On Friday, U.S. Vice President Kamala Harris made her last stop on a continental tour in Zambia. There, she called again for a “rapid finalization” of the country’s major debt restructuring. The United States has made creditors, like China, ignore the country’s estimated $17.3 billion in international debt. 2020 saw the COVID pandemic and the collapse of Zambia.
Harris told a press conference after meeting with Zambian President Hakainde Hichilema in Lusaka, “We will continue to push for a quick end to Zambia’s debt treatment and restructuring.” “The international community must assist developing nations like Zambia in regaining their footing. Thus, I will once again urge all bilateral debtors to reduce their debt significantly, as I have done so many times before.”
The arrival of Ms. Harris follows that of Janet Yellen, the U.S. Treasury Secretary, by a few months. The US is trying to show its power in response to China’s investments on the resource-rich continent. Since Lusaka asked for help under a G20 mechanism for restructuring the debt of the poorest states, the United States has accused China, the biggest creditor of many African nations, of being slow to act.
“Rebuilding our economy is a top concern for our nation.” Debt is what’s stopping us, according to Hichilema. After traveling to Tanzania and Ghana, Kamala Harris—the first woman and the first person of color to be chosen as vice president of the United States—arrived in Lusaka on Friday.
When she was younger, she had already been to Zambia to see her maternal grandpa, who had a job there. She made a short stop at the house in Lusaka that he lived in during the 1960s. The oldest of her grandchildren told reporters that one of her favorite people was her grandfather.