Ivanka Trump Is Going To Africa As Part Of Her Global Women's Initiative

By Caroline Burke
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As a part of the new Women's Global Development and Prosperity Initiative, Ivanka Trump is going to Africa for four days this month. Per the Associated Press, the first daughter will visit Ethiopa and the Ivory Coast to attend a women's economic empowerment event, as well as to meet a number of leaders, executives, and entrepreneurs along the way. The goal of the initiative is to economically empower 50 million women by 2025.

In a statement to the AP, Trump said that she was "excited to go to Africa" as a part of the initiative. The AP further reported that she will be joined by Mark Green, the administrator of the U.S. Agency for International Development. At some points, two other individuals will join them: David Bohigian, the acting president of the Overseas Private Investment Corporation (OPIC), and Kristalina Georgieva, the interim president of the World Bank Group.

The first daughters's initiative is heavily supported by the White House. Donald Trump's 2020 budget proposal, for example, requests $100 million in funds for it (the initiative already received $50 million from USAID, per the AP). Within the budget proposal, the description for the initiative reads:

The recently launched Women’s Global Development and Prosperity Initiative represents the type of responsible spending the Administration seeks to achieve, through establishing a cohesive whole-of-government approach to women’s economic empowerment, tracking rigorous metrics, and leveraging partners’ resources to achieve shared goals.
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Ivanka Trump's Africa trip comes several months after FLOTUS took her own trip to Africa last October. Per The New York Times, Trump's trip was already being planned before Melania announced hers, and the two women's offices then had to jointly coordinate the timing of both trips, according the publication.

In response to that report, FLOTUS' spokesperson, Stephanie Grisham offered the following statement: “The office of the first lady is focused on her initiatives and works independently, but we often collaborate on a variety of projects with the West Wing and have a very positive working relationship.”

Of course, the two trips had totally different end goals: Melania went to Ghana, Malawi, Kenya, and Egypt in order to promote her "Be Best" initiative as well as to highlight issues around poverty, and Trump will be going to the Ivory Coast and Ethiopia to focus on women's empowerment.

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That initial New York Times report also reveals one detail in Trump's itinerary that has changed since it was first being planned. In November, the publication stated that Sen. Lindsey Graham invited Trump to take the trip with him. He has not commented on her new trip, nor has he been mentioned in any of the press releases about the trip either. The trip that Graham and Trump were supposed to take together was originally reported to take place in January, too, not April.

Though the general goal of the Women's Global Development and Prosperity Initiative is clear, the specifics of the initiative have not yet been touched upon. For example, it's not year clear how the money will be spent, or how the initiative plans to implement actions toward the goal. This information will likely be dispensed in the coming months.