Melania Trump visits former slave outpost in Ghana

Yolanda Curtis
October 4, 2018

Melania Trump opened her first big solo global trip to Africa as U.S. first lady on Tuesday with a wave, a smile and a baby in her arms.

The First Lady later toured the Cape Coast Castle mostly known as a key landmark for slavery in Ghana.

Trump, who had changed from her heels into flat-soled shoes in order to walk the vast Castle grounds, climbed the stairs of the various levels of the fort, and spent several minutes below ground to see the dungeon, where the slaves were held in tight, dark and dank cells before being traded.

He called her "Your Excellency", and said: "We welcome you to Cape Coast and hope your short stay will be a memorable one".

Former President Barack Obama and his family toured the castle in 2009.

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Obama likened the tour to his visit to the site of the former Nazi concentration camp at Buchenwald in Germany, saying it was reminiscent of the capacity of human beings to commit "great evil".

Mrs. Trump also cradled an infant and declared the baby a "beautiful boy" as she handed him back to his mother.

But just hours earlier, Mrs Trump was also pictured beaming widely on a well-received trip to the Ghanian capita of Accra.

The US president has yet to travel to Africa since taking office. "Their efforts aim to increase access to education, and work to ensure all children acquire the skills needed to succeed in school and life", she said.

In June, she made a surprise visit to Texas to visit detained children at the Mexican border, wearing a jacket emblazoned with the words "I really don't care".

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On her four-country, week-long tour of Africa, Trump is aiming to cast a more positive light on her embattled husband's administration and its "America First" agenda.

Upon arrival in Nairobi, she will be expected to visit State House as her first stop.

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Later, the two women paid a visit to a baby clinic at Ghana's Greater Accra Regional Hospital.

She added that the castle is a "special place".

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"Whether it is education, drug addiction, hunger, online safety or bullying, poverty or disease, it is too often children who are hit first, and hardest, across the globe", Melania said in a brief address to a group that included the spouses of foreign leaders last week in NY, when they were in town for the United Nations General Assembly.

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