Ivanka Trump’s Ethiopia Visit Was The First Stop On Her Africa Trip & Here’s What She Did
The first daughter is in Africa this week, on a visit for the United States’ Women’s Global Development and Prosperity program that President Trump announced in February. She's headed to both the Ivory Cost and Ethiopia. And though the focus of Ivanka Trump's Ethiopia visit is women's economic empowerment, she is covering other priorities, too. Ivanka also made a stop to honor the victims of the Ethiopian Airlines plane crash on Monday, the Associated Press reports.
"Today, @USAIDMarkGreen, @DBohigian, and I visited Holy Trinity Church in Addis Ababa to pay our respects and honor the memory of the lives lost in the tragic Ethiopian Airlines crash," Ivanka wrote, tagging USAID Administrator Mark Green and Overseas Private Investment Corporation (OPIC) CEO David Bohigian. "My heartfelt sympathies to all the victims’ families and loved ones," Ivanka continued.
The Ethiopian Airlines flight 302 crashed shortly after takeoff on its way to Nairobi from Addis Ababa. All 157 people on board will killed, including a large number of UN workers. It was the second Boeing 737 MAX to go down in just a few months, and has lead to the plane model being grounded worldwide while the aircraft manufacturer updates software for an anti-stall system that may have played a role in the crash.
Holy Trinity Church in Addis Ababa was not the first daughter's first stop. Ivanka arrived in Ethiopia on Sunday, and spent most of the day meeting with USAID officials and women entrepreneurs, including the Ethiopian Women in Coffee Association and Muya Ethiopia, a local clothes manufacturing company that exports, too.
"Fundamentally we believe that investing in women is a smart development policy and it's smart business," Trump said while visiting the women working in the coffee industry, according to the BBC. "It is also in our security interests because women when they are empowered they foster peace and stability and we have seen this play out time and time again."
Ivanka kept her followers up-to-date on Twitter about her trip. "Just landed in Addis Ababa — the diplomatic capital of Africa and the continent’s highest city!" Trump posted Sunday morning. She then uploaded a video of local women making music to celebrate her.
"We visited with Ethiopian women entrepreneurs & employees to learn and discuss their journey to becoming economically empowered women in their community and drivers of growth in their country," she wrote in the accompanying tweet.
According to its website and the memo that created it, President Trump's Women’s Global Development and Prosperity initiative coordinates programs across the U.S. government and allocates $50 million of funding from USAID to support women business owners and employees.
One of the beneficiaries is Muya Ethiopia, according to Ivanka's Twitter. Ivanka posted that help from USAID helped the company grow from 10 to more than 500 employees. She then announced that OPIC would invest further in the company. OPIC is a government agency that is self funded by helping American businesses invest in emerging markets.
The Women’s Global Development and Prosperity, and its $50 million in support, comes at a time when the Trump administration has proposed budgets that would cut back foreign aid in the billions and announced that it would strengthen the Global Gag Rule to target organizations that in turn fund abortion — not just the abortion providers themselves.