Gov. Parris N. Glendening will lead a delegation of about 40 government officials, business people and private citizens on a two-week mission to three African countries starting Saturday.
The cost to taxpayers for the state officials' travel is estimated at $180,000, the governor's office said yesterday. Other delegation members will pay their own way.
The trip to South Africa, Ghana and Senegal is billed as a multipurpose mission designed to build trade links, foster economic development opportunities and study health issues. Glendening also will give about 30 speeches during the trip, many related to Smart Growth and environmental issues.
Glendening also will be on hand in Johannesburg, South Africa, for a ceremony welcoming Baltimore's Vashti M. McKenzie, who was recently named the first woman bishop in the African Methodist Episcopal Church. McKenzie is beginning a year of service in Africa.
The governor's schedule includes two days of personal travel, including a planned visit to a game preserve. Spokesman Michael Morrill said that the governor would use personal funds for the excursion.