Melania Trump planning solo international swing to Africa

Melania Trump in Brussels. (File: AFP)
Melania Trump in Brussels. (File: AFP)

Melania Trump is planning her first big solo international swing with a trip through several African countries in October.

The first lady said in a written statement on Monday that she's looking forward to learning about the issues that children living on the continent face, as well as appreciating Africa's history and culture. She recently launched a US-based effort focused on the well-being of children.

Mrs Trump plans to travel without President Donald Trump, who was roundly criticised earlier this year after his private comment about "shithole countries" in Africa was leaked to journalists.

Exact dates for the trip and which African countries she will visit remain to be announced.

"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 the statement. "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."

She added that she also looks forward to highlighting successful humanitarian work and development programs underway in the African countries.

* Sign up to News24's top Africa news in your inbox: SUBSCRIBE TO THE HELLO AFRICA NEWSLETTER

FOLLOW News24 Africa on Twitter and Facebook

Her spokesperson, Stephanie Grisham, said the first lady chose Africa as the destination for her first big solo international trip after she learned about some of the development programs that are underway in many of its countries. Those programs include investments by the US in children's health and education, Grisham said.

The swing through Africa will be the farthest Mrs Trump has traveled on her own since becoming first lady in January 2017.

Her only other solo international trip came last September, when she flew to Toronto for a day and joined Britain's Prince Harry for an Olympic-style athletic competition he established for wounded service members and veterans.

Mrs Trump has accompanied the president to Saudi Arabia, Israel, Turkey, Brussels, France, Japan, South Korea, the United Kingdom and Finland, for his recent summit with Russian President Vladimir Putin. Due to medical restrictions placed on her travel following kidney surgery in May, she did not accompany Trump to Singapore for his one-on-one meeting in June with North Korean leader Kim Jong Un.

We live in a world where facts and fiction get blurred
In times of uncertainty you need journalism you can trust. For only R75 per month, you have access to a world of in-depth analyses, investigative journalism, top opinions and a range of features. Journalism strengthens democracy. Invest in the future today.
Subscribe to News24
Lockdown For
DAYS
HRS
MINS
Voting Booth
Will you continue to use WhatsApp following the company announcing a change terms of service which would force users to share personal data?
Please select an option Oops! Something went wrong, please try again later.
Results
Yes, the terms of service do not bother me enough to switch
53% - 8242 votes
No, I will be switching over to a new service
43% - 6786 votes
I've never used WhatsApp
4% - 618 votes
Vote
ZAR/USD
14.99
(+0.94)
ZAR/GBP
20.43
(+0.70)
ZAR/EUR
18.17
(+0.65)
ZAR/AUD
11.53
(+0.92)
ZAR/JPY
0.14
(+1.21)
Gold
1839.70
(+0.19)
Silver
25.17
(+0.80)
Platinum
1083.00
(-0.23)
Brent Crude
54.74
(-0.64)
Palladium
2360.50
(0.00)
All Share
63603.26
(-0.17)
Top 40
58358.85
(-0.32)
Financial 15
12017.40
(+0.95)
Industrial 25
85061.23
(+0.29)
Resource 10
62265.14
(-1.51)
All JSE data delayed by at least 15 minutes morningstar logo