"With the dramatic changes that have taken place over the last decade, sub-Saharan Africa has become increasingly important to the rest of the world. In the past, relationships for many African countries were dominated by the former colonial powers. Today, new players have begun to engage Africa in a big way. Notably, China and India are investing in the continent, and increasingly Russia, Brazil, Turkey, Iran and many others have increased their engagement with Africa both diplomatically and commercially. The increased interest in Africa by these new actors has been due to the realization that Africa has much to offer. The following 6 briefing papers in this collection are meant to touch on only some of the reasons why Africa matters for United States as well as strategic opportunities for U.S. engagement in the region. These briefs focus on five key issues: national security, China, energy, trade and investment, and U.S. development assistance."