Cape Verde Description of Work:
Pires completed his elementary and secondary education respectively at S. Filipe, Praia and S.Vicente.
In 1956 he left to Portugal to attend Lisbon University of Sciences.
However, before concluding his degree, he was called to serve in the
Portuguese Air Force as an officer.
Pires youth is marked by hard memories of the famine that desolated
the Islands of Cape Verde in 1943 and 1947. These contributed to
reinforce his patriotism and the notion of an urgent need to eliminate
the colonial domination in Cape Verde.
In June 1961, together with a group of African youth, he decided to
clandestinely leave Portugal to join the African Party for Independence
of Guinea and Cape Verde (PAIGC), which was led by Amilcar Cabral.
From 1962 to 1965 he worked in Senegal and in France mobilizing
Capeverdean patriots for the armed struggle, and at the same time
keeping the link with the secret PAIGC cells in Cape Verde.
From 1965 to 1968 Pires led the first cell of Capeverdean combatants
who received military training with the goal of developing an armed
struggle in Cape Verde. At the end of this military training this group
was sent to the bushes of Guinea-Bissau, since the Party decided that
there were no more conditions for an armed struggle in Cape Verde. From 1968 to 1974, he achieved high responsibilities in the political
and military arena as a Commander of a Military Region in Guinea-Bissau.
In 1973 he was chosen to chair The National Commission of the PAIGC for
Cape Verde. With the proclamation of Independence of Guinea-Bissau in
1973, he was nominated as Assistant Minister for the Defense of the
Republic of Guinea-Bissau.
After the reestablishment of democracy in Portugal in April 1974, Pires
led the PAIGC delegation that negotiated with the Portuguese
government, the recognition of Guinea Bissau as an independent State.
This culminated with the Argels Agreement in August of the same year.
In October 1974, Pires returned to Cape Verde to lead the Capeverdean
branch of PAIGC. Under his leadership, the Party made great advances
towards the independence.
In December 1974, as the head of the PAIGC delegation, Mr. Pires
negotiated and signed with the Portuguese Government the political
transition, which led to national independence of Cape Verde on July
In June 1974 Pires was elected member of the Parliament of Cape Verde
and designated on July 6, 1975 as the first Prime Minister of the
independent nation of Cape Verde.
In 1981 Pires played a key role in the political process, which led to
the separation of the Capeverdean Branch of PAIGC, forming the African
Party for Independence of Cape Verde (PAICV). He was then elected
Assistant Secretary General of PAICV.
HE Pedro Verona Rodrigues Pires (At a Glance)
Interests: Politique, Education, Sport
Place of Origin: Cape Verde
During three consecutive mandates, the Governments headed by Pires
conducted a pragmatic and ponderous politic with the goal of building
an organized, efficient and credible State. To solve the countrys
serious problems and urgent needs, and at the same time to launch the
infrastructure for development, many programs were conceived and
implemented in various sectors. In the late 1980s, measures to
liberalize the national economy were implemented to foster investment
of the national savings and to attract external investments.
Among other achievements, the executives headed by Pires, were able in
12 years, 1976-1988, despite starting from a situation of extreme
poverty and lack of resources, to increase the National Production by
2.5 times and duplicated the per capita production. The Gross Domestic
Product (GDP) increased from $260.00 to $816.00. The country saw
substantial improvements in health, education, and alphabetization.
These translated in one of the greatest index of Human Development in
Africa and a significant improvement in the quality of life and defense
of the environment.
In the international arena, Pires Government built an useful State and
played an important role in the process of negotiations that led to the
independence of Namibia, and the evacuation of the Cuban and South
African military presence in Angola.
In February of 1990, envisioning the need for a radical change in the
political system, Pires led the process of introducing the multi-party
system in Cape Verde.
In January 1991 his Government organize the first multi-party elections
in Cape Verde. His Party, the PAICV, lost the elections and Pires was
elected Member of Parliament for Praia. In the same year, he was
reconfirmed leader of the PAICV and the Chief of the opposition.
In 1993, he left the partys leadership, but in September of 1997 he
returned to lead the party until mid 2000 when his Party won the local
elections. With this new victory, Pires decided to leave the direction
of the Party and a new generation of leaders took the lead. In
September 2000, he announced his candidature to the Presidency of the
Republic of Cape Verde. He was elected President on February 25, 2001.
He is the third President of the Republic of Cape Verde.
HE Pedro Verona Rodrigues Pires is married to Adelcia Barreto Pires, and they have two daughters, Sara and Indira Pires.
President Pedro Pires is the recipient of the following accolades:
Ordem Amílcar Cabral of Cabo Verde,
Medalha Amílcar Cabral of Guinea-Bissau
Ordem do Leão of Senegal
Ordem Infante D. Henrique of Portugal.