Jill Biden on weeklong tour of 3 African countries _lowres

Jill Biden introduces her husband, U.S. Vice President Joe Biden, at The White House Summit on Working Families, Monday, June 23, 2014, in Washington. (AP Photo/Charles Dharapak)

WASHINGTON (AP) — Jill Biden, the wife of Vice President Joe Biden, is on a tour of three African countries, where she will highlight female empowerment, education and leadership.

Biden arrives in Lusaka, Zambia on Tuesday. She is expected to be accompanied there by Rajiv Shah, director of the U.S. Agency for International Development.

Stops also are planned in the Democratic Republic of Congo and Sierra Leone. Biden returns to Washington next week.

Administration officials say the trip is a chance for Biden, a lifelong teacher, to highlight what happens when women and girls are empowered through education and entrepreneurship.

The trip will also spotlight U.S. engagement on the continent a month before dozens of African leaders come to Washington for a summit that President Barack Obama is hosting.