Lusaka, 1 April 2023 (TDI): Vice President of the United States (US), Kamala Harris concluded her weeklong tour of Africa with a special visit to Zambia, where her grandfather served as an Indian diplomat in the 1960s.

During her two-day stay in the country, Harris met with the President of Zambia, Hakainde Hichilema to discuss debt restructuring and announced private-sector commitments worth more than $7 billion, aimed at supporting climate resilience, adaptation and mitigation.

Zambia, a landlocked but copper-rich nation, was the first African country to default on its sovereign debt when the COVID-19 pandemic began in 2020.

Thus, President of Zambia appealed to Harris for US help in restructuring the debt, which is nearing $15 billion.

In response, Harris pledged to advocate for speedy finalization of Zambia’s debt treatment and restructuring, and called on all bilateral official creditors to provide a meaningful debt reduction for the country.

US Vice President Kamala Harris, second right, is greeted by traditional dancers after landing in Lusaka, Zambia,

Also, Harris visited a farm outside Lusaka and met with entrepreneurs, highlighting the importance of agriculture and economic and democratic reforms.

Throughout her trip, Harris reflected on the historic ties between Africa and the US, including the evils of slavery and the importance of teaching accurate history.

To add more, Kamala Harris thanked President Hichilema for co-hosting the Summit for Democracy and embarking on an ambitious democratic reform agenda in Zambia.

For Vice President Harris, the visit to Zambia was personal, as her grandfather’s work as an adviser to Zambia’s first president, Kenneth Kaunda, influenced her trajectory to the highest office ever occupied by an American woman.

 “He believed in the nobility of public service. He believed in fighting corruption. These are things we would talk about a lot, and I don’t think until I was older I realized how that just subconsciously influenced the way I think in very strong ways,” Harris said of her grandfather.

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Overall, Harris’ trip to Africa was a successful one, with commitments made to support climate action, economic development, and democratic reforms.