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The First Lady of the United States Dr. Jill Biden visited Africa for the first time to highlight women’s empowerment, child protection, and food security

U.S. First Lady Jill Biden was greeted with singing and dancing as she arrived at Hosea Kutako International Airport in Windhoek, Namibia's capital. (February 22, 2023)
U.S. First Lady Jill Biden was greeted with singing and dancing as she arrived at Hosea Kutako International Airport in Windhoek, Namibia’s capital. (February 22, 2023)

White House — Dr. Jill Biden arrived in Namibia on Wednesday, her first visit to Africa as the first lady of the United States. She will focus on women’s empowerment, children’s issues, and food insecurity in parts of the continent.

“Dr. Biden’s trip builds on last year’s summit of U.S.-African leaders and reaffirms President Biden’s commitment to America’s full support for Africa,” Judd DeVermont, senior director of African affairs at the National Security Council, told reporters Tuesday morning.

“The U.S. strategy for Sub-Saharan Africa we released last August began with the belief that Africa is critical to advancing our shared global priorities,” added DeVermont. “We believe we are in the first few years of a decisive decade that will determine the rules going forward on a range of important issues, from trade and economics to cybersecurity and technology.”

With this visit, Jill Biden also became the first US first lady to visit the southwestern African country since Namibia gained independence in 1990. In addition to focusing on women and children, during her visit to Kenya, she also drew attention to the resurgence of food insecurity in East Africa.

“In Kenya, Dr. Biden will be very specific in drawing attention to the food security crisis affecting the Horn of Africa, which has experienced its worst drought in decades,” said National Security Council spokeswoman Becky Farmer. “More than 20 million people increasingly experience acute food insecurity, and many more are at risk of increased hunger over the past year.”

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