Ivanka Trump plans Africa trip to promote women’s initiative
WASHINGTON (AP) — White House adviser Ivanka Trump is planning a trip to Africa to promote a global women’s initiative she’s leading.
President Donald Trump’s daughter will visit Ethiopia and Ivory Coast over four days this month. The White House said Wednesday that her schedule includes a women’s economic empowerment summit in Ivory Coast as well as site visits and meetings with political leaders, executives and female entrepreneurs in both countries.
Accompanying her will be Mark Green, administrator of the U.S. Agency for International Development. On parts of the trip, they will be joined David Bohigian, acting president of the Overseas Private Investment Corporation, as well as Kristalina Georgieva, interim president of the World Bank Group, which is hosting the summit.
OPIC provides loans, loan guarantees and political risk insurance, funding projects that stretch across continents and industries.
It will be Ivanka Trump’s first visit to Africa since the White House undertook the Women’s Global Development and Prosperity Initiative in February. In a statement to The Associated Press, she said she was “excited to travel to Africa” to advance the effort.
Georgieva said in a statement that economic empowerment “can help unleash the enormous potential of women entrepreneurs for job creation and economic growth, especially in Africa.”
The initiative involves the State Department, the National Security Council and other U.S. agencies. It aims to coordinate current programs and develop new ones to assist women in job training, financial support, legal or regulatory reforms and other areas.
Ivanka Trump says the goal is to economically empower 50 million women in developing countries by 2025.
Money for the effort will come through USAID, which initially set up a $50 million fund using dollars already budgeted. The president’s 2020 budget proposal requests $100 million for the initiative, which will also be supported by programs across the government as well as private investment. The White House spending plan would cut overall funding for diplomacy and development.
Ivanka Trump has made women’s economic empowerment a centerpiece of her White House portfolio. She has made a number of international trips, with a focus on these issues, including to Japan and India. Her travel to Africa follows a five-day tour that first lady Melania Trump made there last year, with a focus on child welfare.
Like the first lady, Ivanka Trump’s efforts could be complicated by the president, who was criticized last year after his private comments about “s---hole countries” in Africa and other regions were leaked to journalists.