WASHINGTON - Democratic U.S. Reps. Betty McCollum and Keith Ellison are using the current congressional recess to travel to Africa on fact-finding missions.
McCollum is traveling to South Sudan and Tanzania on a trip with administration officials, business leaders and non-profit experts sponsored by CARE, a nonprofit relief organization. The trip is intended to examine food security, nutrition and empowering women through agricultural development.
Among those traveling with McCollum are Rajiv Shah, who heads the U.S. Agency for International Development and retired U.S. Gen. Wesley Clark.
Ellison is in Somalia and will discuss Somali refugees in the U.S. and remittances by the Somali-American community with Somali President Hassan Sheikh Mohamud. It's the first visit to Somalia by a member of Congress since the U.S. recognized that country's government earlier this year.
According to Ellison's office, he traveled there with the nonprofit American Refugee Committee, which is based in his district. Ellison's district is home to one of the largest Somali communities in the U.S. and his office says his constituents urged him to visit the country.