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Date: 06/11/2012
Cape Verde: The ultimate gateway into Africa THE SAUDI GAZETTE

"A perfect air and sea hub for the economic crossroads from West Africa to Europe and South and North America."

CAPE Verde may currently be in the news for the country’s achievements on the football field following their qualification for the Africa Cup of Nations, but it should also be making headlines for its booming and promising economy.

Indexed as one of the top three African countries as the safest destination for foreign investment by the Mo Ibrahim Foundation, the country shows exemplary economic promise due to its political stability, strategic location and investment-friendly rules and institutions. Cape Verde is also a member of the World Trade Organization and of the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS).

All these factors have led to increased investment, tourism and trade from Europe and the Americas in recent years. This is why Capital Consulting has engaged French-based company naseba to organize a road show to raise capital for the creation of the “Gateway to West Africa”—a strategic aviation hub on the Cape Verde Islands.

Cape Verde government has shown unwavering support for the initiative because Aviation has always been strategically important to Cape Verde’s evolution and it remains instrumental in driving the country’s future growth. Sal International Airport has served as a commercial springboard for growing hospitality and tourism, and a conduit for its numerous infrastructural projects. It therefore forms a fundamental pillar to the continual GDP growth in Cape Verde and growth in ECOWAS and the West Africa region.

M?rio Paix?o Lopes, President of the Board of Administration of The National Airport Authority (ASA), said: “our airports are a central part of our Government Strategic Plan to grow and become an important aviation hub in the region. Travel, tourism, trade and hospitality are some of the sectors identified as key drivers of our growth.” He added that “growth in these sectors has to be matched by a corresponding expansion in the aviation infrastructure capacity.”

Sara Maria Duarte Lopes, Minister of Infrastructure and Maritime Economy of the Republic of Cape Verde, reemphasized the project’s importance, stating that it is a “priority for our country’s economic development goals within the West African region.”

By providing efficient transportation services, the proposed hub will enhance the competitiveness of Cape Verde’s economy and “attract foreign direct investment and integrate our local companies with the global business community,” noted Ambassador José Armando Duarte, President and CEO, Cape Verde Investment Promotion Agency.

Many African airlines are currently blacklisted from flying to the European Union due to safety reasons. The proposed project will provide more than two billion customers with a way into Africa through Cape Verde. Duarte said “our strategic location in the Mid-Atlantic Ocean makes it a perfect air and sea hub for the economic crossroads from West Africa to Europe and South and North America.”

naseba Chairman Scott Ragsdale added: “We are proud to have been mandated by Capital Consulting to organize and host a capital raising initiative to help achieve a strategic aviation hub on the Cape Verde Islands. The country is the perfect gateway into Africa, and completion of this project will have a profound effect on Cape Verde’s economy – and Africa as a whole.” — SG