CAPE VERDE ISLANDS
In recent months the relatively obscure Cape Verde Islands off the coast of West Africa have been t???ust into the international stage as the venue for secret talks between South Africa and Angola over a possible settlement in Namibia (South West Africa).
CAPE VERDE ISLANDS
1. CU STILL (MUTE) Map of Cape Verde Islands. 0.08
2. Santiago Island (SOUND): GV TRACKING SHOT Port. 0.15
3. Santa Catarina, Santiago: CU Street sign. PULL BACK TO GV Street with people walking. GVs & SVs Market with baskets, fruit, wood and meat for sale. (9 SHOTS) 0.54
4. Praia: STREET SCENE. SV Presidential Palace. (2 SHOTS) 1.02
5. SCU Aristedes Pereira speaking in Portuguese. SV Audience. SCU Pereira speaking. (3 SHOTS) 1.29
6. Praia: GV Main street. 1.35
7. Sal Island, Cabral International Airport: SCU Defence Minister Silvino da Luz speaking in English. 1.57
8. Praia: GVs & SVs Women walking past. Main street with crowd. GV Fishing boats on beach. People repairing boats. SV Children watching. (4 SHOTS) 2.19
9. Praia: GVs Boat at sea. PRAIA PORT. Ships being unloaded. GV Timber being unloaded. GV Boat. GVs Grain storage silos. (8 SHOTS) 2.50
10. Santiago Island: GVs & SVs Barren fields. Water pipes on irrigation project. Banana plantation. Terracing on irrigation project. (5 SHOTS) 3.17
11. Praia Market: GVs & SVs People buying and selling produce. Woman displaying tomatoes. (4 SHOTS) 3.44
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Background: CAPE VERDE ISLANDS
In recent months the relatively obscure Cape Verde Islands off the coast of West Africa have been t???ust into the international stage as the venue for secret talks between South Africa and Angola over a possible settlement in Namibia (South West Africa). The seemingly implacable enemies were brought together by the island group's President Aristedes Maria Pereira in December, and sources say a further round of talks is planned on the islands soon.
SYNOPSIS: Situated 450 kilometres off the coast of West Africa, the 10-island archipelago lies at the centre of air and shipping routes linking four countries surrounding the Atlantic Ocean.
But the islands are desperately poor. Their 300,000 people only survive through remittances from emigrants working abroad, and aid from both east and west. The grinding poverty is reflected in the scarcity of goods on display at this street market on Santiago island.
The islands gained independence from Portugal in 1975, when Aristedes Pereira was elected President. In a recent interview, he said the talks between Angola and South Africa were important for the future of the whole of Africa. And he said the islands, in their own small way, had encouraged direct rule for Namibia.
Although Marxist, the Government is politically the most moderate of Portugal's former African colonies, and South African airlines regularly use the airport at Saloon the island of Sao Vicent together with Cuban and Angolan planes. Defence Minister Silvino da Luz welcomed the two delegations at the airport.
He stressed the importance of the talks for a speedy settlement of the dispute. Before independence, Mr. da Luz, together with President Pereira fought the Portuguese as guerrillas in Cape Verde's sister republic of Guinea-Bissau. Both countries are ruled by the same African Party for the independence of Guinea Bissau and Cape Verde (PAIGV). The Soviet Union gave vital arms and training during the struggle. But any temptation for the Cape Verde's government to align itself with the Soviet bloc has been tempered by the country's economic dependence on the west.
The capital, Praia, bustles with activity, but many Cape Verdians are forced to seek work overseas. Collectively, in 1980, they sent home almost 40 million dollars, a sum which clearly equals the country's GNP -- an estimated 50 million dollars. Fishing remains an important part of the local economy,and various processing plants have opened with the help of western aid.
The underused Praia port is one of the gateways through which the aid flows. The island's precarious agricultural economy has been shattered by a 12-year drought that has turned Cape Verde into an offshore extension of the Sahara desert. Massive food aid, mainly from western donors, flows through this port. Grain is stored in these silos as part of a co-ordinated regional food policy.
For years, the interior of Santiago Island was a barren wilderness. With foreign aid, and ambitious afforestation scheme was begun. The aim was to plant a million trees a year, but much of the scheme failed in the drought. Various irrigation projects and water conservation schemes have been undertaken -- financed by western aid.
Bananas and vegetable crops are grown and are on sale in the markets. The government hopes that in time the country can grow more than the 10 per cent of its food needs that it now achieves.
Source: COLM FOY