First Lady Melania Trump was in Ghana on Tuesday and Wednesday at the start of a five-day tour of Africa, which will also include stops in Malawi, Kenya and Egypt.
This happens to Mrs. Trump’s first big solo international trip and is intended to promote children’s welfare on the continent.
Also, this is seen as an effort to ease tensions after her husband, President Donald Trump, reportedly referred to some African nations, along with Haiti and El Salvador, as “shithole countries” in January.
Ghana’s president, Nana Akufo-Addo, criticized Trump’s reported comments at the time, calling them “extremely unfortunate.”
“We will not accept such insults, even from a leader of a friendly country, no matter how powerful,” he wrote on Twitter.
The language of @realDonaldTrump that the African continent, Haiti and El Salvador are “shithole countries” is extremely unfortunate. We are certainly not a “shithole country”. We will not accept such insults, even from a leader of a friendly country, no matter how powerful.
On Wednesday, the first lady paid a “very emotional” visit to Cape Coast Castle, a former slave holding fort on Ghana’s coast. There, she spent 10 minutes inside a dungeon where male slaves were held and also visited the “Door of No Return,” where slaves were shipped to the New World.
Reflecting on the visit later, the first lady called it “very emotional” and “really something that people should see and experience.”
“I will never forget (the) incredible experience and the stories I heard. The dungeons that I saw, it’s really something that people should see and experience,” she said, according to a pool report.
Then-President Barack Obama also toured the castle in 2009, with his wife, Michelle, a descendant of African slaves, and their two daughters. He said it was a reminder of “the capacity of human beings to commit great evil.”
“She will spend time with schoolchildren, visit hospitals and do some of the things that tourists do while they are in Africa,” according to Katie Rogers of The New York Times. “Why Africa? The White House says she has never been before and has long wanted this to be the destination for her first solo trip.”