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CAPE VERDE. The Port of Africa

Article - September 14, 2012
The Republic of Cape Verde is an archipelago of 10 islands in the Atlantic off the coast of West Africa

The former Portuguese colony has spent more than three decades since gaining its independence striving to improve living conditions for its residents, an effort at which it has been very successful.

With living standards, literacy and other measures of well being rising steadily, the government is now working hard to attract foreign investment to broaden the set of services the country can offer foreign businesses and locals, to improve infrastructure and to help bring prosperity to even more Cape Verdeans.

“In the last six years, Cape Verde had a huge transformation. We’re bringing modernization to the country through infrastructure, roads, ports and airports.”

Jose Veiga, Minister of Infrastructure and Maritime Economy


“Porto grande will have a significant effect on the lowering of prices on imported consumer goods and capital equipment and will allow the tourism sector to lower prices as well.”

Franklim Spencer, CEO of Enapor

As an island country, transport and telecommunication infrastructure is hugely important to Cape Verde for several different reasons. Ports, airports, telephones and Internet services have to be available to allow the country’s residents to communicate with each other and to join the islands together.

Those same elements are also vital for attracting tourists and foreign businesses to the country. The government is well aware of this, and has spent the past several years investing in building up modern and efficient services for use by residents and visitors.

“In the last six years, Cape Verde had a huge transformation,” explained Infrastructure and Maritime Economy Minister Jose Veiga. “We’re bringing modernization to the country through infrastructure, roads, ports and airports. Right now we have four international airports, from almost none before. We have seven throughout the country, but only four of them are international.”

The government is now seeking investment to help build up both its cargo and cruise ship ports, to take advantage of Cape Verde’s location between African and North American ports and European and South American ports. With the proper facilities, the country can continue its efforts to raise standards of living for all.

The clear choice of port in the eastern Atlantic

Cape Verde’s location near shipping lanes between Europe, South America, Africa and North America, makes it a natural trans-shipment point for cargo moving between those markets.

Enapor, the company that manages all the ports in the former Portuguese colony, has a long-term plan to take advantage of the country’s strategic location by offering an efficient, safe, stable and modern port that can be used, and enjoyed, by shippers as well as by tourists and cruise ship lines.

Enapor’s plan will expand the port of Porto Grande on the island of Sao Vicente, into one of the biggest deep-water ports in the West Mediterranean/West Africa region. The modernized port will include a 180- to 200-meter quay for cruise-ships, another 150-meter quay for roll-on roll-off ships that can carry cars and other vehicles, and yet another quay for catamarans.

The port will make it much easier for tourists to travel between the 10 islands that make up the archipelago and attract new cruise ship business, while at the same time improving the island’s economy in other, very important ways, according to Enapor CEO Franklim Spencer.

The new port “will have a significant effect on the lowering of prices on imported consumer goods and capital equipment in the country, and consequently will allow the tourism sector to lower its prices as well,” he explains.

The investment required for the Porto Grande cruise-ship terminal is $19 million, and Enapor is currently looking for private investors to help finance the ambitious project.