US- The First Lady of the United States of America early this week announced a solo trip to Africa in October.
According to Voice of America, this will be her first leg-off to Africa and it also marks Melania’s first big solo international visit and she intends to visit several countries in the continent.
President Donald J. Trump who was criticized earlier this year for his ‘shithole countries’ remarks in Africa will not accompany the First Lady.
In a statement released on Monday, Melania will be visiting Africa to learn about the issues that children living on the continent face, as well as appreciating Africa’s history and culture.
“This will be my first time to Africa and I am excited to educate myself on the issues facing children throughout the continent, while also learning about its rich culture and history,” she said in the statement.
This comes a few months after she launched “Be best initiate” that promotes children’s well-being.
President Donald Trump, who has not visited Africa since taking office, will not accompany the first lady, according to The Associated Press, which first reported news of the trip.
The president created a global outcry when he reportedly used the term “shithole countries” when speaking about immigrants from Haiti, El Salvador and African nations. He has since denied making the remarks.
Melania Trump’s spokeswoman, Stephanie Grisham, said the First Lady chose Africa after she learned about some of the development programmes that are underway in many of its countries, especially in children’s health and education.
“We are a global society, and I believe it is through open dialogue and the exchanging of ideas that we have a real opportunity to learn from one another,” the statement said.
The dates of her solo visit and the specific countries she will be visiting are yet to be confirmed.
U.S. first ladies visiting Africa to promote various issues is nothing new, writes Associated Press.
During President George W. Bush’s second term, Laura Bush made five goodwill trips to Africa to raise awareness about HIV/AIDS and malaria.
But not all trips were about work. In 2007, Laura Bush took her daughters, Jenna and Barbara, on a safari.
Michelle Obama also visited Africa at the end of her husband’s first term. She traveled to South Africa and Botswana with her daughters, Malia and Sasha, and her mother, Marian Robinson, a niece and a nephew.
During the visit, the first daughters accompanied their mother on a visit with South African leader Nelson Mandela at his home.
Michelle Obama and her daughters returned to Africa in 2016, with stops in Liberia and Morocco, as part of the Let Girls Learn initiative, a programme that encouraged developing nations to educate girls.