White House senior advisor Ivanka Trump headed to Africa for a four-day tour to support the Women’s Global Development and Prosperity Initiative (W-GDP). The 37-year-old daughter of President of the United States, Donald Trump, had a jam-packed itinerary in order to help W-GDP achieve its goal of helping 50 million female entrepreneurs and business owners achieve global economic success by 2025.
On Day 1, Ivanka made her first stop in Ethiopia where she met with businesswomen in the coffee and textile industries in Addis Ababa to discuss opportunities and challenges Ethiopian women entrepreneurs face. At the end of the meeting, Ivanka announced a new W-GDP award of a $260K loan to help Azalech Tesfaye, the owner of Azalech Coffee Roasting, Grinding and Packaging to expand her business.
After that, she met with Sara Abera, the owner of the textiles and handicrafts company Muya Ethiopia, and learned about how Abera made an impact in her area by creating jobs. After touring Abera’s facilities, Ivanka announced a new W-GDP letter of interest for financing with Overseas Private Investment Corporation (OPIC), in order to expand the company’s business.
On Day 2, Ivanka paid respect to the victims of Ethiopian Airlines 302 crash at the Holy Trinity Church in Addis Ababa and then met President Sahle-Work Zewde to highlight her achievement in becoming the first female president of Ethiopia and the only female head of state in Africa.
She also launched OPIC 2X Africa, a W-GDP initiative that seeks to invest $350 million to “support women-owned, women-led, and women-supporting projects in Sub-Saharan Africa,” according to a press release.
Ivanka spent the last half of her trip in Cote d’Ivoire. On Day 3 she met with Embassy officials and families. For the fourth and final day of her trip, Ivanka met with female cocoa farmers and entrepreneurs at a cocoa farm and announced a renewed public-private partnership through USAID’s W-GDP fund and the World Cocoa Foundation for $2 million in order to help women workers of the cocoa industry.
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