There is currently a Cape Verdean Parliamentary Delegation visiting the island of Maio for three days of meetings and visits. A number of subjects will be covered including ecology. The delegation will also be entertained with musical events on both Monday and Tuesday evenings. The entertainment being provided by local bands and also Tibau Tavares.
On Wednesday there will be a meeting looking at matters of ecology within Cape Verde. This meeting will consider issues surrounding water and agriculture together with other environmental issues. This could be an important initiative in a country that already has grand plans in terms of green energy. If Cape Verde can address other issues such as recycling and dealing with waste, it would be a good move.
Recently Olavo Correia the Cape Verdean Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Finance announced that in 2019/2020 the country’s water and electric company, Electra, is to be privatised. The announcement followed a visit to Electra’s premises. A number of potential organisations have already expressed interest. However, the next step is to prepare an appropriate model for the privatisation.
Achieving a reduction in fossil fuels
The intention is to devise a model that promotes the country’s plans to produce the whole of the countries electricity from renewable sources. Cape Verde currently produces 20% of its electricity from renewables; however the aim to improve that percentage considerably. Cape Verde is already at the top of the African countries for producing and using renewable energy. The Government will develop a model geared to reducing the country’s reliance on fossil fuels.
Three of the smallest African countries – Cape Verde, Guinea Bissau and São Tomé & Príncipe – are on target to witness growth in their economies in 2018 that well exceeds the average for sub-Saharan Africa. The International Monetary Fund (IMF) has published these findings.
Of these three countries São Tomé & Príncipe is expected to see an increase to about 5%. Guinea Bissau is expected to match the same growth as last year, namely 5.5%. Cape Verde is looking at 4.3% this year, although it may slow down slightly next year.
The common language of Portuguese connects these three small countries.
Of the other Portuguese speaking African countries, Angola is likely to show the lowest growth of only 2.2%. Overall the World Bank considers that the recovery in sub-Saharan Africa is too slow. So it is good to learn that amongst the best achievers is Cape Verde.
The parliament in Cape Verde has passed a act of parliament that will enable the granting of permanent residency permits to foreign owners of homes in the country. These permits will mean that owners will be given priority at the offices of the Foreign and Borders Service. Such priorities will also include a spouse and children aged under 14.
These Residency Permits will apply to properties costing over €80,000 in towns where the Gross Domestic Product is below the national average. In towns where the GDP is higher than the national average, it will apply to properties costing over €120,000.
The same bill also gives some exemptions from the Single Property Tax on the relevant properties. Retired people living in Cape Verde, but with income from elsewhere, will also receive some tax exemptions.
Cape Verde and China have been in discussions about the possibility of an air transport agreement between the two countries. If such an agreement is formulated it will allow both TACV and China’s Capital Airlines to fly between the two countries.
Luís Filipe Tavares, Foreign Affairs minister has stated that this agreement could be completed by the middle of 2018.
This latest potential agreement between the two counties is just one of several other areas of cooperation, such as defence and port security.
Visitors from Europe will no longer be required to purchase Cape Verde visas when visiting the country. The Cape Verde government is attempting to boost tourism to the islands.
This exemption is expected to start in 2018. The policies also include the improved management of the airports and increasing the growing of crops for exportation. Tourism is a major part of the Cape Verde economy, but the government is anxious to diversify the economy.
The Prime Minister, Ulisses Correia e Silva made this announcement. He also announced the intention to implement financial measures as a stimulus for investment in the country. Residency incentives are also to be included.
President Trump may deny climate change, but Cape Verde recognises the risk to the country and to the planet if we do not tackle this issue. The Cape Verde Government and the EU have recently signed a European Funding agreement worth €5m for the project ‘Reinforcing the Capacities and Resilience of the Forestry Sector in Cape Verde’. The principal aim of the project is to improve Cape Verde’s ability to resist the effects of climate change, which is increasing the extent of the desert areas; it will do this by encouraging reforestation and reinforcement of existing forests.
It has been announced by the Cape Verde Economy Minster, José Gonçalves that on 1 August 2017 TACV, the Cape Verdean national airline, will cease to operate domestic flights within Cape Verde; Binter CV will be flying between all internal airports from mid-June. The Cape Verdean government has bought a 49% share in Binter CV, and these shares will eventually be available for sale.
It has been reported that the Cape Verde government will cease to subsidise TACV the country’s airline. TACV reported losses of €35m in 2015 and €17m in 2016. The Cape Verde parliament is also being requested to approve a re-structuring plan for the airline. The re-structuring plan seeks to increase the market value of the company. TACV is no longer the only airline operating within Cape Verde, now that Binter CV has commenced internal flights, which within the next month will include all the islands with airports.