Cape Verde has decided to re-name its Praia International Airport after South Africa’s former president Nelson Mandela, an icon for freedom in Africa, a government statement said on Monday.
The decision is a homage to Mandela, who on February 11 marks 22 years since he was released from prison, where he spent 27 years for his struggle against apartheid.
The Cape Verdean government said in the statement that Mandela was “an uncontested icon of the struggle for freedom and dignity in Africa” who had dedicated his life to defending these values.
“Giving Nelson Mandela’s name to the capital’s airport is a gesture to underline the calling of a Cape Verdean nation which is open to the world and historically linked to mixed-race people and dialogue between cultures.”
Praia said in the statement it hopes the decision will encourage youths to take an interest in the continent’s history, in particular “the fall of the abominable apartheid regime”.
The island nation said the decision also marked an important step in bilateral relations with South Africa. — AFP