President Vladimir Putin waves during a family photo with heads of countries taking part in the 2019 Russia-Africa Summit in Sochi, Russia, October 24, 2019 [Sergei Chirikov/Pool via Reuters]

It used to be that the only time one would see African leaders huddled together in large numbers was at the annual gatherings of what used to be known as the Organization of African Unity and later rebranded as the African Union.

Today, however, one is also likely to encounter them in a few capitals outside the continent. Over the last five years, there have been such gatherings of leaders from nearly all 54 African countries in Washington in August 2014, in Beijing in July 2018 and most recently in Moscow last month.

These summits have

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