Leaders from 49 African nations are in Washington, D.C., this week for a three-day summit organized by the Biden administration. The U.S.-Africa Leaders Summit comes as the United States is trying to counter the growing influence of China and Russia in Africa. On Monday, national security adviser Jake Sullivan announced a pledge of $55 billion in economic, health and security support for Africa over the next three years. President Biden is also expected to express support for the African Union to join the G20 and to push for the United Nations Security Council to include a permanent member from Africa. The summit in Washington comes as parts of Africa grapple with crises including the climate emergency and political instability, with the past two years seeing coups in Mali, Sudan, Burkina Faso and Guinea. "China is definitely looming in the background" of the summit, says Lina Benabdallah, an assistant professor of politics at Wake Forest University. We also speak with anthropologist Samar Al-Bulushi with the University of California, Irvine, who notes that Biden's summit comes "at a time when Africa's geostrategic significance is on the rise and at a time when U.S. influence on the continent is on the decline."
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