- First lady Melania Trump arrived in Accra, Ghana on Tuesday for the first day of a nearly week-long African tour.
- On her first day, Trump visited with a hospital and had tea with Ghanaian first lady Rebecca Akufo-Addo.
- In the coming days, she will also visit Malawi, Kenya and Egypt.
First Lady Melania Trump landed in Accra, Ghana on Tuesday morning for a six-day tour of Africa where she will see how the US foreign aid is being put to use on the continent, improving health, early childhood education and conservation efforts.
It marks her first major solo trip as first lady.
On the first day of her trip, Trump visited a hospital and had tea with the Ghanaian first lady. Over the next several days, she will also make stops in Malawi, Kenya, and Egypt.
The first lady landed at Kotoka International Airport in Accra, Ghana Tuesday morning, after flying 12 hours overnight from Washington, DC.
She nearly had a wardrobe malfunction when the wind started to blow up the hem of her dress as she disembarked.
Trump was met at the airport by Ghanaian first lady Rebecca Akufo Addo.
Eight-year-old Lillian Naa Adai Sai gave the American first lady a gift of flowers wrapped in colourful Kente cloth at the airport.
Trump then hugged the girl, who the pool reporter said “looked rather starstruck.”
School children were on hand to welcome the American first lady, waving tiny Ghanaian and American flags.
At the airport, the first lady was treated to a exhibition of dancing and drumming from Ghanaians in traditional dress.
From the airport, Trump went straight to Greater Accra Regional Hospital, where she visited with mothers and their children.
The first lady clearly loved holding this six-month-old baby, who she called a “beautiful boy” before handing him back to his mother.
Part of Trump’s trip to Africa is to observe how the US’s foreign aid organisation, USAID, is helping programs on the continent. The hospital is participating in a USAID program to promote childhood nutrition.
At one point during her visit, she witnessed how babies at the hospital were weighed – by being placed in a sack that is then attached to a hook on the scale. She also visited a neonatal intensive care unit in a new wing of the hospital.
The first lady handed out baby blankets and teddy bears with the words “Be Best” inscribed on them to the mothers and children at the hospital.
“Be Best” is the first lady’s initiative aimed at the well-being of youth and tackling cyber-bulling and the opioid epidemic.
In a statement last month, the first lady’s office said “her trip will focus on maternal and newborn care in hospitals, education for children, the deep culture and history woven into each African country, and how the United States is supporting each country on its journey to self-reliance.”
The first lady’s trip was first put into motion back in February — the same month her husband came under fire for allegedly calling African nations “s—hole countries.”
After her visit at the hospital, Trump was hosted at the Ghanaian presidential palace, Jubilee House, for a private tea with the first lady.
During their meeting, the two first ladies exchanged gifts. Trump brought a Chippendale silver tray embossed with an image of the White House for Mrs. Akufo-Addo, and received Kente cloth and artifacts in return.
After their half-hour visit, Trump retired to her hotel for the afternoon.
In the coming days, Trump will also visit Malawi, Kenya and Egypt.
Along the way, she will visit hospitals and schools, as well as cultural sites.
She is expected to return to Washington, DC on October 7.
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