Obama's visit to Africa's biggest economy was part of a three-nation trip that began last week and included stops in Senegal, South Africa and Tanzania.
Prior to his meeting with business leaders, Obama and Tanzanian President Jakaya Kikwete spoke and answered questions before the vast building adorned with American and Tanzanian flags on grounds complete with peacocks.
The respect between the two leaders, as well as the appreciation Kikwete has for the United States was clear.
"The people of Tanzania love you," Kikwete said, looking at Obama. "There has never been a visit by a head of state to Tanzania that has attracted such big crowds."
Kikwete was the first African leader Obama welcomed to the White House, a sign of the shared interests between the countries, Obama said. He noted their cooperation over health care, infrastructure, energy and job creation.
"Africa needs the United States, the United States needs Africa," Kikwete said.
At the State House in Tanzania there was a celebratory greeting for the president and first lady Michelle Obama with a band, dancers and a mass of applauding, whooping crowds lining the red carpet as the Obamas shook hands making their way to the whitewashed building.
Obama, Bush on Tuesday
On Tuesday Obama will join former President George W. Bush for a wreath-laying commemorating the August 1998 al Qaeda attack on the U.S. Embassy in Dar es Salaam, which killed 11 people and wounded hundreds.
Bush has been in Zambia to help renovate a clinic that serves as a cervical cancer screening and treatment center. Michelle Obama and Laura Bush are scheduled to attend the African First Ladies Summit, organized by the George W. Bush Institute, in Tanzania on Tuesday.
Obama wrapped up his trip to South Africa on Sunday with a visit to the prison cell where anti-apartheid leader and later South African President Nelson Mandela was held and called on students to help build a new Africa.