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Title: Comparative Economic Development of São Tomé and Santiago de Cabo Verde: Lessons from the 16th Century
Authors: Garfield, Robert
Keywords: Santiago de Cabo Verde
São Tomé
Issue Date: Oct-2012
Publisher: Instituto Universitário de Lisboa (ISCTE-IUL), Centro de Estudos Africanos (CEA-IUL)
Abstract: The islands discovered by Portugal in the 15th and 16th Centuries had to be made economically productive in order to cover the cost of their discovery and occupation, and to support in general the Portuguese overseas voyages. Some of these islands, like Madéira or the Azores, were naturally productive; others, like Santiago in the Cape Verde Islands and São Tomé, needed a great deal of effort and investment if they were to be worth the trouble and expense of ruling them, and if they were to contribute to the wealth of Portugal. This paper compares the development of the two latter islands, one a tropical and fertile land which required huge amounts of labor to become economically valuable; the second a semi-desert whose development and economic worth was based largely on its location and on a modest attempt to produce items for passing ships. Both had to confront the fact of having no native population, and how to overcome this central disadvantage. It discusses the various schemes and plans to make the two islands valuable for the Portuguese Crown, especially in regards to an adequate labor supply. It notes how location, as well as ecology, effectively determine the ability of outsiders to make islands, especially, economically viable. Finally, it concludes with some comparative views on the applicability of these islands’ histories to present-day possibilities of economic development for equally small islands that generally lack a large natural resource base.
ISBN: 978-989-732-089-7
Appears in Collections:CEI-CLN – Autoria de capítulos de livros nacionais

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