- Cape Verde's formerly booming tourism and property sectors have been predicted difficult times due to the global financial insecurity, but entrepreneurs from the sector say there is nothing to fear.
Entrepreneurs within the real estate and tourism sectors on Cape Verde's most touristic island, Sal, are optimistic about the archipelago's near economic future. The current international crisis, they hold, will soon pass and will not have a substantial impact on Cape Verde.
Gualberto do Rosario, chairman of Cape Verde's Tour Operators Association UNOTUR, presented this optimistic message while announcing a new tourism project on Sal, directed by the GDP Group he himself is heading. The project, in the centre of the town of Santa Maria, was said to be "an innovative tourism property project that pretends to become a reference on a global level" and is estimated to cost around € 25 million.
In times of poor access to credits and prospects of a decimated stream of tourist arrivals from Europe, Mr do Rosario held that his company's new project would not head into problems. Despite the current crisis, Mr Rosario explained that his company had decided to go ahead with the project, because it believed that Cape Verde "will overcome this crisis."
For businessmen within the sector, the archipelago "has all the natural conditions needed to emerge victorious from this situation, even making profits," if Cape Verde focused on the important relationship between quality and price, he added, speaking as chairman of UNOTUR.
Mr do Rosario said he was confident in the comparative advantages of Cape Verde, including its pleasant climate and its relative proximity to major tourist source markets - only two flight hours south of the Canary Islands - saying that national authorities and business should be able to capitalise on these advantages.
This optimistic opinion was also shared by Cape Verde Prime Minister José Maria Neves, as well as the chairman of the Commercial Chamber of Sal, Jorge Figueiredo, both present at the event.
PM Neves used the opportunity to hail the project presented by GDP Group, which in his opinion demonstrated that entrepreneurs maintained their belief in Cape Verde's economic and political transition, which was now translating into large investments in infrastructure such as ports, airports, roads, hospitals and schools at many different levels, with emphasis on vocational training.
Not only local entrepreneurs keep investing in Cape Verde's tourism and property sectors despite the signs of a possible crisis on the archipelago. Also the giant Spanish hotel group Barceló recently announced a major four-star complex on the island of Sal, which is to provide 500 rooms and 240 apartments by 2011. Also Barceló was confident that the possible crisis would have passed by that date.
afrol News - It is called "financial inclusion", and it is a key government policy in Rwanda. The goal is that, by 2020, 90 percent of the population is to have and actively use bank accounts. And in only four years, financial inclusion has doubled in Rwanda.
afrol News - The UN's humanitarian agencies now warn about a devastating famine in Sudan and especially in South Sudan, where the situation is said to be "imploding". Relief officials are appealing to donors to urgently fund life-saving activities in the two countries.
afrol News - Fear is spreading all over West Africa after the health ministry in Guinea confirmed the first Ebola outbreak in this part of Africa. According to official numbers, at least 86 are infected and 59 are dead as a result of this very contagious disease.
afrol News - It is already a crime being homosexual in Ethiopia, but parliament is now making sure the anti-gay laws will be applied in practical life. No pardoning of gays will be allowed in future, but activist fear this only is a signal of further repression being prepared.
afrol News / Africa Renewal - Ethiopia's ambitious plan to build a US$ 4.2 billion dam in the Benishangul-Gumuz region, 40 km from its border with Sudan, is expected to provide 6,000 megawatts of electricity, enough for its population plus some excess it can sell to neighbouring countries.