The $4.6 billion Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam that Ethiopia is building on the Nile River is meant to provide needed electricity for more than 70 million Ethiopians.
Various African governments have announced lockdowns or curfews in response to the virus, which was slow to reach many African countries but is now growing exponentially, according to the World Health Organization.
Ethiopian leadership fears that Washington might brush aside their concerns and blindly favour Egypt, a country that has been identified as the main source of the Nile River for centuries.
The incident occurred in the town of Ambo, located roughly 100 kilometres (60 miles) west of the capital, Addis Ababa.
US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo aims to promote US cooperation in Senegal, Angola and Ethiopia amid Chinese influence and a growing Russian presence in Africa.
Somali presidential spokesman Abdinur Mohamed confirms meeting, saying "It was behind closed doors and no communique is being released. It was an ice-breaking one."
A growing social media campaign echoes the #BringBackOurGirls activism in Nigeria over the mass kidnapping there of scores of schoolgirls in 2014 as Ethiopians attempt to pressure the government for answers over the abduction in the Oromia region.
The election will be the first under Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed who took office in April 2018.
Nobel Peace Laureate Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed succeeded in making peace with neighbouring Eritrea, but he now deals with increasing intra-religious violence in his multi-ethnic country.
Ethiopia's Nobel Peace Prize winning Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed introduced sweeping political and economic reforms, that have also stoked ethnic and religious tensions as regional strongmen have been emboldened to compete over influence and resources.
Abiy has received the Nobel Peace Prize for his efforts to achieve peace and international cooperation, and in particular for his decisive initiative to resolve the border conflict with neighbouring Eritrea.
Inaugurating the e-WTP with Ethiopian Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed, Chinese e-commerce tycoon Jack Ma says the trading platform will ensure "Africa can compete with Europe and America."
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