One aim: to bolster relations with resource-rich countries where China has been aggressively extending its presence.
The day after President Obama's historic trip to Ghana, analysts find few concrete details about future policy shifts.
The visit is seen as a reward for Ghana's commitment to good governance and democracy. There's also newfound oil and a photo-op at a former slave fort.
President Obama arrives in Ghana this weekend, but China's booming Africa presence may mean that he'll have less leverage to advance US interests than his predecessors.
John Atta Mills took the oath of office Wednesday after a closely contested race.
The West African nation's status as a drug-trafficking hub has led to allegations of political corruption ahead of Sunday's presidential vote.