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Praia, Capo VerdePraia is both the largest city and the capital - since 1769 - of the Capo Verde Republic. It’s also capital of the homonymous county and is situated on Santiago Island, which is part of the Sotavento archipelago. The name "Praia" means "beach" in Portuguese and in several of Capo Verde’s Creole languages. The city’s population totals 113,664 inhabitants and the urban area extends over an area of 268 Km². The Capo Verde archipelago, comprising 10 islands and some uninhabited islets, lies in the tropical section of the northern Atlantic, roughly 500 Km from Senegal.

The Portuguese settled the city in 1612 because, thanks to its geographical location, it offered a secure landing stage for the ships of merchants by ensuring protection from pirate raids.

The city centre lies on a small plateau and this is why it’s referred to as Platô. Since 1975 the city has been witness of a continuing urban expansion that has been internationally acknowledged. Indeed, UNESCO contributed to the renovation work carried out in Platô. In the suburban barrios, which are often spontaneous, there are issues concerning services and infrastructures at stake.

Praia is the country’s main commercial, touristic and harbour pole. Indeed its harbour is a crucial point for Capo Verde’s economy, in particular for exporting coffee, sugar cane and tropical fruit. Finally, all major broadcasting television and radio stations of the country have headquarters in Praia .



The City of Torino has undersigned an International Cooperation Agreement with the City of Praia for reasons which can be summarised in the following points:

  • significant presence of Turinese and Piedmontese subjects in the city of Praia and in Capo Verde;
  • intention to coordinate with regional cooperation policies for Western Africa;
  • considerable attention shown by both the culture and the Italian population of the Capo Verde area.

Therefore, the City of Turin and the Praia Municipality decided to institutionalize the pre-existing solidarity process: during December 2003 the City of Turin undersigned two Cooperation Agreements with the City of Praia, approved on May 25th 2004 by a Council Deliberation: the “Cooperation Protocol” and the “Specific Protocol for the Tira-Chapeu neighbourhood”.

On August 3rd 2004 the City Council approved the draft agreement protocol with A.N.C.I. (National Association of Italian Councils) and Praia Municipality to coordinate the implementation of an integrated project in the Tira Chapeu neighbourhood. These agreements have a twofold innovative meaning: political and technical.

On the one hand, it’s significant from a political point of view that a city of the South, which usually benefits from development projects designed by the beneficiaries from the North of the world, has here taken on the responsibility of international cooperation fully and equally. In fact, it has chosen to invest corresponding resources from its own budget in the projects supported by the City of Turin.

Secondly, from a high administration perspective, it is significant to have identified a procedure facilitating interventions by Italian cities that intend to operate in partnership in Praia, thanks to A.N.C.I.’s coordination and financial backing.

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