Shortly after assuming the role of senior adviser in the Trump White House, world leaders began to take note of Ivanka Trump’s ability to engage in diplomacy effectively — a skill she has consistently used to help benefit women in the workplace.
Indeed, during German Chancellor Angela Merkel’s trip to the White House in March of 2017, Merkel directly extended an invitation to the 37-year-old entrepreneur-turned-senior adviser to speak alongside her at the W20 Summit in Berlin.
During the summit, Trump helped to spearhead the World Bank Empowerment Fund (We-Fi), intended to “help women in developing countries gain increased access to the finance, markets, and networks necessary to start and grow a business.”
Trump’s recent trip to Ethiopia and Côte d’Ivoire to promote and advance the Women’s Global Development and Prosperity Initiative (WGDP) serves as the latest example of the administration’s effort to advocate for women’s rights.
The WGDP is the “first-ever government-wide partnership with the private sector aimed at helping 50 million women in developing countries by 2025.” Trump’s trip to Africa began to make WGDP’s stated goal a reality.
During the trip, Ivanka Trump spearheaded seven deliverables, which will make a tangible difference for women across the continent.
Among these deliverables was the Overseas Private Investment Corporation (OPIC) announcement of the 2X Africa initiative, which will ultimately activate $1 billion to support women-led businesses throughout sub-Saharan Africa, spurred by a $350 million direct investment.
Through strategic diplomacy, private-public sector partnerships, and innovative new ideas, the Trump administration has advanced policies that will benefit millions of working families here in the United States and abroad.
During her trip, Trump saw these women-led businesses first-hand, learning about the coffee-making process from a group of female entrepreneurs in Ethiopia and clapping and singing alongside a group of enthusiastic women at a cocoa farm in Côte d’Ivoire.
While in Ethiopia, Trump promoted the Women in Science (WiSci) Partnership, a combined private-public partnership between the State Department and Google and Microsoft that will give 75 young women from the United States and Ethiopia an opportunity to train and advance in the working world.
Also in Ethiopia, the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID), along with the Swedish International Development agency (Sida), gave $10 million to Enat bank, an Ethiopian bank founded by female entrepreneurs. The money has paved the way for a $260,000 loan to a female entrepreneur who started a roasting, grinding, and packaging company.
In Côte d’Ivoire, Trump’s efforts were equally as successful, with USAID, the World Cocoa Foundation, and major industry announcing $2 million in support for the local cocoa industry, expanding on the highly successful Village Savings and Loan Associations (VSLA) model, which help local entrepreneurs in the program — 80 percent of which are women — gain access to needed financial services to support their businesses.
On the governmental level, the government of Côte d’Ivoire signed a ministerial order to support a Ministry of Education unit devoted to promoting women across the economy.
Trump’s trip culminated in the signing of a Joint Communique in Addis Ababa that “specifically reaffirmed the United States’ and the African Union’s unwavering commitment to advance women’s economic empowerment and entrepreneurship across the continent.”
That key goal is something that Ivanka Trump has undoubtedly advanced within the United States as she played an integral role in the expansion of the child tax credit and doubling of the standard deduction, the creation of the National Council for the American Worker with the goal of reskilling America’s workforce, and the inclusion of paid family leave in President Trump’s budget.
Both at home and abroad, Ivanka Trump has been a strong and confident advocate for female equality. Through strategic diplomacy, private-public sector partnerships, and innovative new ideas, the Trump administration has advanced policies that will benefit millions of working families here in the United States and abroad.
Women across the globe are taking notice.