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April 18, 2019 (GSN) - Far from the din of Washington, Ivanka Trump toured businesses run by women in Ethiopia on while promoting a White House global economic program for women.

 

President Donald Trump's daughter and senior adviser visited a coffee shop and textile company in Addis Ababa. It was her first stop in Africa on a four-day trip to Ethiopia and Ivory Coast on behalf of a White House project intended to boost 50 million women in developing countries by 2025.

Aiming to offer assistance and learn about the struggles of women in business, she took part in a traditional coffee ceremony, visited with weavers and announced new financial support for businesses.

"Investing in women is smart development policy and its smart business," Trump said, sitting in Dumerso Coffee, a dimly lighted space with a woven ceiling, tile floor and colorful paintings. Alongside were women who work in the industry. "It's also in our security interest, because women when we're empowered, foster peace and stability," she said.

This is Ivanka Trump's first visit to Africa since the president launched the Women's Global Development and Prosperity Initiative. It's a program she hopes will outlast an administration better known for "America First" isolationism.

She has drawn praise for taking on this project and for making the trip. But thousands of miles from Washington, she is sure to be shadowed by her father's efforts to cut international aid, as well as his past disparaging comments about Africa.

Ivanka Trump arrived in Ethiopia early on April 14, 2019, flying commercial.

She first visited the coffee shop and then went to the textile and craft manufacturer Muya, where she was greeted by dancers and chatted with women seated at colorful looms. She took a seat at one herself. She also noted that she was in the country with Africa's second-highest population.

"Ethiopia's success is Africa's success," she said. "We learned today that the quality of the coffee is second to none. You shared with me that Ethiopian cotton rivals cotton anywhere in the world. And then, of course, the skills and the craftsmanship of the Ethiopian people. We hope more people realize their full potential."

At the coffee shop, they announced a loan, issued by a local women-focused bank and backed by USAID, for a coffee business owned by women. At Muya, they announced additional OPIC financing.

Later in the trip, Trump honored victims of the Ethiopian Airlines crash that occurred soon after takeoff last month. The eldest Trump daughter, donning a black lace veil, visited Holy Trinity Cathedral Monday, where she met with religious leaders and laid a wreath a total of 21 United Nations staffers and 12 aid workers were killed last month when the Boeing 737 Max crashed minutes after takeoff from Addis Ababa en route to Nairobi. All 157 people on board died.

 

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