NEW YORK — First Lady Melania Trump announced she’ll be visiting four “beautiful and very different” countries when she travels to Africa next month on her first major solo trip abroad.
Starting Oct. 1, she will stop in Ghana, Malawi, Kenya, and Egypt, she said Wednesday at a reception for the spouses of dignitaries from around the world during the annual United Nations General Assembly session in New York City.
Trump plans to highlight the African nations’ “progress in overcoming some of their biggest challenges,” she said, as part of her “Be Best” initiative, which focuses on the well-being of children, fighting opioid abuse, and promoting positivity on social media.
“There are many programs across the country that are doing great things for children, and I believe we can replicate many of these programs overseas,” she said.
Trump has worked closely with the U.S. Agency for International Development to prepare for the trip.
It will be her second journey abroad without the president, whose comments led to a major controversy in January when he referred to several countries, including African nations, as “ shithole countries” in a meeting with lawmakers. President Trump has not visited the continent during his time in office.
The first lady’s travel to Africa comes more than a year after her first solo international trip to Toronto where she attended the Invictus Games, a sports competition for wounded veterans, hosted by Britain’s Prince Harry.
As first lady, she has frequently accompanied her husband on his international trips, including to Saudi Arabia, Israel, Italy, France, Turkey, Poland, China, South Korea, Japan, Belgium, and England.
“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,” she said in a statement in August.