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Community of Portuguese Language Countries ( , (EP), (BP); abbreviated to CPLP) is the intergovernmental organization for friendship among lusophone (Portuguese-speaking) nations where Portuguese is an official language. The Portuguese-speaking countries are home to more than 223 million people located across the globe. The CPLP nations have a combined area of about .

The formation and member states

The CPLP was formed in 1996 with seven countries: Portugalmarker, Brazilmarker, the former colony in South America, and five former colonies in AfricaAngolamarker, Cape Verdemarker, Guinea-Bissaumarker, Mozambiquemarker, and São Tomé and Príncipemarker. East Timormarker joined the community in 2002 after gaining independence.

The CPLP is a bloc in the process of construction and the societies of the eight member nations have little knowledge of each other. One of the features of the CPLP is that its members are linked by a common language and shared cultural features, which form a bridge among countries separated by great distances and on different continents.

In 2005, during a meeting in Luandamarker, the ministers of culture of the eight countries declared the 5 May as the Lusophone Culture Day (Dia da Cultura Lusófona in Portuguese).

In July 2006, during the Bissaumarker summit, Equatorial Guineamarker and Mauritiusmarker were admitted as Associate Observers along with 17 International associations and organizations considered as Consultative Observers.

When the CPLP was formed, Equatorial Guineamarker asked for observer status. Equatorial Guineamarker was a Portuguese colony from the 15th to 18th centuries and has some territories where Portuguese-based creole languages are spoken and cultural connections with São Tomé and Príncipemarker and Portugalmarker are felt. Also, the country has recently cooperated with Portuguese-speaking African countries and Brazilmarker at an educational level. At the CPLP summit of July 2004, in São Tomé and Príncipemarker, the member states agreed to change the statutes of the community to accept states as associate observers. Equatorial Guinea is in discussion for full membership.

Mauritiusmarker, which was unknown to Europeans until the Portuguese sailed there and has strong connections with Mozambiquemarker, also obtained associate observer status in 2006.

In 2008, Senegalmarker, with historical connections to Portuguese colonisation in Casamancemarker, was admitted as Associate Observer.


Country Status Year joined Official language Continent Population
member 1996 Portuguese Europe 10,617,575
member 1996 Portuguese South America 186,757,608
member 1996 Portuguese Africa 15,941,000
member 1996 Portuguese Africa 21,397,000
member 1996 Portuguese Africa 499,796
member 1996 Portuguese Africa 1,586,000
member 1996 Portuguese Africa 157,000
member 2002 Portuguese and Tetum Asia 1,115,000
associate observer 2006 Spanish, French and Portuguese Africa 1,014,999
associate observer 2006 English Africa 1,264,866
associate observer 2008 French Africa 11,658,000

Officially interested countries and regions

Country/Region Interested Status Official language Continent Population Reference Possible date of discussion Notes
associate member Catalan Europe 71,822 [43470] 2010 - VIII CPLP Summit - Luandamarker More than 15% of Andorra's population is made of Portuguese expats
associate member Arabic Africa 33,757,175 [43471] 2010 - VIII CPLP Summit - Luandamarker Some areas of Morocco colonized by Portugal
associate member Filipino and English Asia 90,500,000 [43472] 2010 - VIII CPLP Summit - Luandamarker Historical ties to the expedition of Ferdinand Magellan
Venezuelamarker associate member Spanish South America 26,814,843 [43473] 2012 - IX CPLP Summit Ties with neighbouring Brazil
associate member Croatian Europe 4,453,500 [43474] 2012 - IX CPLP Summit ?
associate member Romanian Europe 22,246,862 [43475] 2012 - IX CPLP Summit ?
associate member Ukrainian Europe 46,372,700 [43476] 2012 - IX CPLP Summit ?
Indonesiamarker associate member Indonesian Asia 237,512,352 [43477] In negotiations Portugal was the major colonial power until Dutch hegemony
Galiciamarker associate member Galician and Spanish Europe 2,783,100 [43478] Pending Spanish Government approval Cultural and linguistic ties with Portugal
associate member Portuguese, Chinese (Cantonese) Asia 520,400 [43479] Pending Chinese Government approval Chinese territory formerly under Portuguese administration and a small minority population is Portuguese
Malaccamarker associate member Malay Asia 733,000 [43480] Pending Malaysian Government approval Portuguese colony for more than a century, small minority population of Portuguese descent
Goamarker associate member Konkani Asia 1,400,000 [43481] Pending Indian Government approval Former Portuguese colony


Summit Country City Year
I CPLP Summit Lisbonmarker 1996
II CPLP Summit Praiamarker 1998
III CPLP Summit Maputomarker 2000
IV CPLP Summit Brasiliamarker 2002
V CPLP Summit São Tomémarker 2004
VI CPLP Summit Bissaumarker 2006
VII CPLP Summit Lisbonmarker 2008
VIII CPLP Summit Luandamarker 2010

The importance of the CPLP

The Portuguese-speaking countries are home to more than 223 million people located across the globe but having cultural similarities and a shared history. The CPLP nations have a combined area of about , which is larger than Canadamarker.

Since its formation, the CPLP has helped to solve problems in São Tomé and Príncipe and in Guinea-Bissaumarker, because of coups d'état in those countries. These two problems were solved, and in fact, have helped these two countries to take economic reforms (in the case of São Tomé) and democratic ones (in the case of Guinea-Bissau).

The leaders of the CPLP believe that peace in Angolamarker and Mozambiquemarker as well as East Timor's independence will favour the further development of the CPLP and a strengthening of multilateral cooperation.

Since many children in rural areas of Lusophone Africa and East Timor are out-of-school youth, the education officials in these regions seek help from Portugal and Brazil to increase the education to spread Portuguese fluency (like establishing Instituto Camões language center branches in main cities and rural towns), as Portuguese is becoming one of the main languages in Southern Africa, where it is also taught in Namibiamarker and South Africa.

In many developing Portuguese-speaking nations, Portuguese is the language of government and commerce which means that Portuguese speaking people from African nations can work and communicate with others in different parts of the world, especially in Portugal and Brazil, where the economies are stronger. Many leaders of Portuguese-speaking nations in Africa are fearful that language standards do not meet the fluency required and are therefore making it compulsory in schools so that a higher degree of fluency is achieved and young Africans will be able to speak a world language that will help them later in life.

The CPLP system

The Organization’s Executive Secretariat is responsible for designing and implementing the CPLP's projects and initiatives. It is located in Lisbonmarker, Portugalmarker. The Executive Secretary has a two-year mandate, and can be re-elected only once.

The CPLP's guidelines and priorities are established by biannual Conference of Heads of State and the Organization’s plan of action is approved by the Council of Foreign Ministers, which meets every year.

There are also monthly meetings of the Permanent Steering Committee that follow specific initiatives and projects.

The CPLP is mainly financed by its eight member states.

The CPLP flag has now eight wings, not seven, to reflect East Timor's membership.

Executive secretaries

Name Took office Left office Country
Marcolino Moco 17 July 1996 July 2000 Angolamarker
Dulce Maria Pereira July 2000 1 August 2002 Brazilmarker
João Augusto de Médicis 1 August 2002 April 2004 Brazilmarker
Zeferino Martins (Interim) April 2004 July 2004 Mozambiquemarker
Luís de Matos Monteiro da Fonseca July 2004 July 2008 Cape Verdemarker
Domingos Simões Pereira 25 July 2008 Present Guinea-Bissaumarker

Main initiatives

  • CPLP's HIV-Aids Programme – designed to help the 5 African member states
  • Centre for the Development of Entrepreneurial Skills – being established in Luandamarker, Angolamarker
  • Centre for the Development of Public Administration – being established in Maputomarker, Mozambiquemarker
  • Centre for East-Timorese Official Languages
  • Conference on Malaria – to be held in São Tomé and Príncipemarker
  • Portuguese Language Census
  • Digital School and University
  • Electoral Mission to Guinea-Bissaumarker (East Timormarker’s President, the Nobel Prize laureate, José Ramos-Horta is CPLP's Representative to the Electoral Process)
  • Emergency Project for the Support of Institution Rebuilding in Guinea-Bissau
  • Rebuilding East Timor’s Justice and Public Administration
  • Combating Poverty and Starvation
  • "Felino" manoeuvres - annual combined manoeuvres of the Armed Forces of CPLP's countries
  • The CPLP Movie festival

See also


  1. CPLP Associate Observers in CPLP Official website

External links

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