The American President’s daughter Ivanka Trump began her four-day tour to Africa to promote a United States initiative worth USD 50 Mn, tailored to encourage the employment of women in developing countries.
Looking forward to advancing the United States’ Women’s Global Development and Prosperity initiative in Ethiopia and Côte d’Ivoire next week! #WGDP pic.twitter.com/TDN1nXpmUN— Ivanka Trump (@IvankaTrump) April 8, 2019
The White House adviser said the scheme exists as a result of the belief that investing in women is “a smart development policy as well as a smart business.” Christened as the Women’s Global Development and Prosperity (W-DGP), the initiative aims to economically empower 50 million women by 2025, following Donald Trump’s direction to USAID to allocate USD 50 Mn in initial funding towards the cause.
While in Ivory Coast, Ivanka vowed support for African women business initiatives, after she visited a cocoa farm in the second leg of her African tour. At the farm, which is reported to be around 100 km from the Ivorian capital Abidjan, Trump announced a USD 2 Mn commitment to help revive and stabilize the presence of women in the West African country’s cocoa industry.
In an itinerary the visitor described as incredible, Trump’s first daughter was in the Ethiopian capital of Addis Ababa signing deals, engaging in high-level diplomacy and paying tribute to the victims of the recent Ethiopian airline crash.
Ivanka also visited Muya Ethiopia, a 16-year-old textile manufacturing company that exports clothes to the local and international markets. The founder, Sara Abera, gave Ms. Trump a tour. In the East African country, Ivanka attended a World Bank policy summit.
Great moment to witness @IvankaTrump, VP Duncan, and the Minister of Education @Gouvci sign a decree to establish a new Gender Unit prioritizing women and girls’ access to quality education. #WGDP pic.twitter.com/LfRxp8pcAH— Mark Green (@USAIDMarkGreen) April 17, 2019
This tour is not the Trump family’s first to Africa, as Melania Trumps visited Ghana, Kenya, Malawi, and Egypt last year. Her presence was a positive sign for U.S.-Africa relations, while President Donald Trump himself is yet to visit the continent.
“We launched WGDP, the Women’s Global Development, and Prosperity Initiative, in February of this past year. It is the first ever whole-of-government approach to women’s economic empowerment in the developing world, and the goal is to empower 50 million women by 2025,” Ivanka said at the summit.
While The Trump administration’s policy in Africa has concentrated on the war on terror, it has also tried to manage the growing political and economic influence of China and Russia on the continent.
It has, however, backed democratic reforms in countries like Ethiopia where Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed has implemented a series of progressive changes including the normalization of relations with Eritrea after a bitter border standoff going back two decades.