The U.S. is to host the first U. S.-Africa summit in Washington, DC on Aug. 5-6 in a bid to strengthen its political and economic ties with the continent, the White House announced on Tuesday.

“President (Barack) Obama looks forward to welcoming leaders from across the African continent to the nation’s capital to further strengthen ties with one of the world’s most dynamic and fastest-growing regions,” the White House said in a statement.

The summit will build on the progress made since Obama’s visit to Africa last summer, advance the Obama administration’s focus on trade and investment in Africa, and highlight U.S. commitment to Africa’s security, its democratic development and its people, the statement added.

Obama visited Senegal, South Africa and Tanzania from June 27- July 2 last year.