Government has “two major challenges” ahead of it: TACV and Electra 22 March 2012
Prime Minister José Maria Neves admits that “major restructuring” is needed at TACV Cabo Verde Airlines so that the country’s flagship carrier can be made attractive for privatization. The same will have to take place at water and electricity utility Electra in order to it to provide a “good service to the country.” These two major challenges were voiced on the day in which the government presiding over Cape Verde’s eighth legislature marked the first anniversary of its swearing in, on March 21.
The past 365 days have been ones of “many challenges.” The list of projects being undertaken is long, but, one year later, “the pieces of the puzzle are beginning to come together.” “The country’s transformation agenda is under way,” according to the Prime Minister. Various different clusters have begun to take shape on the horizon, dams are beginning to be built, and Cape Verde is increasingly a country of opportunities.
Even so, José Maria Neves admits that the country “still has major challenges, which hamper Cape Verde’s development process, specifically in the realm of water, sanitation, electricity and inter-island sea transportation.”
The country’s challenges “are not limited to TACV and Electra,” according to the Prime Minister, although he admits they are “the two biggest ones.” “Over the course of the next four years, we have to definitely resolve the issue of TACV and Electra, modernizing the two companies and carrying out wide-reaching engineering aimed at their privatization.”
For TACV, José Maria Neves announces that the government is looking for “a strategic partner” that can carry out “a major capital injection” in the company. Indeed, according to the Prime Minister, “TACV has a future and could be a company of reference in this region.” The future “ally” could be an existing airline or another type of enterprise.
The problems facing Electra, “in which huge investments have already been made,” also must be resolved by the end of the current legislature. “We’re evolving with the production of conventional and renewable energy, and here out objectives are very ambitious.” However, he warns that “everyone will have to pay for the services received, given that enormous debts” have accumulated at the electricity and water utility.
“Just the debts owed by the Praia municipal chamber, public and private companies and ordinary citizens amounts to some 760 million escudos. In Praia alone, the debts related to public lighting amount o 860 million escudos. We can’t demand public lighting and the immediate repair of technical problems when people steal electricity and don’t respect the commitments they’ve made with the company,” said the head of government.
Despite all of this, however, Cape Verde “is fulfilling the transformation agenda proposed by the government,” according to Neves.
“Cape Verde is gradually converging to modernity and to a more inclusive, just and prosperous nation with more opportunities and possibilities for people. We have to continue to work so that everyone can share in this prosperity, and our only limit is our determination, will and selflessness in continuing to work to serve the common good,” said the Prime Minister.