U.S. President Barack Obama is gathering nearly 50 African heads of state in Washington for an unprecedented summit.
Washington is hoping to make U.S. businesses aware of the opportunities for their companies in Africa.
Africa is economically one of the fastest growing continents and is also one of the continents where the United States is most popular. However, many U.S. business have been slow to invest in Africa.
S. African President Jacob Zuma and his wife arrive at Andrews Air Force Base, Md., Aug. 3, 2014 to attend the US - Africa Leaders Summit.
The summit beginning Monday follows similar efforts by China, Europe and Japan who are all keenly aware of Africa's natural wealth, as well its market of hundreds of millions of middle-class Africans.
U.S. officials say only four African leaders were excluded from the talks - the presidents of Zimbabwe, Sudan, Eritrea and the Central African Republic.
The summit convenes at the same time several West African nations are facing an Ebola virus outbreak.
President Obama said Friday the United States is closely following the situation. He said African officials from at-risk countries will be screened for the disease before entering the U.S.
The leaders of Sierra Leone and Liberia have canceled their summit trips to Washington because of the Ebola outbreak.