Addis Ababa (HAN) July 28, 2015 – Public Diplomacy and Regional Security Initiative News – During a press conference with Ethiopian Prime Minister Hailemariam Desalegn in Addis Ababa on Monday, Obama stressed the Ethiopian military’s ruthless “efficiency” in fighting Al-Shabab in Somalia and Addis Ababa’s contribution to United Nations peacekeeping efforts.
The emphasis on security cooperation speaks to the fact that, from Nigeria’s Boko Haram to Al-Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb and Somalia’s Al-Shabaab, under Obama, the U.S. has increased its military footprint in Africa.
Obama promised Kenya more security assistance.
“We are strongly committed to partnering with African countries to increase their capacity to address the immediate threats posed by terrorist organizations,” the White House said in a statement on Monday.
Ethiopia contributes troops to an African Union peace keeping force battling al Shabaab in Somalia. The group has often launched attacks in Kenya, but diplomats say Ethiopia’s state security apparatus has spared it similar assaults.
Meanwhile: The African governments has often turned to China to help build new roads, railways and dams in its bid to expand the industrial base in the largely agrarian economy. The new metro line that snakes through Addis Ababa was built by a Chinese firm.
Obama, who many Africans claim as their son, is seeking to expand business links with the continent, where China overtook the United States as the biggest trade partner in 2009.
“Africa is on the move. Africa is one of the fastest growing regions in the world,” Obama told a conference in Nairobi on Saturday that sought to encourage African entrepreneurs and match them with investors.
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