Cabo Verde: CPLP should not be just a space for meetings, forums – minister

Cabo Verde’s government has said it expected “the same spirit” and “the same will” in mobility agreements in the Community of Portuguese Language Countries (CPLP), which it does not want to be a space for meetings and forums.

“Mobility agreements only make sense if all states have the same spirit, with the same will to effectively be a space,” said the minister of state for the family, inclusion and social development, Fernando Elísio Freire, in his speech at the opening, in Praia, of the 10th Meeting of Writers of Portuguese Language.

The minister, representing the prime minister, Ulisses Correia e Silva, who was initially scheduled in the programme, also expressed the will to continue working so that the Portuguese-Language community is a space that makes everyone proud, putting into practice the mobility agreement, launched by Cabo Verde during its presidency of the CPLP (2018-2021) and approved just over a year ago in Luanda.

“[The CPLP] cannot be a space of meetings, of forums, of encounters, if outside, if on a day-to-day basis the citizens do not feel that it is worth building a universal space,” warned the minister, for whom the men of culture have a responsibility to make everyone continue to dream of this universal space.

“Make us continue to dream, within our insularity, with our universality,” he stressed, in reference to the theme of this year’s meeting, which is “Insularity and Universality in Literature.

Eight of the nine CPLP member states have already completed their ratification process of the mobility agreement and Cabo Verde and Portugal have already approved changes to internal laws to allow for its implementation.

“When we sign an agreement, our spirit has to be in accordance with our signature. I hope that all member states of the CPLP have the same spirit that Cabo Verde has at the moment, which is full compliance with the agreements,” Freire insisted.

As well as Cabo Verde and Portugal, the CPLP also includes Brazil, Timor-Leste, Guinea-Bissau, Equatorial Guinea, Sao Tome and Principe, Angola and Mozambique.

The Meeting of Portuguese Language Writers, which brings together 25 writers and poets from several Portuguese-speaking countries, in person and by videoconference, is an initiative of the Union of Portuguese Speaking Capital Cities (UCCLA) and the City Hall of Praia (CMP), in partnership with the Mobility and Parking Company of Praia (EMEP), the Cabo Verde Academy of Letters (ACL) and the Cabo Verde Authors Society (SOCA).

The secretary general of the UCCLA, Victor Ramalho, stressed that this is a special edition, as it is a resumption after the halt in the last two years because of the Covid-19 pandemic, although he indicated that in this period the 55 member cities of the organization tried to maintain a close relationship, and several books were published.

The same official assured that the next meeting should continue to be held in the city of Praia, which became its headquarters under an agreement with the local municipality.

In his turn, the Mayor of Praia, Francisco Carvalho, stressed the fact that the meeting is once again being held in the Cabo Verde capital, which is in a phase of recovery, and the contribution it has made to the promotion of the municipality and city of Praia.

Also as part of the event, which will take place over the next three days, there will be other activities such as visits to schools, book fair, presentation of magazines and books and gatherings.

After the opening session, the books of two of the winners of the 2022 UCCLA literary revelation award were presented, namely “Caligrafia”, (poetry text), by Alexandre Siloto Assine, and “Três Dias em Fevereiro”, a novel by Ricardo Ferreira de Almeida.

During the three days, other themes will be approached, such as Literature and Society – Inclusion and Heritage, Feminine Voices in Literature, Policies and Themes of Lusophone Contemporary Literature and Processes of Literary Creation and Publishing.