US Secretary of State Antony Blinken is travelling to Africa for a two-nation tour – the latest in a series of visits to the continent by top American officials.
Security, a ravaging drought and the jihadist threat in the Sahel will be the focus of Mr Blinken’s visit to the two countries this week
He will be in Ethiopia on Wednesday to discuss the implementation of the peace deal signed between the government and rebel troops following a two-year bloody war.
He will also meet humanitarian agencies in the country.
Ethiopia is battling the aftermath of the fighting that displaced tens of thousands and the effects of the worst droughts in the Horn of Africa region in decades.
Secretary Blinken will then visit Niger – the first by a US Secretary of State – and will help shore up efforts to counter the expansion of jihadist groups in the Sahel.
His visit to Africa follows that of US First Lady Jill Biden, who last month visited Namibia and Kenya.