“The executive recently decided to grant São Tomean citizenship to all Cape Verdean citizens who, upon independence on July 12, 1975, were residing in the country and who do not yet have São Tomean nationality,” affirmed Agostinho Fernandes, the country’s Minister of Planning and International Cooperation.
“This is a process that will be carried out over the course of the year and that will allow all of those who are interested in obtaining São Tomean citizenship to do so without any additional costs,” added the São Tomean cabinet minister, who added that the issue had already been discussed with Cape Verdean Prime Minister José Maria Neves.
In a communiqué, the Cape Verdean government explains that in recent months “the two governments have sought to revamp and reinforce ties of cooperation in the most varied areas, with a special emphasis on the computerization of the Social Security System and the supply of medication.”
In 2012, some 500 of approximately 2,000 “stateless” individuals of Cape Verdean descent residing in São Tomé and Príncipe were given Cape Verdean passports, a process led by the Directorate General of Registries, Notaries and Identification.
The citizens who traveled from Cape Verde to São Tomé and Príncipe during the Portuguese colonial period as indentured workers on coffee and cacao plantations are the origin of the sizeable Cape Verdean community residing there.