WASHINGTON—Melania Trump will travel to Africa in October for her first major solo international trip as first lady, her office said Monday.
“This will be my first time traveling 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,” the first lady said in a statement.
Melania’s spokesman, Stephanie Grisham, also said the First Lady plans to use the trip to highlight the humanitarian work and development programs underway in many African countries.
“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 first lady said.
The US First Lady has visited many international destinations, while accompanying her husband President Trump. However, the Africa visit will be her first major solo journey abroad as first lady. Among the many international destinations she has accompanied president Trump are; Israel, Saudi Arabia, France, Italy, Poland, China, Belgium, Turkey, South Korea, Japan and England
Last September, she also traveled to Toronto, where she led the U.S. delegation at the Invictus Games, a sports competition for wounded veterans, and met with Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and Britain’s Prince Harry.
In January, the US president was sharply criticized around the world after his private comment about “s—hole countries” in Africa was leaked to journalists. Trump has denied making the remarks.
A visit in March this year by then-Secretary of State Rex Tillerson to five African countries was aimed at repairing some of the damage caused by Trump’s comments — however, that effort was dealt a blow by Trump’s firing of Tillerson just as the trip was wrapping up.
Further details were not immediately available on the expected itinerary or timing of Melania Trump’s trip.