President Obama will host four leaders from sub-Saharan Africa on Thursday afternoon, the White House announced.
The presidents of Sierra Leone, Senegal and Malawi, and the prime minister of Cape Verde will discuss efforts to strengthen democratic institutions in a part of the world still regularly racked by insurrections and coups. The leaders will also discuss U.S. trade and investment in Africa, where the United States is increasingly worried about China's growing clout and control of natural resources.
"The group is meeting at the Pentagon to discuss shared priorities in countering terrorism, combating transnational threats, and enhancing maritime security," the Department of Defense said in a statement.
Here is the statement from the White House:
In the afternoon, the President will welcome President Ernest Bai Koroma of Sierra Leone, President Macky Sall of Senegal, President Joyce Banda of Malawi, and Prime Minister José Maria Pereira Neves of Cape Verde to the White House. The United States has strong partnerships with these countries based on shared democratic values and shared interests. The five leaders will discuss strengthening democratic institutions across sub-Saharan Africa, and building on Africa’s democratic progress to generate increased economic opportunities and expanded trade and investment. The visit of these four leaders underscores the strategic importance the President places on building partnerships and substantive engagement with sub-Saharan Africa, and our commitment to working with strong and emerging African democracies. There will be a pool spray at the bottom of this meeting in the Cabinet Room.