US First Lady Jill Biden will this week visit Namibia and Kenya, making her first trip to the continent as First Lady amid a rising desire to grow relations with the US.
She has visited Africa five times before, including when her husband was Vice-President in the Obama administration, but this will be her first in Kenya, and a third in Namibia.
A senior US Administration Official told reporters on Tuesday Dr Biden will travel to the two countries in line with the resolutions of the recent US-Africa Summit in Washington in which President Joe Biden promised more engagements with Africa.
And a statement from the White House indicated the trip from February 22 to 26 will “strengthen the United States’ partnerships on the African continent, and advance our shared priorities in the region.”
“Dr Biden’s engagements will focus on the empowerment of women and youth, efforts to address food insecurity, and promoting our shared democratic values,” the dispatch said.
“Dr Biden’s engagements will focus on the empowerment of women and youth, efforts to address food insecurity, and promoting our shared democratic values.”
At the Summit, Dr Biden met with spouses of African heads of state and government where they discussed women and social security programmes.
The official had said her trip to Namibia will focus on youth and strengthening democracies and participation.
In Kenya, she is to discuss the response to drought which has so far affected more than half of the counties in the country.
Dr Jill Biden’s trip follows Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen and US Ambassador Linda Thomas-Greenfield who visited in January to pursue closer US-Africa relations. While in Kenya, she is to meet with her counterpart Rachel Ruto and other senior officials.