Prime Minister José Maria Neves of Cape Verde, an island nation located off the coast of Senegal, encouraged Georgia firms to invest in his country’s airport infrastructure during a Sept. 10 visit to Atlanta.

He told GlobalFax during an interview that Cape Verde hopes to take advantage of its location along an important air traffic route from Europe, Latin America and parts of the United States into Africa to become a transportation hub for trans-Atlantic travel between the continents.

          Already, South African Airways stops over in Cape Verde on its return flight from Johannesburg to Atlanta, he said. 

          However, the airport, located on Sal Island in the northern Cape Verde archipelago, needs investment and expertise from foreign companies if it is to modernize and increase the number of stopover flights from Europe, Latin America and the U.S. into Africa, said Mr. Neves. 

          The Georgia Council for International Visitors, an Atlanta-based non-profit aimed at promoting relationships between Georgians and foreign visitors, arranged meetings for Mr. Neves with Hartsfield International Airport officials.

          He said he was most interested to hear about their experiences in developing the airport here as a domestic and international transportation hub.

          Mr. Neves also met with members of the 400-strong Cape Verdean community in Atlanta, which comprises a small percentage of the 400,000 Cape Verdeans living in the U.S.

          More Cape Verdeans live abroad than on the island itself, which has a population of 443,000.  Thus Cape Verde communities in such cities as Atlanta have an important role to play in fostering economic ties between the island and the U.S., he said.

          From Atlanta, Mr. Neves was headed to New York City to take part in the 57th annual session of the United Nations General Assembly.

          For additional information, contact the Cape Verdean embassy in Washington at (202) 965-6820 or visit