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Melania Trump Announces Africa Trip
First lady Melania Trump announced that she is planning to visit Africa. She told AP in a statement on Aug. 20, that she will visit several African countries in October. “This will be my first time traveling to Africa and I am excited to educate myself on the issues facing children throughout the continent, while also learning about its rich culture and history,” she said in the statement. “We are a global society and I believe it is through open dialogue and the exchanging of ideas that we have a real opportunity to learn from one another.” She also said she plans to bring light to successful humanitarian and developmental efforts underway on the continent. The first lady’s spokeswoman said Melania Trump chose Africa as her first big international destination as first lady after hearing about developmental efforts, including those that involve U.S. investment in the health and education of the children of Africa. At a meeting with African leaders last year, President Trump praised fast economic growth in Africa and highlighted economic partnerships between African countries and the United States. The president also acknowledged some of the security challenges facing the country and sought greater peace. The President’s Advisory Council on Doing Business in Africa also holds meetings and gives recommendations to the president on expanding economic cooperation with African countries, according to its website. Melania Trump’s only other solo international trip as first lady was to Toronto for the Invictus Games, AP reported. She accompanied President Trump on trips to Turkey, Saudi Arabia, Israel, Brussels, Japan, South Korea, France, the United Kingdom, and Finland. She was unable to go to Singapore for the president’s meeting with North Korea’s Kim Jong-un in June because of kidney surgery the month prior. The first lady also addressed the Cyberbullying Prevention Summit in Rockville, Maryland, the same day she sent her statement to AP. She spoke about the dangers facing children using social media platforms. She also spoke about how the summit’s goals tie in with her "Be Best" initiative, of which responsible social media behavior is one of the goals. She launched her Be Best initiative in May. According to the official White House website, the Be Best children’s initiative has three main areas of focus that include the well-being of children, their social media use habits, and combating opioid abuse. The 48-year-old first lady was born in Slovenia, and in 2006, she became the only first lady to become a naturalized U.S. citizen, according to AMNY and the White House website. She is the second first lady born outside of the United States. The first one was Louisa Adams, wife of the sixth U.S. president John Quincy Adams. She was born in London, according to Time. Donald and Melania’s son Barron Trump is 12-years-old. He was born the same year Melania Trump became a U.S. citizen, one year after she and Donald Trump married. President Trump’s other four children are older and a result of two previous marriages, AMNY reported.