US Vice President Kamala Harris on Tuesday called for more investments in innovation in Africa in a speech underlining her optimism for the continent where she is on tour.
Her visit to Ghana and later this week to Tanzania and Zambia follows a December summit hosted by President Joe Biden in Washington with African leaders to balance the rising influence of China and Russia on the continent.
After a stop at a music recording studio in Ghana's capital, Harris addressed a crowd of young entrepreneurs and leaders gathered at the Black Star Gate landmark.
"African ideas and innovations will shape the future of the world, and so we must invest in African ingenuity and creativity which will unlock incredible economic growth and opportunities," she said.
She underlined three areas of focus that the US believes could benefit from more investments: women's empowerment, the digital economy and good governance and democracy.
While she noted some of the challenges facing the region, from insecurity to climate change and barriers to economic growth, Harris said the United States would remain "a steadfast partner for progress".
"We are 'all in' on Africa," she added, repeating what Biden said at the US-Africa leaders' summit last year.
"It means that the United States is committed to strengthen our partnerships across the continent... based on openness, inclusiveness, candor, shared interests, and mutual benefits."
Later on Tuesday she is scheduled to tour Cape Coast Castle, a UNESCO World Heritage Site where slaves were shipped to North and South America and the Caribbean.
At a state banquet on Monday with President Nana Akufo-Addo, Harris praised his initiatives called the "Year of Return" and "Beyond the Return", which have encouraged descendants of slaves to "come home" since 2019.
"Hundreds of thousands of Black Americans and members of the diaspora around the world came here four years ago... many more visit each year. Your vision, Mr. President, made this possible," she said.
Harris is expected in Tanzania on Wednesday and Zambia later in the week, as part of a three-nation tour of the continent.
Earlier on Monday, the United States said it "intends to provide $139 million in bilateral assistance for Ghana" for economic, health, business and cultural initiatives.
It also intends to invest more than $100 million to "support conflict prevention and stabilization efforts in coastal West Africa."
Ghana, along with neighbouring Ivory Coast, Benin and Togo, is at risk of jihadist violence spilling over its northern borders from the Sahel.