The vice-president of the United States, Kamala Harris, has urged Africans to step up innovation and the empowerment of women in order to play their full part in the future of the world.
Speaking at the Black Star Gate on Tuesday in Accra, Harris said soon one in four people in the world will be African.
“That of course means what happens on this continent impacts the entire world,” she said.
Harris said innovation will be key to Africa’s future success.
She said that the economic empowerment of women would benefit not only the women but also their children, families, communities and the entire economy.
“We must invest in the African ingenuity and creativity which will unlock incredible economic growth and opportunities, not only for the people of the 54 countries that make up this diverse continent, but for the American people and people around the world,” she said.
On women’s empowerment, Harris shone a spotlight on deep gender disparities in Africa, saying the United States would work alongside African partners to close these gaps.
“On the continent of Africa, we know women grow a majority of the food, yet they are less likely to own the land they farm. They represent a majority of frontline health-care workers, but face disparities in health outcomes,” she said.
“Women are entrepreneurs, yet have limited access to capital and markets. They are “peacemakers and bridge-builders, yet continue to be under-represented at the table where decisions are made,” Harris said.
The vice-president said the United States would work with African partners to make progress on digital inclusion and good governance and democracy.