Relations keep strengthening between Italy and Western Africa, a part of the continent with which we share a chapter of history, which was written exclusively by a group of brave Italian men who at the beginning of the 900s chose Africa's Gold Coast as their migratory destination. This bond will be reiterated by Italy's Prime Minister, Paolo Gentiloni, between 25 and 29 November, during a five-day visit to Angola, the Ivory Coast, Ghana and Tunisia. This is not the first time that Gentiloni travels to Africa. In fact, he had previously visited the Ivory Coast in 2016, in his capacity as Minister of Foreign Affairs, and on the same year he had also traveled to Niger, Mali and Senegal. Before him, the last Prime Minister to travel to the African continent on an official visit was Matteo Renzi, during his African tour in February 2016, when he visited Nigeria, Ghana and Senegal. Gentiloni's other missions in Africa date back to 2015, always as Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation. In Ghana Gentiloni will be met by President Nana Dankwa Addo Akufo Addo.
In 2016, Italian exports to Ghana reached a record high of over 264 million, a 29.5% increase year-on-year. Imports from Ghana reached 223.4 million, a 35.2% contraction year-on-year. Trading between the two countries was worth in total 488.1 million (-11% year-on-year), with the bilateral trade scales tipping in Italy's favor (41.3 million); in 2015, the balance was in favor of Ghana (140.2 million). Ghana, a democratic country, today is one of the most stable countries in Africa, with a political system that has encouraged the creation and consolidation of democratic institutions, the respect of human rights and freedom of the press. It was the first sub-Saharan African country to gain independence from colonialism, on 6 March 1957, under the leadership of Kwame Nkrumah, a man who played a central role in Africa's decolonization and became the first president of the Republic of Ghana. Between 1992 and 2004, Ghana held elections four times, all of which were deemed regular and transparent by international observers. In 2000, for the first time in the history of the country, the process allowed the pacific election of a new President of the Republic, as John Agyekum Kufuor (leader of the New Patriotic Party), beat John Atta Mills (the candidate of the National Democratic Congress). Kufour was confirmed for four more years in the elections held in 2004. In 2008, after two mandates, in accordance with the Country's Constitution, he did not stand for a third term and John Atta Mills became the new president. In 2012, President John Dramani Mahama was elected, while on 7 January 2017, the elections were won by the current president, Nana Akufo-Addo.