Harris finds footing and a cheering audience halfway around the world from Washington
Administration officials have often commented on how traveling abroad can give Harris a leeway they say DC’s chatterbox class lacks when it comes to talking about and covering for her. . Harris received rave reviews for her speech last month at the Munich Security Conference, where she proclaimed that Russia had committed crimes against humanity. And her trip to Africa has once again demonstrated the general relief she and her staff usually feel as they walk away from the political sniper that drags her home.
Harris arrived in Ghana on Sunday, the first of a week-long trip to three countries across the continent, to speak about economic security and African-American unity. She landed to the sound of drums and dancers wrapped in traditional Kente cloths and headbands.
At subsequent stops, she was noticeably less cautious, relaxed and seemingly lighter on her feet. It was also noticed by locals.
“I am so proud and so happy to see her in Africa. It was emotional that she arrived here and that Ghana was her first African country. She clearly loves Africa and she loves Ghana,” said a young woman named LaToya, who did not want to give her last name out of fear due to anti-LGBTQ sentiments in the country. She had watched Harris’ speech at Black Star Square, a Ghanaian landmark representing the nation’s liberation from colonialism. “From her smiles, she clearly enjoyed this place. When you come to a place like this, you can be yourself.
The official goals of Harris’ trip were to improve relations on the mainland and to ensure that China did not gain a stronger foothold in that country’s economies. A senior aide said the vice president, as the first black woman to hold the position, was “a unique position to showcase culture and opportunity, especially the dynamism of African youth.
But unlike the diplomatic meetings and security conferences that marked his past trips abroad, the trip to Ghana also featured more direct interactions with the people. The vice president made several stops during her visit to showcase the country’s arts, including a woman-owned gallery and a community recording studio.
Ghanaian singer Amaarae met Harris at Vibrate Space, an artists’ collective. She said the Vice President promised her team would follow her and continue to use art and culture to demonstrate that Ghana was a worthwhile investment.