São Tomé and Príncipe will be the first Portuguese-speaking African country to benefit from investment in private tourism projects under a memorandum of understanding signed on Wednesday in Lisbon, Portugal.
The memorandum, signed by the International Finance Corporation (IFC) and Sofid – Sociedade para o Financiamento do Desenvolvimento, commits the signatory parties to analyse private sector investment opportunities for tourism projects in Portuguese-speaking African countries, with an initial focus on São Tomé and Príncipe.
The statement issued in Lisbon by the World Bank’s private sector institution said that the memorandum is related to the internationalisation of the Revive programme for Portuguese-speaking African countries, launched by the Portuguese government to promote the restoration of Portuguese public heritage, with cultural, historical and architectural interest and allow its use for tourism activities.
Sofid’s president, Marta Mariz, recalled that the development finance institution supports several tourism-related projects and added, “we believe in the impact of this sector, particularly on job creation and the local supply chain.”
IFC Vice President for Africa and the Middle East, Sergio Pimenta, underlined the “closer relationship with Sofid to support private investment in emerging markets,” and stressed that “tourism can have a major impact on developing countries, as the second largest job-creating sector and providing significant tax contributions.”