Zambia’s President Hakainde Hichilema will be the first African leader to visit the White House, senior administration officials told reporters on Wednesday morning.
Hichilema, who will be at the White House on Wednesday afternoon, will be received by U.S. Vice President Kamala D. Harris.
Officials said Harris and Hichilema will discuss a wide-range of issues, including strengthening democracy and human rights as well as defeating the coronavirus pandemic.
Hichilema’s visit is a signal that the Biden administration supports democracy all over the world, including in Africa, a senior administration official said.
Vice President Harris will also meet with the President of Ghana on Thursday and discuss a certain number of issues, including democracy, the officials said.
On August 23, Amnesty International said that the inauguration of former opposition leader Hakainde Hichilema as Zambia’s new president was an opportunity to turn the tide on the country’s worsening human rights situation.
The organization urged the president-elect to prioritize protecting freedom of expression and association, take decisive action to end abuses by police and place socio-economic rights on his agenda, including tackling inequality, poverty, unemployment, collapsing healthcare system and poor education funding.