Jill Biden in purple suit with Hage Geingob and Namibia's First Lady Monica Geingos
Photo By Tara Mette/AFP via Getty Images

US First Lady Jill Biden Kicks Off Two-Country African Tour in Namibia

United States First Lady Jill Biden has embarked on a five-day, two-country African tour; her first stop is Namibia.

As part of the United State’s efforts to increase engagement with African countries—and counteract China’s massive influence on the continent— First Lady Jill Biden has kicked off a five-day, two-country tour. The main objective of the visit will be to hone in on addressing some of the continent’s pressing issues, which include empowering vulnerable communities and addressing food insecurity. Biden kicked off her tour in Namibia on Wednesday as part of the push the US’s economic involvement with the African continent.

When Biden arrived, she was welcomed by Namibian dancers, drummers as well as Namibia's first couple, President Hage Geingob and First Lady Monica Geingos . During the US.-Africa Leaders Summit last year, President Joe Biden told African leaders in attendance that the US government was fully committed to the continent's development and shared that his wife would be visiting in 2023. Historically, the United States has fallen short of investing in Sub-Saharan Africa, and China has had a stronger commercial presence throughout the continent. In an effort to bridge the gap and establish itself as a major economic competitor, the US has embarked on the process of re-engaging Africa, by investing in climate change, government health, and infrastructure. Following the summit, the White House had announced that President Biden and his cabinet had established a President’s Advisory Council on African Diaspora Engagement in the United States. The statement had also acknowledged the importance of the African Diaspora and its contribution to American society at large.

“The African Diaspora in the United States is a source of strength, and encompasses African Americans — including descendants of enslaved Africans — and nearly two million African immigrants who have close familial, social, and economic connections to the African continent,” the statement said .

In a statement obtained by AP News , Jill Biden had said that there was “a lot to accomplish” during her trip to Africa.

Biden’s next stop is in Kenya, where according to The Hill , she will “look at the impacts of drought on families and communities hardest hit.”