By Paul Ndiho
U.S First lady Melania Trump has wrapped up her first visit to Africa, with a goal of highlighting child welfare and promoting the work of the U.S. Agency for International Development on the continent. Her four-nation tour last week included stops in Ghana, Malawi, Kenya, and Egypt.
Melania Trump’s first stop was last Tuesday in the West African nation of Ghana as she launched her first major solo international trip as U.S. first lady.
She landed in the capital of Accra and was welcomed Ghana’s first lady, Rebecca Akufo-Addo with dancing and drumming and schoolchildren waving mini U.S. and Ghanaian flags.
Mrs. Trump visited a children’s hospital -intensive care unit before going to the presidential palace.
The next day, Mrs. Trump visited the infamous “Door of No Return” at a former slave-trade outpost and gazed over the crashing ocean waves that carried millions of Africans to lives of servitude.
“It’s a solemn reminder of a time in our history that should never be forgotten.” “It’s very emotional,”
Earlier, Mrs. Trump visited Emintsimadze Palace where a regional tribe leader granted her permission to tour the palace.
The ceremony was held inside Obama Hall, a building on the palace grounds that was renamed after former U.S. President Barack Obama’s 2009 visit.
On her second leg of the trip Mrs. Trump flew to Malawi – upon her arrival at Kamuzu International Airport.
She experienced a different view of educating children as she visited Chipola Primary School in Lilongwe, the capital of Malawi. The school is among those that receive education assistance from the U.S. Agency for International Development, including textbooks, but struggles with an enrollment of more than 8,500 students.
“I wanted to be here to see the successful programs that (the) the United States is providing the children and thank you for everything you’ve done.”
Critics say while the first lady highlighted USAID’s work in Africa, the administration of President Donald Trump has been trying to cut the agency’s funding by roughly 30 percent.
In Nairobi, Kenya, Melania Trump sashayed to the beat of African music as she was welcomed to an orphanage on Friday.
“Thank you for what you do and taking care of them,” “Do you see the cameras?” she said to the boy before cradling another baby.”
On Friday, she started her visit seeking to highlight conservation efforts by feeding baby elephants at Nairobi National Park and going on a safari there.
One baby elephant made a sudden move on her, and she momentarily lost her footing. But she fed formula to two of the elephants that are being raised at the park, patting one’s back and stroking the ear of another.
Ironically, earlier this year, President Trump quietly signed an executive order allowing Americans to import body parts of African elephants shot for sport from Zimbabwe and Zambia and encouraging wealthy big-game hunters to kill the threatened species would help raise money for conservation programs.
President Trump’s adult sons, Donald Trump Jr. and Eric Trump, are trophy hunters. Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke, who oversees the agency that lifted the ban, also is an avid hunter.
Smiling for the cameras in the shadow of the Egyptian pyramids, after a one-hour meeting with President Abdel Fattah Al-Sisi – U.S. First Lady Melania Trump wrapped up her four-nation Africa tour in Egypt.