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Melania week-long Africa trip kicks off

Accra, Tuesday

US First Lady Melania Trump has arrived in Ghana’s capital, Accra, in a solo trip that will see her visit four African countries.

The tour will focus on promoting healthcare and education programmes run by US foreign aid organisation USAid.

She will also visit Kenya, Malawi and Egypt to foster diplomatic relations.

In February, a row broke out after President Donald Trump allegedly used the word “shithole” to describe African nations. Melania’s week-long trip to the continent is seen as helping to heal some of the divisions.

She will also promote her Be Best initiative which aims to tackle issues such as cyberbullying and boost healthy living. She tweeted that the campaign was going “international”.

Ahead of her trip Melania said that she was looking forward to visiting “four beautiful and very different countries in Africa”.

“She is interested in Africa because she has never been there  before and knows that each country will have its own unique history and culture.” Stephanie Grisham, her communications director, said.

A relaxed-looking Melania smiled and waved as she stepped off an overnight flight from Washington to be met on the red carpet by her Ghanaian counterpart Rebecca Akufo-Addo.

She beamed as she was welcomed by a troupe of traditional drummers and dancers. “Thank you very much,” she said with a smile.

The former model, whose choice of clothing is keenly watched, changed from a safari-inspired departure outfit of suede trench coat and leopard print heels to a red and white striped dress with white pumps by the time she arrived in West Africa. – BBC

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