- The government of Cape Verde is set to propose forming a mixed commission with the government of São Tomé and Príncipe within the first six months of this year. The cooperation in particular aims at assisting the large Cape Verdean community on the island of Príncipe, which mostly lives in poverty.
In an interview granted to 'A Semana Online', Cape Verde's consul in São Tomé and Príncipe, Emanuel Duarte, affirmed that "the development of cooperation between the two countries is the best way to assist Cape Verdean émigrés [residing in São Tomé and Príncipe]. This is why I have advanced a proposal for the formation of a mixed commission."
Also according to Mr Duarte, the results of the solidarity campaigns organised in Cape Verde last year to help poor Cape Verdeans in São Tomé will begin to show concrete effects beginning in March, when a number of professional training courses will be held.
In addition to "small" projects aimed mainly at young Cape Verdean descendents, a number of "large-scale" projects have already been identified. Among these projects is an initiative by which Cape Verdeans develop productive activities on the plots of land they received years ago from São Tomé's government.
According to Cape Verde's consul in the fellow Portuguese speaking island nation, "the development of any productive activities, namely in agriculture, will only be viable if duly placed within the framework of cooperative relations between the two countries."
Secondary school teachers were also sent by the Ministry of Education to Príncipe to improve the quality of education offered on the island. Assistance from Cape Verde also extends to elementary school education.
Cape Verdeans make up more than half of the population of Príncipe, which is the smallest of the two islands forming the state São Tomé and Príncipe. Out of the estimated 182,000 inhabitants of the island state, some 95 percent live on São Tomé island.
Most Cape Verdean nationals are termed "servicais", as other contract labourers from former Portuguese colonies in Africa. On the island of Príncipe, however, many so-called servicais and "tongas" - children of servicais born on the islands - have settled permanently and been allotted land by the São Toméan government.
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