Cape Verdean West Association President, Barbara Andrade of Oakland with Camilo Andrade Goncalves (left), Mayor of Brava, Cape Verde. West Africa and Eugenio Veiga, Mayor of Fogo. Photo by Gene Hazzard.
Mayors from Cape Verde in West Africa, Camilo Gonçalves of Brava and Eugénio Veiga of Fogo, along with Deputy João Alves and interpreter Armindo Gonçalves, arrived in Oakland Nov.20, where they met with Mayor Ron Dellums.
The delegation was in the Bay Area was to meet with experts and establish relationships to create a more sustainable future in Cape Verde. They were seeking information about environmental and economic issues, private land investment, humanitarian causes, solar energy, education and jobs for youth, water development and conservation, community gardening and sustainable products for positive waste management.
Cape Verde was discovered and colonized by the Portuguese in the Fifteenth Century, gaining independence in 1975. The country has one of Africa’s most stable democratic governments, though repeated droughts during the second half of the Twentieth Century caused significant hardship and prompted heavy emigration, which created Diaspora communities in the U.S. and the world.
The issues were discussed at a forum hosted by Frederick Jordan of Frederick Jordan and Associates. Speakers and participants included William “Bill” Patterson, EBMUD Board of Directors; Richard Harris, EBMUD Manager of Water Conservation; Joshua Amaris, Oakland Parks and Recreation Community Gardening Manager; Ricardo Gomes, Chair/Professor of Design and Development at San Francisco State University; Richard Soyombo, Executive Director, Center for International Trade Development and Hattie Carwell, President, Northern California Council of Black Professional Engineers and Director of the Museum of African American Technology. Gerri Lange, author and broadcast journalist, was the panel moderator.