Why Melania Trump is going to Africa on her own

The First Lady wants to highlight humanitarian efforts and development programmes in the continent

First lady Melania Trump has spoken out against White House immigration policy
(Image credit: SAUL LOEB/AFP/Getty Images)

Melania Trump is to make her first big solo overseas tour as First Lady, embarking on a trip to Africa in October.

Her spokeswoman, Stephanie Grisham, said Trump “is looking forward to meeting African children and exploring Africa's history and culture”, reports USA Today.

She is “excited” about educating herself on the issues facing children throughout the continent”, said Grisham.

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In addition, Trump said she would seek to highlight the “successful humanitarian work and development programmes” being implemented in the countries she visits.

Grisham didn’t say which African countries the First Lady would visit, nor did she reveal the exact dates for her trip.

Melania Trump has often accompanied the President on foreign trips, including a week-long swing through Europe last month, but “has travelled on her own largely domestically since the inauguration”, reports The Wall Street Journal.

The choice of location may be surprising considering Africa is a “continent whose countries and citizens her husband has disparaged with coarse language”, says The New York Times.

Grisham said the First Lady chose Africa after she learned about some of the development programmes that are under way in many 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,” her statement said.

Trump's only other solo international trip was last September, when she flew to Toronto for a day and joined Prince Harry to open the Invictus Games.

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