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Tanzanian Youth Ready for VP Harris

FILE —Tanzanian President Samia Suluhu Hassan meets with Vice President Kamala Harris at the White House, April 15, 2022.

WASHINGTON — Tanzanian youth are gearing to hear from U.S. Vice President Kamala Harris, who will be in the East African nation for three days as part of her diplomatic trip to the continent.

The visit by the vice president comes amid improving relations between Washington and the East African nation, after President Samia Suluhu Hassan visited the White House in 2022, where she met with Harris and other U.S. representatives.

Hassan was also in attendance at the December U.S.-Africa Leaders Summit aimed at engaging relations between Africa and Washington.

Gloria Anderson, a youth rights activist and the founder of Tanzania Enlightenment Development Innovation (TEDI) said the visit by Harris marks the dawn of a new era.

"Overtime there has been challenges in between the foreign relations between the U.S. government and some of the countries (in Africa) and so this is to tell us that the diplomatic relationship, the economic relationship is being tied up in a new way, in a new form and so it’s a good news for Africa," Anderson said.

Anderson expressed confidence that Harris' trip will inspire women and girls.

"Her visit tells a lot to the girl child. Since she is also coming to a country that is led by a woman, so it is also a new era for the girl child. That you can be anything. You can run a country like the U.S., you can run a country like Tanzania and showing that every dream can come true," Anderson said.

Anderson said she hopes the U.S. vice president will inspire leaders on the continent to prioritize youth empowerment.

During her stop in Ghana, Harris emphasized that Washington is prioritizing investing in African youth.

"I am very excited about the future of Africa. I am very excited about the impact of the future of Africa on the rest of the world, including the United States of America," Harris said on Tuesday while speaking at the Black Star Square in Accra.

"When I look at what is happening on this continent and the fact that the median age is 19 years old, and what that tells us about the growth of opportunity, of innovation, of possibilities, I see in all of that great opportunity, not only for the people of this continent but the people of the world," she added.

Ian Tarimo, a Tanzanian entrepreneur and animator, said he is excited that Harris is calling for investment in African youth.

"I always say sometimes what we miss is an investment. So, seeing the U.S. government opening doors to invite foreigners to come and invest in Tanzania, for me there is nothing that I can be so happy about at the moment. I am really happy, and I really want to do even more," Tarimo said.

"There are a lot of young people with high tech ability, with potential to do a lot. As I always say, when it comes to talent, this is evenly distributed. It is only investment that is not evenly distributed," he added.

Harris showed interest in Africa’s creative sector while in Ghana visiting a skate park and music studio alongside actors Idris Elba and Sheryl Lee Ralph, which Tarimo praised.

"I think the creative sector is the only sector that whatever village I am (from), if I have the right tools, I can produce content for the whole world," he said.

Harris is scheduled to be in Tanzania from Thursday to Saturday, then wrapping up her trip in Zambia.

Some information in this report was sourced from Reuters.