Ivanka Trump travels to Ethiopia, Cote d’Ivoire to promote women’s empowerment


April 13, 2019

The Trump administration is scheduled to unveil a new women’s empowerment program for African women.

The new program, which will be unveiled Monday in Ethiopia during White House Senior Advisor Ivanka Trump’s official visit to the country, aims to advance women’s economic empowerment by providing access to capital for women entrepreneurs and women-focused businesses across sub Saharan African. 

The new program builds upon two of the administration’s women-focused programs: the recently launched White House-led Women’s Global Development Prosperity initiative and OPIC’s 2X Women’s initiative— both of which aim to help facilitate gender equality as well as empower women economically in the developing world through U.S. investments in women entrepreneurs, women-owned businesses and women-focused businesses.

Ms. Trump, who began her two-nation, four days trip to Ethiopia and Cote d”Ivoire on Sunday to promote women’s economic empowerment in Africa, plans to meet with women entrepreneurs from the agriculture industry, coffee and cocoa producers, and smallholder farmers during her trip. She is also scheduled to meet with senior officials from the governments, the civil society and private sector business leaders.

Ms. Trump is accompanied on her trip by David Bahigian, Acting President and Chief Executive of Overseas Private Investment Corporation and USAID Administrator Mark Green.

Ms. Ivanka Trump and her U.S. delegation, including USAID Administrator Mark Green, met with Ethiopian business women and participate in a traditional Ethiopian coffee ceremony.

On Sunday, Ms. Trump and officials traveling with her toured an Ethiopian textile and artisan household products manufacturer, Muya Ethiopia production facility where they met with Sara Abera, the owner of the business and her employees, and discussed the local business environment. Ms. Trump also visited Azalech Coffee Roasting, Grinding and Packaging, owned by Azalech Tesfaye.

Ms. Trump announced a new partnership between OPIC and Muya Ethiopia and a joint U.S.- and Swedish- funded loan guarantee program of $260,000.00 for Azalech Coffee Roasting, Grinding and Packaging provided through W-GDP, designed to increase access to finance for women entrepreneurs in Ethiopia.

The delegation also participated in a traditional Ethiopian coffee ceremony.

This is Ms. Trump’s first trip to Africa. She joins a list of other Trump administration’s cabinet members and senior officials, including Deputy Secretary of State John J. Sullivan and Assistant Secretary of State for African Affairs Tibor P. Nagy as well as Messrs. Bohigian and Green who have made official visits to African nations this year, part of the Trump administration’s continuous efforts to strengthen ties with nations on the African continent.

*The story has been updated since it was first published.