Presentation of National Strategy for Emigration and Developments

Nacoes Unidas, Praia, March, April 7, 2014– From its beginnings, the history of Cape Verde has been marked by the phenomenon of migration. The most recent estimates point to  a greater number of the population living abroad than in the country itself. In addition, Cape Verde leads the ranking of African countries with the highest percentage of graduates living outside the country, and is one of the 30 countries of the world in which remittances make up the greatest proportion of GDP. 

It is in this context, and within the scope of a project funded by France, Holland, Italy and Switzerland through AMEDIP (Strengthening African and Middle Eastern Diaspora Policy Through South-South Exchange) that the Government of Cape Verde committed itself to developing a National Strategy for Emigration and Development (ENED in its Portuguese initials), under the leadership of the Ministry of Communities and with the technical assistance of the International Organization for Migration (IOM) and the International Centre for Migration Policy Development (ICMPD).

This morning the public presentation of the strategy was given in the National Library of the city of Praia. Ulrika Richardson, Resident Coordinator for the United Nations System in Cape Verde, highlighted the importance of the diaspora for the development of Cape Verde since "a large part of the social and economic growth achieved by the archipelago is due to formal and informal remittances, to the sharing of knowledge and experience by the diaspora with its country of origin, to investment made by Cape Verdean emigrants and to the return of trained and experienced staff to their country of origin. There is no doubt that the success of Cape Verde is due, among other things, to the strong ties the diaspora has with the country."

Ulrika Richardson also underlined the importance of producing a document of this kind in order to clearly systematize how the diaspora can and should be involved for the benefit of the development of its country of origin, as well as being a document that presents specific guidance for capitalizing on emigration for the benefit of national development.

Significantly, one of the principal objectives of ENED is the strengthening of inter-institutional coordination so that emigration can be effectively managed as a tool for national development, with a view to increasing the potential contribution of Cape Verdeans and Cape Verdean emigrants to the development process of their country of origin.

It is noteworthy that with this strategy, Cape Verde comes to have comprehensive guidelines for involving the diaspora in the transformation of its country of origin and becomes one of the first countries in the world to establish a Strategy for Migration and Development.

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