He is the first serving US President to visit Ethiopia.
But in talks with its premier on Monday, Barack Obama warned that more must be done to improve democracy in one of Africa’s fastest-growing economies – often criticised for its record on human rights.
The fight against Islamist militants and boosting business ties were
also on the agenda when Obama held talks with Ethiopian Prime Minister Hailemariam Desalegn in Addis Ababa.
“The US is Ethiopia’s strategic partner in many fields and a steady flow of quality investment from the United States – as much as we crave it…has often been in short supply, “Desalegn told a joint news conference.
“Our security cooperation is pushing back against violent extremism,” Obama told reporters.
“Ethiopia faces serious threats and its contribution to the African Union mission in Somalia has reduced areas under al-Shabaab control but as the prime minister noted, yesterday’s bombing in Mogadishu reminds us that terrorist groups like al-Shabaab offer nothing but death and destruction and have to be stopped.”
Talks on the conflict in South Sudan and a speech to the African Union are also marking this second leg of President Obama’s visit to the continent, which started in Kenya, his father’s homeland.