All roads lead to Washington DC, where several African heads of state are attending the second US-Africa Leaders’ summit, in a bid to strengthen ties. United States President, Joe Biden, will host the three-day high level meeting, with discussions expected to focus on the climate crisis, good governance, food security, as well as US-Africa trade and investment opportunities. The summit comes at a time when Africa is positioning itself as a key geopolitical player, and the trend seems not to budge any time soon. It is expected that “cordial” ties with the United States can fast-truck this directive, despite reports highlighting a persistent “trust-deficit” between both parties. Here are 5 things you should know About 50 African leaders to attend President Paul Kagame will be joining a group of 49 Heads of States and Government. The talks – a follow-up to the first such gathering hosted by former US President Barack Obama eight years ago – mark the biggest international gathering in Washington, DC, since before the start of the COVID-19 pandemic. International analysts say that the American government’s role in Africa receded during the previous presidency, and Biden administration officials have since stressed the need to strengthen ties with like-minded countries in the region. $55billion funding According to Jake Sullivan, National Security Advisor to the United States, the summit could highlight a new funding to the continent, as the latter deepens its investment portfolio on the continent. “Working closely with Congress, the US will commit $55bn to Africa over the course of the next three years,” Sullivan said on Monday. In November, US Secretary of State Antony Blinken also said Washington would have to do things differently to help Africa with its infrastructure needs. Blinken also visited Kigali, as part of his visit to the southern African part of the continent. “It is time to stop treating the continent as a subject of geopolitics, but rather as a major player on its own,'' Blinken remarked. As part of this week’s summit, Biden will deliver a keynote address to the US-Africa Business Forum on Wednesday, before hosting a dinner for the world leaders assembled in the United States capital. Africa’s quest to join G20 Reports also indicate that President Biden is expected to back a permanent spot for the African Union in the Group of 20, a forum for major economies, during the summit. Sullivan told reports that Biden also would express a commitment to UN Security Council reform, “including support for a permanent member” from Africa. “It’s past time for Africa to have permanent seats at the table in international organizations and initiatives,” he reiterated. AGOA to be reviewed The US government says it is willing to work with African countries to deepen and broaden trade relationships, including existing trade negotiations. AGOA gives countries in Sub-Saharan Africa preferential access to US markets, allowing them to export products tariff-free. AGOA comes to an end in 2025, with proposals of extension likely to be put at the table at the much anticipated US-Africa summit. The American Apparel and Footwear Association, which represents more than 1,000 name brands, retailers and manufacturers in June last year wrote a letter and urged Congress to renew Agoa for another 10 years. Africa is open to trade Speaking to The New York Times ahead of the summit, Senegalese President Macky Sall, who is also the African Union Chairman, said that it was within Africa’s interests to trade with any willing partners. “Let no one tell us 'no, don’t work with so-and-so, just work with us.' We want to work and trade with everyone. “When we talk, we’re often not listened to, or in any case, not with enough interest,” Sall added.