First lady Jill Biden will travel to Africa this week, making stops in Namibia and Kenya for a visit focused on women’s and youth empowerment and the impacts of droughts in the region.
Biden is set to leave for Africa on Wednesday and return on Sunday. The trip will be her sixth overall visit to Africa, including her first visit to Namibia and third visit to Kenya.
In Kenya, Biden will “look at the impacts of drought on families and communities hardest hit,” senior administration officials said. In Namibia, she will focus on “role of young people in continuing to shape their democracy and advance health cooperation,” the officials added.
In both countries, the first lady will participate in engagements about women’s and youth empowerment and engagements about gender-based violence in both countries, as well as sexual and reproductive health programs and HIV support.
President Biden announced at the end of the U.S.-Africa Leaders Summit in December that he will travel to sub-Saharan Africa in 2023. He said at the time that there will be other visits to Africa from officials, including his wife.
The officials on Tuesday noted that former Vice President Al Gore traveled to South Africa in 1996 and had a brief stop in Namibia. Additionally, former Presidents George H.W. Bush, Clinton, George W. Bush and Obama all visited Africa during their tenures. Former President Trump did not, but he stopped international travel for the last 11 months of his presidency due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Biden has so far visited Europe and Asia, which included a quick stop in Egypt, since becoming president, but an extended trip to Africa later this year would be his first presidential visit to the continent.