Women in Africa must be given the opportunity to participate equally in all spheres of life, including in leadership positions, says US Vice-President Kamala Harris.
"It is key to maximizing global growth and opportunity,” she told students in Ghana's capital, Accra, promising that the US will closely work with its partners to bridge the gender gap.
The US's first female vice-president is on a three-nation tour of the continent. Speaking on Tuesday, she praised Africa’s ingenuity and creativity but emphasised the need to address challenges, including security, barriers to economic growth and the impact of climate change.
She has already announced $100m (£81m) in funding for the fight against violent extremism. Internet facilities will also be invested in by the US to promote economic growth on the continent, she said.
"Let us dream with ambition and lead with conviction," the politician told young people in Accra.
A summit on democracy is being organised in Zambia, where Ms Harris will visit after Ghana and Tanzania. The US government says it will continue to work with democratic governments on the continent in line with the aspirations of Africans.