Image Gallery


WAI Publications


NL Capa


WAI Strategic Plan 2016 2020 Accepted Final s1



The Ambassador of the Russian Federation receives the Director General of WAI, July 19, 2019

3843 050 EED10137 Map Russia


Responding to the kind invitation of the Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of the Russian Federation in Cabo Verde, His Excellency Vladimir G. Sokolenko, the Director General of the West Africa Institute (WAI) paid a visit at the Embassy of the Russian Federation, July 19, 2019. Prof. Djénéba Traoré, was accompanied by Mr. Renato Frederico, Deputy Administrative Assistant at WAI.

The Ambassador of the Russian Federation began by reminding the official homage paid by the Government of the Republic of Cabo Verde to the National Hero and presented the painted portrait of Amílcar Cabral, as well as the copy of the Doctor Honoris Causa Diploma that the Scientific Council of the Institute of Africa of the Academy of Sciences of the former Union of Soviet and Socialist Republics (USSR) awarded him on December 22, 1972.

Amílcar Cabral's life was brief, but very intense. The convinced Panafricanist, whose actions continue to show an enormous impact on the current generations, was born in 1924 in Bafatá, in Portuguese Guinea. His father, Juvenal Cabral and his mother Iva Pinhel Évora were from the Islands of Cabo Verde.

Educated in Lisbon, Cabral was a founding member of the Centre of African Studies, established in 1948. In 1956, he was responsible for the creation of the African Party for the Independence of Guinea and Cabo Verde (PAIGC). Together with Agostinho Neto (1922-1979) who led  the guerillas of the Popular Liberation Movement of Angola (MPLA) and, after independence, became the first President of the Republic (1975-1979).

Amílcar Cabral and Agostinho Neto started the war against the Portuguese colonial power  in the military and in the political field, with the establishment of the National Assembly of the People in Guinea. 

The assassination of Amílcar Cabral in Conakry on 20 January 1973 has caused a deep trauma in Africa and in the entire world. 

After struggling for more than a year to get a scholarship, Cabral moved to Lisbon in 1945. Because of the harsh economic realities of Cabo Verde, he chose to study agricultural engineering at the Higher Institute for Agronomy.

In Lisbon, Cabral and other African students, including Vasco Cabral, Agostinho Neto and Mário de Andrade, formed cultural associations in which they discussed their homeland. Cabral and his comrades from Cabo Verde, Guinea-Bissau, Angola and Mozambique continued to write creative texts, reaffirming the beauty and vitality of their African cultures. These students, like some of their contemporaries in the French colonies in Paris, also questioned assimilation policies and spoke of the need for political change.

When Amilcar Cabral completed his training as an agronomist in 1951 he felt obliged to use his skills in the African continent. Thus, he returned to Guinea-Bissau in 1952 with a contract from the Department of Agricultural and Forestry Services. Cabral's decision to leave for Guinea-Bissau rather than to remain in Portugal or go to another colony reflected his desire to begin helping his people prepare for their struggle against colonial rule. In 1953 and 1954 he conducted an agricultural survey on census of the colony and visited many places of Guinea-Bissau, using the opportunity of a survey in order to talk with peasants about their economic activities, their problems as agriculturalists, and their histories and cultures. He analyzed the country's soils and crops and offered suggestions about how to improve the economic situation in the country. Cabral took the opportunity to learn from the people themselves what colonial exploitation meant. The knowledge he gained from this intimate contact with peasants helped him later when the armed struggle against Portuguese colonialism took place.

Cabral's strategic vision and his ability to formulate a theory of liberation have made him an outstanding statesman. His contribution to the war of national liberation and to the independence of Guinea-Bissau and Cabo Verde was decisive for the successful completion of the process. In addition, his writings continue to provide a framework for reflection to understand colonialism and decolonization in the Third World in general.

Amílcar Cabral main publications are: "Unity and Struggle" (1980), "Revolution in Guinea" (London, 1969), and "Return to the Sources" (1973). 

Basil Davidson's "No Fist Is Big Enough To Hide the Sky: The Liberation of Guinea and Cape Verde" (London, 1981) provides an excellent account of the war and Cabral's role in it. 

Two biographies on Cabral are also extremely useful: Mário de Andrade's "Amílcar Cabral - Essai de Biographie Politique" (Paris, 1980) and Patrick Chabal's "Amílcar Cabral - Revolutionary Leadership and People's War" (1983). 

The second theme focused on the Russian Federation.

250px Coat of Arms of the Russian Federation1280px Flag of Russia.svg Russia Flag












The Russian Federation, better known as Russia, is located partly in eastern Europe and partly in northern Asia, to the north at the edge of the Arctic Ocean. Russia, the largest nation in the world, is situated on the border between Europe and Asia,  and between the Pacific and Arctic oceans. Its alternative landscapes enclose the tundra to the subtropical beaches through the forest. The country is famous for the Bolshoi ballet companies in Moscow and the Mariinsky in St. Petersburg. Founded by the Russian Tsar Peter the Great, the city of St. Petersburg has a Baroque winter palace, which now hosts part of the collections of the Hermitage Museum.

Area : 17.1 million km² 

Capital City : Moscow

Currency: Russian Ruble 

President: Vladimir Putin 

Continent : Europe, Asie

The Russian Federation was born in 1991 with the disappearance of the USSR. It had to be then be invented as a multi-ethnic nation-state, a task that is all the more difficult because the country has been at the head of a vast empire throughout its history and its population has suffered the impact of perestroika.

In a short time, the Russian society had to achieve a path that had been the fruit of a centuries-old ripening in other countries . Notwithstanding, the main challenges have been overcome and the Russian Federation is today one of the world's top ten economic powers.

The third theme addressed during the meeting was focused on the research conducted by the West Africa Institute (WAI). Referring to the membership of the Russian Federation in the BRICS Group (Brazil, Russia, India, China, South Africa), the Ambassador stressed the importance of Africa for his State which wishes to strengthen its cooperation with the continent that offers a lot of opportunities for economic development.

On this note of hope, the exchanges, started at 11:15, ended at 12:45.

IMG 2415

Copyright © 2012 WAI - West Africa Institute. All Rights Reserved - Designed and developed by: NOSi.