Melania Trump embarks on first solo trip — to Africa

Melania Trump arrived in Ghana Tuesday as part of what will be a tour of four African countries, beginning her first solo trip abroad as first lady.

U.S. first lady Melania Trump speaks with Ghana first lady Rebecca Akufo-Addo upon her arrival in Accra, Ghana, on Tuesday. The trip is Trump's first abroad without President Donald Trump. Photo by Christian Thompson/EPA-EFE
U.S. first lady Melania Trump speaks with Ghana first lady Rebecca Akufo-Addo upon her arrival in Accra, Ghana, on Tuesday. The trip is Trump’s first abroad without President Donald Trump. Photo by Christian Thompson/EPA-EFE

Trump’s plane touched down in Ghana’s capital of Accra early Tuesday. She will tour the country before leaving for Malawa, Kenya and Egypt. During the trip, the first lady will promote her “Be Best” campaign that aims to improve the well-being of children.
“So looking forward to visiting Ghana, Malawi, Kenya & Egypt as I take BeBest international,” Trump posted to Facebook Tuesday.

The first lady’s awareness campaign aims to encourage parents to teach children kindness, fight cyber-bullying and oppose drug use. She announced the Africa visit last week at the United Nations General Assembly.

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Trump will work with USAID on the trip to promote healthcare and education programs. Trump spokeswoman Stephanie Grisham told CNN the trip will focus on diplomacy and humanitarian causes.

“I think she feels it is important that people around the world understand the United States cares about the prosperity and future generations of other countries,” Grisham said.

The first lady’s journey came months after President Donald Trump frayed relations with remarks aimed at some African countries. In January, he was criticized for asking why the United States can’t accept more immigrants from places like Norway and fewer from places like El Salvador, Haiti and African nations.

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Trump upset the South African government last month when he claimed there was large-scale killing of white farmers in South Africa. Ahead of the first lady’s visit, though, he struck a different chord.

“We both love Africa. Africa is so beautiful,” he said. “The most beautiful part of the world, in many ways.”

BySommer Brokaw