June 3rd, 2011
12:33 PM ET
(CNN) - First lady Michelle Obama is slated to make a goodwill trip to Africa later this month, the White House announced Friday, part of her ongoing efforts to be a forceful advocate for emerging leaders abroad.
The official state visit, from June 21-26, will include stops in Johannesburg and Cape Town, South Africa, and Gaborone, Botswana, and is aimed at promoting education, health and wellness in addition to leadership. The first lady has engaged in similar efforts during past trips to Brazil, Chile, El Salvador, India, Mexico and the United Kingdom.
The visit will mark the second foray to sub-Saharan Africa by a member of the Obama family since President Obama took office more than two years ago. President Obama himself traveled to Ghana in July 2009 to address the democratically elected parliament there, saying then that “development depends upon good governance – and that is a responsibility that can only be met by Africans.”
That trip was viewed as particularly significant because Obama’s father was born in Kenya.
Mrs. Obama will deliver a similar message her husband did two years ago, scheduled to keynote the Young African Women Leaders Forum in South Africa where she will stress Democracy’s link to sustainable development and economic opportunities. Both Botswana and South Africa hold Democratic elections.
According to the White House, the first lady’s trip will “underscore that the United States has an important stake in the success of Africa's many nations and underscore the historic connections between the American people and those who live on the African continent.”
The first lady will be accompanied by her mother, Marian Robinson, and two daughters, Sasha and Malia.