The World Today for October 15, 2021


A Working Democracy


The people of Cape Verde work hard to improve their country.

Some have formed citizens groups to document illegal fishing and preserve the legacy of the sea for their children, as the Guardian wrote. Others have set up boxing programs for impoverished children who might otherwise turn to crime and violence on the country’s streets, as Deutsche Welle reported in a remarkable video. Volunteers band together to protect endangered sea turtles.

“It’s incredible. It’s a feeling of duty done because we spend 60 days here, 45 days preserving a nest, waiting for it to hatch,” University of Cape Verde student Lusa Rafaela Tavares told Africanews. “It is an enormous satisfaction when we manage to put those little turtles to the sea.”

An archipelago of islands off the coast of Senegal in West Africa, Cape Verde is expected to conduct a well-run presidential election on Oct. 17, as strategic communication consultant Paul Ejime wrote in Global News Network Liberia. Freedom House agrees, ranking the country high on its index of civil rights and other criteria that affect liberty.

The two frontrunners in the race are Carlos Veiga of the ruling Movement for Democracy and José Maria Neves of the opposition African Party for the Independence of Cape Verde, explained Global Voices. Both are former prime ministers. Neves is campaigning on a platform of social justice and change while Veiga is appealing to unity in the face of the pandemic.

Prime Minister José Ulisses Correia e Silva and his Movement for Democracy won parliamentary elections earlier this year, giving him a second term in power, despite critics who said he could have handled the coronavirus pandemic and a controversial extradition case involving Venezuela and the US better.

The country’s tourism-dependent economy shrank 14 percent in 2020, Al Jazeera reported, citing the International Monetary Fund. It was expected to bounce only halfway back this year. Tourism officials now see the industry gaining momentum, however, as the worst of the pandemic appears to have faded in Europe, noted Macau Business.

Correia e Silva couldn’t have necessarily done much to prevent the country’s overreliance on tourism, the World Bank concluded. He and future leaders could push to develop other sources of commercial activity that would help ordinary Cape Verdeans rather than the owners of seaside resorts and other mega projects that soak up investment in the country, the report added.

If they follow the lead of their people, either Veiga or Neves will do just fine.

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