Melania Trump arrived in Ghana on Tuesday to start her first solo international trip as first lady, landing in Accra this morning, according to NBC News.
The first lady was greeted in the Ghanaian capital by her Ghanaian counterpart Rebecca Akufo-Addo and came off the plane to dancers and drummers along with school students waving American and Ghanian flags.
An 8-year-old girl handed Melania Trump a bouquet of flowers before she disappeared into a VIP lounge with Akufo-Addo for a one-on-one meeting between the two first ladies. That meeting was behind closed doors with no reporters present to reveal what was spoken about.
That was the first of two official meetings that the two will have, with Melania Trump being invited to the presidential palace this afternoon for tea with the first lady and the president of Ghana for a more formal meeting.
Following her meeting at the Accra airport with the Ghanian first lady, Melania Trump headed to a neonatal intensive care unit in the Ghanaian capital. At the hospital, she visited several children, holding and caring for the young babies receiving treatment and meeting with the mothers who had recently given birth to those children, speaking with them about their needs.
The stop at the neonatal clinic makes it clear what her goals are for this tour, with the American first lady looking to focus on promoting child welfare as she visits four countries in Africa on this tour.
.@FLOTUS holds a 6month old baby at the Greater Accra Regional Hospital in Accra, Ghana. The First Lady handed out teddy bears and Be Best-themed blankets donated by the White House to young children and their mothers. #BeBest pic.twitter.com/FXMPccRYpx— Doug Mills (@dougmillsnyt) October 2, 2018
Following time in Ghana, the first lady will go on to visit Malawi, Kenya, and Egypt, speaking about support for children at all four stops on her whirlwind tour which will end this weekend.
The White House supplied Melania Trump with blankets and teddy bears for the children that the first lady will visit and VOA News reports that those were passed out to the children in the hospital to try to provide some comfort.
Before traveling to Africa, Melania Trump launched a campaign about child welfare globally called the “Be Best” campaign, and it is that campaign that she is furthering in Africa.
Melania’s trip will no doubt be made harder by her husband’s words about the African continent which he famously called “s***hole countries.” That’s going to give her a lot of work to do. With the first lady often used to improve foreign relations, Melania will start on the back foot, something most first ladies do not have to do.
This visit is in line with the last three first ladies who all went to Africa multiple times in their times in the position.