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October 23, 2018

Melania Trump arrives in Ghana on solo African trip

US first lady Melania Trump arrives in Accra, Ghana, as she begins her tour of several African countries, October 2, 2018. /REUTERS
US first lady Melania Trump arrives in Accra, Ghana, as she begins her tour of several African countries, October 2, 2018. /REUTERS

US first lady Melania Trump has arrived in Ghana for her first solo major tour of Africa. 

In her week-long visit of Africa, Melania is expected to also tour Kenya, Malawi and Egypt.

The first lady will promote the 'Be Best' initiative which covers issues of children's well-being during her tour. 

"She is interested in Africa because she has never been there before," her communications director Stephanie Grisham said.

 "...and knows that each country will have its own unique history and culture."

Melania said she was looking forward to visiting 'four beautiful and very different countries' in Africa prior to her visit.

More on this: Melania Trump to visit Kenya next month

The US first lady touched down at mid-morning in Ghana's capital, Accra, where she was greeted by the country's first lady, Rebecca Akufo-Addo, and a young girl who offered her flowers.

A welcoming ceremony of drums and dancing by men and women dressed in traditional attire followed. Trump clapped her hands and waved at a group of school children waiting for her at the airport.

Trump then visited child health facilities and met caregivers during her stay in the capital.

She has focussed on children as her signature issue and plans to promote child well-being during her four-country tour, which will include stops in Kenya, Malawi and Egypt.

President Donald Trump has not visited Africa since taking office in 2017, but he has reportedly said immigrants from Africa came from "shithole countries". He denied making the remark.

More recently, he said on Twitter, he had asked his Secretary of State, Mike Pompeo, "to closely study the South Africa land and farm seizures and expropriations and large scale killing of farmers."

South Africa has proposed land reforms but not implemented them. Forty-seven farmers were killed in 2017-2018 -- a 20-year low, according to AgriSA, an association of agricultural associations.

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