Spanish Foreign Minister Jose Manuel Garcia-Margallo made a call here Wednesday for "a greater effort" to boost Spain's economic presence in sub-Saharan Africa.

"We have to make a greater effort," he told Efe. "We have been very much present in the Maghreb, but not so much in sub-Saharan Africa, which is growing enormously."

"There are many business opportunities in important sectors such as infrastructure and renewable energy," the minister said at the end of his three-day visit to Addis Ababa for the African Union summit.

He held bilateral meetings Wednesday with his counterparts from Angola, Cape Verde and Sao Tome and Principe.

As he did earlier this week in talks with other African foreign ministers, Garcia-Margallo sought promises of support for Spain's bid for a two-year term in one of the 10 rotating seats on the U.N. Security Council.

Another topic of Wednesday's bilateral discussions was the effort to combat piracy in the Gulf of Guinea.

Garcia-Margallo urged closer cooperation on the issue among Angola, Cape Verde, Sao Tome, Spain, Portugal and "the other countries that form the Mediterranean group."

"The visit has been very important," Spain's top diplomat said of his stay in the Ethiopian capital.

"There will be a continuity of what we have done here" when the leaders of the African Union and European Union gather in April in Brussels for a summit.

Spain, which has observer status in the AU, maintains diplomatic representation in 54 African nations. EFE