Ivanka Trump returns to the world stage with Africa trip
Ivanka Trump is taking her women’s entrepreneurship initiative to Africa, arriving in Ethiopia Sunday to promote the Trump administration’s Women’s Global Development and Prosperity initiative.
Trump, a senior adviser to her father, President Donald Trump, focuses on a narrowly tailored, largely non-controversial West Wing portfolio including women’s economic empowerment, working family issues and workforce development. Even before her time in the White House, Ivanka Trump has styled herself as a champion of women, and since her father’s administration began, has made efforts to build relationships with world leaders.
“If she ever wanted to run for president,” the President said in an interview with The Atlantic, “I think she’d be very, very hard to beat.”
But the President told the magazine that his daughter hasn’t expressed any interest in running to him. For now, she continues to build her diplomatic profile on the world stage, this week’s trip her latest international foray.
The first daughter will be joined by USAID Administrator Mark Green, will also travel to Côte d’Ivoire next week to attend the We-Fi West Africa Regional Summit.
Trump helped unveil the Women’s Global Development and Prosperity initiative earlier this year. Its aim, she told reporters before the President signed a memorandum launching the initiative in February, is to “coordinate efforts across federal agencies” to empower women in developing countries through education, entrepreneurship and eliminating legal, regulatory and cultural barriers to women’s economic participation.
The Women’s Global Development and Prosperity (WGPD) initiative builds on the administration’s national security strategy, she said at the time, that recognizes “the critical role of women in achieving peace, prosperity, and stability.”
The fund’s goal is to empower 50 million women in developing countries by 2025.
During the visit, Trump and Green are expected to “announce new WGDP deliverables, conduct site visits and host bilateral meetings to promote the three core pillars aimed at driving global women’s economic empowerment throughout Africa,” according to a White House official.
On Wednesday, Trump will cap off her trip on Wednesday participating in a dialogue focusing on We-Fi, a $1 billion World Bank facility she helped roll out in 2017. She will discuss women-led businesses alongside the President of Côte d’Ivoire, Alassane Ouattara, and Trump ally and South Carolina Sen. Lindsey Graham, among others.
The President has described some nations in Africa as “shithole countries,” and while he has not yet visited the continent, Ivanka will be the second Trump to travel to Africa, following first lady Melania Trump’s four-country visit last year.