Dakar is one of the contenders for the 2022 Games ©Getty Images

An International Olympic Committee (IOC) delegation has embarked on a 12-day trip to Africa as part of the selection process for the 2022 Summer Youth Olympic Games.

The group left on May 8 and will return on May 20 after visiting Botswana, Nigeria and Senegal in that order.

It comes after the IOC agreed to proactively pursue African hosts for the Games at their Session before the Pyeongchang 2018 Winter Olympics in February.

Nowhere in Africa has ever hosted an Olympic Games event before, but since then Gaborone, Abuja and Dakar, the respective capitals of Botswana, Nigeria and Senegal, have all come forward to express interest.

Tunis in Tunisia also hoped to enter the race but their potential candidacy has been put on hold until they have taken steps to end restrictions on Israeli athletes competing at events in the country.

The Abuja National Stadium in Nigeria's capital ©Getty Images
The Abuja National Stadium in Nigeria's capital ©Getty Images

Included in the ongoing visit to Africa are Antoine Goetschy, the associate director of the Youth Olympic Games.

He is joined by Gilbert Felli, a senior Olympic Games advisor.

Mathieu Pouret, a culture and education programme expert, is also on the trip as well as consultant Melina Simm.

It is hoped the 2022 Games could pave the way for an eventual Summer Olympics in Africa.

Goetschy has previously said that the chosen host will, in a way, represent the ambitions of the whole continent. 

A host is then due to be chosen at the IOC Session in Buenos Aires in October.

This will take place before this year's Summer Youth Olympic Games in Argentina's capital, scheduled for between October 6 and 18.

 IOC vice-president Uğur Erdener is chair of the Coordination Commission for the Games.