There were 17 million Euros, most of which goes to the Island of Maio and Porto Inglês. In the coming years, Maio is expected as an engine for Cape Verde's development, especially in the Sotavento region.
Ilha do Maio is the most benefited from the package of 17 million Euros donated to Cape Verde by the European Union. The information was provided by the Deputy Prime Minister, on the sidelines of the signing of the investment agreement aimed at improving port infrastructure and fostering development in the Islands of Maio and Sal.
The EU donation is intended for investments in the Ports of the Islands of Maio and Sal, and according to the Deputy Prime Minister, the biggest burden of this funding goes to Ilha o Maio, which in addition to the interventions in the port will receive about 6 million more for the island’s territorial development program, as well as for the construction of the system for the treatment of solid waste.
Of the 17 million Euros, 11 million are intended to complement the financing for the extension and modernization of Porto da Ilha, but also for Porto da Palmeira, in Sal.
“Porto opens up prospects for development and it is essential that we have financial resources so that we can frame women and young people and have the necessary infrastructure to promote sustainable development ”, said Olavo Correia, affirming that it is a transformative project.
Another three million euros will be allocated to a territorial development program, in partnership with the Municipality of Maio and civil society, while another 2.8 million will be for the construction of an integrated solid waste treatment system on the same island.
As the Minister of Finance also said, this donation “improves the financing conditions” for the transformation of Maio. However, the fact that this amount was donated, was cause for rejoicing by the government official, who says that it is a “very high amount” for Maio, in the coming years, which he says will be the engine of Cape Verde’s development, from the Sotavento region.
On the act of signing the document, the European Union ambassador in Cape Verde, Sofia Moreira de Sousa, underlined the fact that it is a non-refundable investment, that is, a donation, which does not increase Cape Verde’s public debt.
“It is the largest public investment made on the island [of Maio] by an international partner in the last decade”, said the same person in charge, also highlighting the importance of alliances and joint work for the realization of this investment, which is also relevant for the tourism recovery in the country after the covid-19 crisis.
Regarding Maio, which was recently declared a UNESCO Biosphere Reserve, alongside Fogo, Sofia Moreira de Sousa considered that the investment will serve to “give a new impetus to the sustainable economic development of the island”.
“This EU contribution will allow the requalification of Porto Inglês, the main port on the island and a fundamental pillar for its development”, reinforces the ambassador, for whom the donation also contributes to the creation of decent jobs and to environmental conservation.
Deputy Minister and Minister of Finance, Olavo Correia, also highlighted the work carried out over many months to carry out the donation, which he considers to be a contribution towards the development of the island of Maio, in particular, and Cape Verde, in general.
The European Union donation is part of a total of 44 million euros of investments planned for the islands of Sal and Maio, with the remainder being financed by the African Development Bank (AfDB) and the Government of Cape Verde, according to the minister.
For number two of the Government, it is a “transformative project”, which will improve the level of services in the ports of the islands of Maio and Sal, generate job opportunities for women and young people, in addition to strengthening and elevating the quality of public, administrative and social, environmental and economic services on the island of Maio.
“And this is very important for the sustainable and territorial development of the island, especially when it was declared as a Biosphere reserve by UNESCO”, considered Olavo Correia, adding that the investment will allow to reinforce the capacities of Maio’s autarchy, to guarantee a sustainable management of the solid waste and sanitation system.
In addition, the minister said that the donation from the European Union will allow the creation of access routes to these two port infrastructures, promote awareness of issues related to HIV / AIDS, promote port security and use of iodized salt, as well as implement a plan environmental and social management for the island of Maio.
“With these investments, we will have the conditions created for Maio to continue its trajectory in terms of development,” said Olavo Correia, recalling that the island is the second least populated island in the country, with about 7,000 inhabitants, the closest to the capital of Cape Verde, Praia, and is said to have great tourist potential.
The minister also said that the island “opens new horizons”, with this support from the European Union, but also with the tourist center “Little Africa Maio”, announced last week, of 500 million and that it plans to create more than 4,000 jobs, when start operating within three years.