- The number of tourists entering Cape Verde has grown an average of 25 percent per year over the past four years. From 67,000 tourists in 2000, the figure jumped to 178,000 in 2004. These were some of the numbers announced by Cape Verde's Minister of the Economy, Growth and Competitiveness, João Pereira Silva, at the Intermunicipal Tourism Conference held recently on São Vicente.
In his speech at the conference, which was promoted by Unotur, Pereira Silva presented data from the World Tourism Organisation, comparing them with the development of the tourism sector in Cape Verde. Revenues, according to the Minister, grew 20 percent per year between 2000 and 2004, with totals jumping from 5 billion to 10 billion escudos (45 to 90 million euros).
- The data related to the growth of the sector in Cape Verde supports all of the trends described by the World Tourism Organisation's studies and forecasts regarding the importance of tourism in developing economies, particularly in small island nations, stressed the Cape Verdean Minister.
Cape Verde's business sector also merited the attention of Minister Pereira Silva, who called for the removal of barriers limiting access to credit in the sector.
In Mr Pereira Silva's view, "the creation of public-private partnerships present in the tourist development corporations was the best solution encountered" for the stalemate in the elaboration of a Territorial Ordering Plan, as well as other zoning management instruments.
The government and the private sector of Cape Verde have invested large sums in tourism infrastructure for the sub-tropical archipelago during the last decade. Tourism is still mostly confined to the island of Sal, which houses the country's only large international airport equipped to receive charter flights from Europe.
A new and bigger airport is soon to be opened close to the capital Praia on the island of Santiago. Around Praia, large-scale tourism projects are already being developed, copying the successes of the nearby Spanish Canary Islands. With the new international airport in Praia, Cape Verde hopes to open up even more islands to charter tourism from Europe and that the tourism sector continues to grow for the next decade.
In its long-term plans to fight poverty and increase economic growth, the Cape Verdean government together with the International Monetary Fund (IMF) has defined two sectors of special attention and opportunity. These are the successful tourism sector and the fisheries sector. The largest challenge regarding further tourism developments is the Sahelian archipelago's scarcity of water.
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.