Melania Trump might have stayed out of the spotlight since her husband became president of the United States but she’s the FLOTUS and so one would expect a rousing reception when she visits a country like Ghana, which the United States promised up to $498.2 million to support its power sector over a five-year period. But her husband makes it difficult for anyone to truly love the Trump family.
From saying Africa has some shithole countries to cutting aids , allegedly referring to Nigeria’s president as lifeless, delaying the appointments of key diplomats dealing with Africa, there are several reasons for Africans not to like Donald Trump. However, ahead of his wife’s visit to Africa, the president of the United States called the continent the most beautiful part of the world.
“We both love Africa. Africa is so beautiful, the most beautiful part of the world, in many ways,” he told journalists last week.
Whatever he now thinks of Africa is not enough to change opinions about him or make Melania’s Africa trip as glamorous as would have been if the POTUS was not Donald.
“Because of President Trump’s policies, we are denying women and children critical health assistance,” CNN quoted a director of a major family-planning and HIV charity in Malawi to have said. The director’s organisation like several others worldwide have been handicapped by Trump’s ‘global gag rule’. Malawi is one of the countries Mrs Trump is visiting, together with Ghana where she landed from Washington on Tuesday. She also plans to visit Kenya and Egypt.
W/ respect to the reporter, she has unwittingly captured the mood around FLOTUS' Africa visit. What she sees as lack of enthusiasm is actually just folks waiting for a bus. People don't know Melania Trump is even here — which is fine, because it doesn't matter one bit. https://t.co/q7KV5AUcaO
— Max Bearak (@maxbearak) October 2, 2018
Many Africans who witnessed solo visits of past American first ladies have been making comparisons. Hillary Clinton met with Nelson Mandela and toured his jail cell on Robben Island in the 1990s. Laura Bush was also in Africa and more recently Michelle Obama was in South Africa and Botswana. Those visits seemed to have met a more welcoming Africa than Melania’s.
The atmosphere, however, does not belittle Mrs Trump’s mission in Africa. The US first lady plans to visit child health facilities and orphanages promoting wellbeing for youngsters during her trip. She began in Ghana with a visit to the Greater Accra Regional Hospital as she promotes her ‘Be Best’ initiative, funded by the US government foreign aid fund USAID.