First Lady Obama Begins 5-Day African Visit

U.S. first lady Michelle Obama’s nearly week long trip to Africa gets formally underway Tuesday as she heads to Johannesburg.

She will visit the Nelson Mandela Foundation, where she will meet the former president’s wife, Graca Machel, and tour South Africa’s Apartheid Museum.

The first lady and daughters Malia and Sasha arrived in Pretoria, South Africa Monday night.  Obama’s mother is also along on the trip.

The first lady said she will encourage young Africans to become leaders in solving the continent’s problems, such as poverty, disease and climate change.  She also said she will highlight the importance of health and education.

Obama plans to meet with South African President Jacob Zuma and Archbishop Desmond Tutu.

She will also meet with groups fighting AIDS. Obama will speak to young women at a U.S.-sponsored forum focusing on social and economic initiatives in sub-Saharan Africa.

She will close her trip with a two-day visit to Botswana.

The Africa trip is Obama’s second official overseas trip without her husband, following a visit to Mexico last year.

Some information for this report was provided by Reuters.

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