On her second day in Ghana, First Lady Melania Trump visited the Cape Coast Castle,one of about 40 “slave castles” built on the Gold Coast of West Africa by European traders.
From Ghana, Mrs. Trump is scheduled to visit Malawi’s capital, Lilongwe,where many people who spoke to VOA didn’t know much about the trip.
Oh, no, I don’t know.You don’t know, you haven’t heard of it?Yes, but do you know anything about her?No, I just know that it’s the wife to the president of America.But this auto rickshaw driver looks forward to her visit.Whatever she can bring, if she can sit down with the leaders and to see what areas can she help.I am asking you all to join me today.
Mrs. Trump is in Africa as part of her Be-Best campaign focusing on child wellness.I’m here with one goal, helping children and our next generation.I think this is an opportunity for the United States to show her more human, softer side.When you look at it, what she’s doing focusing on maternal and child care, focusing on education.It’s a much softer, softer issues, development issues.It’s essentially a very conventional, you know, paint-by-the-numbers trip for a first lady that her predecessors had done similar trips.President Donald Trump has been criticized for his past reported disparaging comments about African countries.
Joshua Meservey from the Heritage Foundation says, Mrs. Trump’s visit should not be expected to counter her husband’s rhetoric.People understand that she’s the first lady.She’s not an elected US government official.She’s a representative, of course, but you know she first ladies have this unique position within administrations,and so I think that people will understand that this is a goodwill tour,that this is designed just to highlight her personal priorities around this Be-Best campaign.Countries like Malawi depend on American aid programs.
USAID programs in Africa were slated for significant cuts in the Trump administration’s proposed budget, but had been blocked by Congress.Despite 50 years of peaceful independence, Malawi remains one of the poorest nations in the world,with more than half of 17 million population living below the poverty line.The first lady’s visit is expected to highlight the Trump administration support through its USAID programs before she continues her trip to Kenya and Egypt.
Patsy Widakuswara, VOA news, Lilongwe Malawi.
美国之音新闻，Patsy Widakuswara，马拉维 利隆圭报道。