The government of São Tomé and Príncipe signed an agreement known as the Lusophone Compact with the African Development Bank and Portugal, which aims to support development projects, during a ceremony held on Thursday in São Tomé.
The document was signed by the Minister of Finance, Osvaldo Vaz, the representative of the banking institution, Joseph Ribeiro and the Portuguese ambassador in São Tomé and Príncipe, Luís Gaspar da Silva.
Joseph Ribeiro said the deal gives access to financing from the African Development Bank, combined with guarantees from Portugal’s development finance agency Sociedade para o Financiamento do Desenvolvimento.
The bank’s representative said the funding was aimed at “providing inter-regional trade, accelerating industrialisation, creating more jobs, attracting foreign direct investment, and creating opportunities for small and medium enterprises.”
Calling on investors and companies operating in the archipelago to strengthen their projects under this agreement, the Portuguese ambassador said that the agreement aims to “promote economic growth and, consequently, contribute to the improvement of the population’s living conditions.”
In addition to considering it “a moment of significant importance” by launching a challenge to the private sector, São Tomé and Princípe’s Finance Minister Osvaldo Vaz said that “an opportunity emerges to diversify the economy, create employment and improve collective well-being.”
São Tomé and Príncipe follows Mozambique, Cabo Verde, Angola and Guinea-Bissau which have already signed this Compact agreed in 2017 between the African Development Bank and Portugal, which prioritises renewable energy, water supply, agri-business, sanitation, infrastructure and tourism. (Macauhub)