Italian premier to visit Accra on West African tour

Renzi visit includes Nigeria, Ghana and Senegal.

Italian premier Matteo Renzi began his three-day African visit in the Nigerian capital Abuja, where he met the nation's president Muhammadu Buhari, on 1 February.

Renzi is the first western leader to be welcomed by Buhari, the former military head of state, who took office eight months ago. The Italian premier's visit to Abuja comes amid new security concerns following the Boko Haram attack, in Nigeria's north-eastern Borno state, in which at least 86 people were killed.

Renzi then traveled to Ghanaian capital Accra to hold talks with the country's president John Dramani Mahama. The following day, 2 February, Renzi will address Ghana's parliament before travelling to Senegal's capital Dakar where he will be met by Senegalese president Macky Sall.

Renzi is accompanied on his visit by a delegation of leaders from 15 Italian companies, including the state-owned ENI which is the largest foreign oil producer in Africa.

This is Renzi's third official African visit as Italian prime minister, following previous trips to Ethiopia and Kenya last year and a 2014 visit to Mozambique, Congo and Angola.

The latest “strategic mission” is designed to foster collaboration between Italy and the host African countries, with a particular focus on the infrastructure and energy sectors and immigration.