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Trade mission to Boston's sister city Praia, Cabo Verde, announced

February 22, 2019

Mayor's Office

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Mayor's Office

The delegation from Boston will have meetings throughout the country focusing on fostering economic and cultural development between the two citites. 

Mayor Martin J. Walsh today announced he will lead a coalition comprised of City of Boston and Commonwealth of Massachusetts officials, and business and nonprofit leaders, and community stakeholders on a Boston-Cabo Verde Trade Mission to strengthen the City's partnership and sister-city agreement with Cabo Verde. The delegation will focus on ways to expand economic opportunities between Boston and Cabo Verde, while reinforcing the fundamental goals set in the sister-city agreement signed in 2015 between the City of Boston and City of Praia, the capital city of Cabo Verde, that calls for collaboration on education, health, arts and culture, business and trade, and public safety.

"This mission to Cabo Verde offers us an incredible opportunity to strengthen ties with the country where many Bostonians have their family roots, while showcasing the best of all Boston has to offer and unlocking new doors of opportunity," said Mayor Walsh. "It's important that as we continue to grow as a city, we look beyond our borders as part of our strategy for creating and sustaining equitable economic growth in the City of Boston."

From February 22 to February 28, 2019, the trade mission delegation will make stops on the islands of Fogo, Brava and Santiago, where Mayor Walsh and delegation participants will visit local schools, the main hospital, speak with various business organizations, and meet with top business and government leaders. These visits and meetings will focus on fostering economic and cultural development, expanding commercial and business activities, boosting the number of small and mid-sized enterprises, growing trade and jobs, improving health outcomes, and increasing educational opportunities.

"As the proud son of Cape Verdean immigrants and Boston's Cape Verdean community, I know first hand that having a strong working partnership with the City of Praia and Cabo Verde is beneficial to both of our Cities' residents, culture, economy, and quality of life," said John F. Barros, Chief of Economic Development. "Through our Sister City program we have exchanged best practices, fostered business relationships, and shared cultural experiences with cities around the world that help to strengthen Boston's diversity and economy."  

A portion of the trip will also include a learning journey organized by the Hyams Foundation and in consultation with Aminah Pilgrim, Professor of Africana Studies at the University of Massachusetts Boston. On Monday, February 25, delegation members will travel to Cidade Velha, Historic Centre of Ribeira Grande and a UNESCO World Heritage Site, which was the first European colonial town to be built in the tropics, a center in the routes for international maritime trade, included in the routes between Africa and the Cape, Brazil and the Caribbean, and a strategic location for the Atlantic trade of enslaved persons of modern times.

"I am grateful to Mayor Walsh for this collaboration and learning opportunity. Boston has a rich and diverse community, and exploring our cultural ties in Africa and Cabo Verde will help us inform and continue the progress made through our race dialogues in order to ensure a more inclusive City," said Hyams Foundation Executive Director Dr. Jocelyn V. Sargent.

Greater Boston is proud to be the home of over 40,000 Cape Verdean residents. According to the American Community Survey from 2014, one of every five Cape Verdeans in the United States lives in Boston. Overall, Cape Verdeans in Boston constitute 4.4 percent of the city's total foreign-born residents, and Cape Verdean Creole is in the top five languages other than English spoken in Boston.

Recognizing the significance of this population in Boston, the City of Boston signed a Sister City Agreement with Praia, Cabo Verde in 2015 to foster economic, social and cultural exchange between these two cities. One of the goals of the Sister City Agreement is to develop strategies to expand commercial activities between Praia, Cabo Verde and Boston with an aim to increase the number of small and mid-sized enterprises, grow the volume of imports and exports, and create jobs to boost the economies in the City of Praia and the City of Boston.

Key delegation participants include:

  • Mayor Martin J. Walsh
  • John Barros, Chief of Economic Development, City of Boston
  • Danielson Tavares, Chief of Diversity, City of Boston
  • Joe Finn, Commissioner, Boston Fire Department
  • Alvaro Lima, Director of Research, Boston Planning & Development Agency
  • State Senator Vinny DeMacedo, Commonwealth of Massachusetts
  • State Representative Liz Miranda, Commonwealth of Massachusetts
  • Nam Pham, Assistant Secretary of Business Development and International Trade, Commonwealth of Massachusetts
  • Representatives from Berklee College of Music
  • Jocelyn Sargent, Hyams Foundation
  • John Cruz, Cruz Construction
  • Dr. Jean-Jacques Alves, Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center