ivoire, and Togo illustrate the immediacy and gravity of the threat, and governments across the subregion are grappling with protecting fragile communities in the north, addressing porous borders that facilitate attacks from neighboring states, and building the capacity of security forces to address the threat.
Fragility and Conflict
The Global Fragility Act (GFA) is an ambitious law that makes preventing conflicts and promoting stability in countries prone to conflict a U.S. foreign policy priority. Following years of efforts that overemphasized military operations in response to extremist violence and insurgencies, the GFA requires a long-term investment to address the underlying drivers of conflict. The Biden administration has released a new strategy to implement the GFA with 10-year commitments of assistance to a group of fragile states. The GFA and the new strategy rely, in part, on recommendations made by the USIP-convened Task Force on Extremism in Fragile States.