During last month’s two-day Community of Portuguese Language Countries (CPLP) summit in the Cabo Verde island of Sal, off the coast of West Africa, Angolan Foreign Minister Manuel Augusto called for more efforts to promote the free movement of people and goods within the CPLP, and the African Development Bank and the Community signed a declaration to support the “Development Finance Compact for the Lusophone Countries of Africa.”
Established in 1996, the CPLP operates as a multilateral platform for closer cooperation and friendship among its nine members—Angola, Brazil, Cabo Verde, Equatorial Guinea, Guinea-Bissau, Mozambique, Portugal, Sao Tome and Principe, and Timor-Leste. With a population of 267 million, Lusophone countries possess vast reserves of oil and gas, agriculture, as well as tourism and marine resources. Together, they are the world’s fourth-largest producer of oil.
“Great opportunities exist to build on the long historical, linguistic and cultural ties between these countries, and with Brazil and Portugal, to shape economic partnerships that can accelerate economic growth, boost private sector development and assure faster-paced economic transformation,” said Dr. Akinwumi Adesina, President of the African Development Bank.
“The African Development Bank recognizes Portuguese-speaking African countries do not form contiguous economic blocks similar to the French- or English-speaking zones. They therefore tend to be marginalized,” added Adesina.
The summit is expected to strengthen cultural ties and people-to-people exchanges and discuss the issue of free mobility within the organization.