WASHINGTON -- Sen. Al Franken and Rep. Betty McCollum are traveling with a handful of other lawmakers on a bicameral, government-sponsored trip to Africa to learn about economic issues later this week.

Franken and McCollum, a Democrat representing St. Paul, along with others, were invited on the trip headed by Delaware Sen. Chris Coons, who is the highest ranking Democrat on an African Affairs subcommitee on the Senate Foreign Relations Commitee.

The group will travel to Senegal, Ethiopia, Rwanda, Gabon and Cape Verde. Franken's staffers say he plans to meet with Somali refugees in Ethiopia. The Twin Cities is home to the largest Somali-American population in the United States. 

The focus will be on economic development and the members will visit renewable energy projects and some health care facilities.

Congress is adjourned on August recess until after Labor Day.