US First Lady Melania Trump touches down in Africa
US First Lady Melania Trump receives flowers during an arrival ceremony after landing at Kotoka International Airport in Accra October 2, 2018 as she begins her week long trip to Africa to promote her 'Be Best' campaign. (SAUL LOEB / AFP)
(AFP) - Melania Trump on Tuesday arrived in Ghana on the first leg of her maiden, solo tour of Africa that has been billed as a chance to carve her own diplomatic path.
The US first lady stepped off an overnight flight from Andrews Airforce Base near Washington and onto a red carpet at Accra's Kotoka International Airport.
She was met by her Ghanaian counterpart Rebecca Akufo-Addo and a group of local schoolchildren in yellow and brown uniforms waving the US stars and stripes and the Ghanaian flag.
An AFP reporter at the airport said the former model was smiling and looked relaxed as she was entertained by a troupe of traditional drummers and dancers.
The first lady's office has said the tour will be a "diplomatic and humanitarian visit" that will focus on her #BeBest campaign for "children and their well-being".
It will also "showcase" the work of the US Agency for International Development (USAID), even at a time when her husband's government is looking to slash US aid across the world.
In addition to Ghana, she is due to visit Malawi, Kenya and Egypt before returning to Washington early on October 7.
© Agence France-Presse