Cape Verde: Opposition calls on Govt. to prevent possible repetition of past drought scenario

  • October 12, 2018

In ancient times, Cape Verde was referred to as ‘Fortunate Isles’. The island country spanning an archipelago of 10 volcanic islands in the central Atlantic Ocean still remains one of the most developed and democratic countries in Africa.

However, Cape Verde is no stranger to the hardships of droughts and famine. Between 2013 and 2014, the country experienced a 65% decrease in rainfall, which caused the loss of crops for about 30,000 people. According to The Brojen Project, ‘this drought led to the lowest corn production on record for 2014. However, there has been much greater initiative currently than there was in the past to find solutions to the issue of hunger in Cabo Verde. From the years 1991 to 2015, the total percentage of hunger in Cabo Verde decreased from 16 percent to 9 percent.’

It is in light of such statistics that the Cape Verdean Independent and Democratic Union (UCID) has asked the Government to take into account, within the framework of the State Budget of 2019 (OE2019), measures aimed at eliminating the impacts of a possible repetition of the Bad Agricultural Year scenario in some islands of the country.

“For example, we know that the drought situation in Santo Antão still prevails where, until then, only a third of the island has rained and the rain forecasts are very low. Therefore, our concern is to draw attention and know what the Government advocates in this matter in the framework of the OE2019,” said José Luis, deputy of the opposition party, at the OE2019 hearing that took place recently with the Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Finance, Olavo Correia.

Of the range of concerns that the UCID took in this meeting is also the caution of the purchasing power of families “Since 2011/2012 there was no salary update.” João Luís asked for a readjustment of the social pension of the elderly, and the Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Finance highlighted that these issues will be analyzed in the Social Dialogue Council, to be held on the 15th of this month.

The UCID also called attention to the early retirement framework and encouraged the Government to regularize the situation of the approximately 5,000 civil servants in employment.

Another concern that the UICD brought to the discussion for the next Budget was the situation of TCMF – Consolidated Financial Mobilization Securities. In this regard, Olavo Correia assured that the Government is “closing the negotiating framework with the banks and holders of the bonds to regularize the situation until January 1 of next year.”

José Luis also discussed with the Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Finance the issues related to the Government’s options for Job Generation in 2019, and took the opportunity to praise the initiatives and the effort that the Government has been undertaking in this matter – economic measures, employability measures (internships and vocational training), among others.


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