Pssst! Here’s a Cheat Sheet for the US-Africa Leaders Summit

4.) China and Africa are getting awfully close.

Congo President Denis Sassou N'Guesso shakes hands with Chinese President Xi Jinping during a signing ceremony on June 12, 2014 in Beijing.

Congo President Denis Sassou N’Guesso shakes hands with Chinese President Xi Jinping during a signing ceremony on June 12, 2014 in Beijing.

There’s a love affair underway between China and Africa. The Asian powerhouse is Africa’s biggest trading partner. Next is India, and then Brazil and then some other country that is not the U.S.

This analysis explains that China brilliantly mapped out its investment in Africa into three fully fleshed out tiers: 1) its natural resources; 2) its untapped market to grow Chinese businesses, like the telecommunications industry; and (3) the consumer potential in Africa’s burgeoning middle class who are highly educated and like to spend money. Some say China’s involvement in the region is exploitation, and others are calling on the U.S. to get in on all the action. Either way, this relationship will serve as a great reference point if the U.S. ever decides to ramp up its business dealings there.

5.) Hillary Clinton’s Africa stab.

President Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton

President Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton

It seems like what Obama does and doesn’t do in Africa during the remainder of his term is already being used as a talking point in the upcoming presidential election. And guess who’s taking shots at him?

Yep. His former rival-turned-secretary of state, Hillary Clinton. She got on CNN and basically said that one of the reasons Bush 43 is so popular in Africa is because of his anti-AIDS initiatives. She seemed to allude to the idea that if Obama refined and clarified his foreign policy goals, the U.S. might be doing better on the global stage.

It’s apparent that 2016 is right around the corner and Clinton’s got her eyes on the Democratic ticket. Obama has been taking hits with all of these international crises popping up—Israel-Gaza, Russia-Ukraine, Libya, etc.—and Hillary’s strategy of distancing herself from his administration, at least on the foreign policy front, might be smart. Either way, her remarks could be foreshadowing Africa’s increasing significance in American politics and the U.S.’s perception around the world.

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