Windhoek, 24 February 2023 (TDI): First Lady Jill Biden’s trip to Kenya and Namibia sought to further strengthen the relationship between the United States (US) and countries on the African continent.
For the record, she embarked on this 5-day trip to Kenya and Namibia on the 23rd of February 2023. It was Jill Biden’s sixth time in Africa, but her first visit as first lady.
The purpose of this trip was to honor shared democratic values and deepen the relationship between US and Africa.
This diplomatic trip to Africa aimed to cement the United States’ relations on the continent as actors like Russia and China are gaining considerable momentum with African heads of state.
Empowering women and young people, highlighting food insecurity in the Horn of Africa caused by a devastating drought, discussing Russia’s war in Ukraine, and other factors were the focal points throughout this visit.
The first lady held talks with policymakers, entrepreneurs, and community leaders to discuss issues of student exchange, energy independence, and health security.
Additionally, she visited women’s organizations and schools, highlighting the importance of education for young girls and the need to eliminate gender inequality in the region.
She highlighted America’s commitment to promoting economic growth and development in the region, as well as enhancing educational opportunities.
She also stressed the significance of investing in health security programs and renewable energy sources to support sustainable development.
Trip to Namibia
Her first stop after arriving was a 45-minute drive south of the capital of Windhoek, to lay a wreath at Heroes’ Acre, Namibia’s official war memorial.
Furthermore, she also visited the State House to meet Namibian President, Hage Geingob and his wife and endorsed matters of multilateral interests.
Then, Jill Biden attended a town hall session at the Ministry of Education that focused on the need for innovation in order to improve teaching and learning in Namibia.
In addition, she visited the Women’s Leadership Centre to learn more about how Namibia is working to empower its female population. The First Lady also met with the students at Namibia University of Science and Technology.
Finally, Jill Biden delivered remarks at the US-Africa Business Forum in Windhoek, highlighting the importance of strong economic partnerships between the United States and African countries.
After that, she visited the Namibian Ministry of Education, Sport, and Culture to recognize their efforts of improving educational access and quality for their most vulnerable citizens.
Trip to Kenya
In Kenya, Jill Biden visited the Kakuma Refugee Camp, where she met with refugees and workers from the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) to gain greater insight into the challenges they face and see firsthand the positive impact of assistance from the United States.
Likewise, the First Lady met with the farmers in Kenya to discuss droughts. In both countries, Jill Biden urged to promote stronger partnerships with local governments and civil society organizations and to signify the importance of education and empowering women to lead.
As she departed Washington, the first lady declared, “We have a lot to accomplish.” To conclude, her trip provided a tangible reminder of the importance of continuing to build upon the positive collaborations that were started at the US Africa Leaders’ Summit.