By John Ikani
Cape Verde has established her first Embassy in Abuja to strengthen diplomatic ties with Nigeria and be closer to the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) Commission which is headquartered in Abuja, Nigeria’s capital.
Speaking at the official opening ceremony of the Embassy, the Prime Minister of Cape Verde, Dr. Ulisses Correia e Silva said the setting up of the Embassy was a great step toward better cooperation and regional integration.
According to him: “The opening of this embassy means to strengthen the relationship between Cape Verde and Nigeria both politically and culturally.
“Also, we will strengthen relationship with Cape Verde as well as its integration within the ECOWAS region.
“We are going to lure more private investments to Cape Verde, we want to bring more tourists from Nigeria. We already have many travelers from Nigeria to Cape Verde.
“We already have some investments there from other African countries like the Floating Hub which is an investment by a Malian.
“We believe that politically and culturally we have a lot to offer, even as a tourist destination.”
While noting that the current trade volume between both countries was low, the Prime Minister expressed optimism that going forward, the volume will be on the increase.
“The trade volume between Nigeria and Cape Verde is pretty much weak for now, but, when it comes to trade, it is important to increase or improve the maritime and airline connections to increase the figures.
“Also, when it comes to free trade zones, it would play a an important role if you invest on the connection between the region and Cape Verde in order to raise the figure,” he added.
Earlier in his remark at the event, Silva said that his country, being the only Island-country in West Africa, sought to be well known within the sub-region.
“We seek greater integration of markets, trade, connectivity, private investments and tourism. Cape Verde wishes to position itself as an air and digital hub in Africa and integrate regional value chains in trade and industry,” he said.
He harped on the need for regional integration and good implementation of the African Continental Free Trade Area.
The Prime Minister was accompanied by the Minister of Foreign Affairs of Cape Verde, Rui Soares.
Heritage Times gathered that the new and first Ambassador of Cape Verde to Nigeria is Belarmino Silva.