The U.S. ignores the nations of Africa at its own peril, Army Gen. Stephen J. Townsend, the commander of the U.S. Africa Command, said.
"China and Russia don't ignore Africa, and that alone should say something."
Africa has 13 of the 25 fastest growing economies in the world, Townsend said. In a time of climate change, Africa has 60% of the arable land on the globe.
"This fact alone should show how important Africa is for the world," he added.