VP Harris Pledged $7B for Climate Adaptation and Mitigation in Africa

On 31 March 2023, US VP Kamala Harris landed in Lusaka, Zambia, which is the last leg of her tri-country African tour. The Zambian stop is virtually a ‘homecoming’ for Harris.

As a young girl, she recalled with nostalgia her visit to her maternal grandfather P.V. Gopalan who once served as an advisor to Zambia’s first President Kenneth Kaunda. Gopalan lived at 16 Independence Avenue and she made an impromptu stop at the location in memory of her late grandfather.

Getting back to business, right at the top of the agenda was the debt restructuring of Zambia. In 2020, Zambia defaulted on its foreign debt totaling USD 17.3 billion amidst the COVID pandemic. VP Harris urged G20 member states which are the major creditors of Zambia to promptly come up with a plan so that the Zambian economy can breathe back into life.

Secondly, VP Harris announced a package of USD 7 billion to support adaptation and mitigation measures against #ClimateChange for Africa. The AU has been clamoring for the West to put money where its mouth is at the 2nd US-Africa Leaders Summit (#UALS2) and at the #COP27 to tackle the urgent Climate Crisis.

The Climate Change envelope adds to the USD 1 billion for #WomenEmpowerment which Harris announced in Dar es Salaam with Tanzanian President Mrs Samia Hassan as witness. The Women Empowerment will give a special attention to digital inclusion for women and to the promotion of innovation on an equal gender footing in line with this year’s theme for International Women’s Day.

She also highlighted that the US EXIM Bank has earmarked USD 500 million package for support American companies to develop business in Africa.

All in all, VP Harris has pledged nearly USD 9 billion for financing projects in Africa during this trip where she underscored that the Biden administration is all-in on Africa.