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Culture - Arts | Society | Politics

A different kind of birthday for Cape Verde President

afrol News / A Semana, 2 May - Cape Verde's President Pedro Pires celebrated his 72nd birthday on April 29 differently from in previous years. With him was a group of friends, two of whom were also born on April 29, with musicians Ramiro Mendes and Tito Paris serving as masters of ceremony. The party took place Friday night in Mosteiros and followed the last in a series of activities promoted on Fogo by 'A Semana' to mark the opening of its new regional office on the island.

A seminar on "Emigration and Development, a Controversial Pair," given by Agnelo Andrade in Mosteiros, marked the end of the series of activities promoted by A Semana to mark the opening of its regional Fogo delegation, an event that coincided with the 15th anniversary of the independent newspaper's founding.

Speakers and participants openly discussed problems related to emigration, the integration of deportees back into Cape Verdean society, sexual assault, tourism, foreign investment and other issues. All present highlighted the need to give due value to the island’s natural resources and culture in order to foster development.

After the seminar, a luncheon was held at the Tchon di Café restaurant in honor of President Pedro Pires and two other citizens celebrating birthdays on April 29: architect Érico Veríssimo and young Săo Filipe-based businesswoman Leila Barbosa. Those present were treated to a rendition of "Girasol" by Ramiro Mendes, followed by “Mar Azul” and “Happy Birthday,” sung by Tito Paris.

For Veríssimo, a friend of Pedro Pires since their time as students at Săo Vicente high school, it was a "privilege" to commemorate his 65th birthday alongside the President, who turned 72. For her part, Barbosa expressed her desire to "repeat this party every year" in the company of such a great number of friends.

Pedro Pires also expressed his satisfaction at being able to share his day with others, and said he hoped to commemorate his 77th birthday together with 'A Semana', when the newspaper turns 20. For the President, the event was “public recognition” from a newspaper whose staff has made an effort to reveal to its readers what really goes on in Cape Verde, as well as "the challenges we have to overcome."

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