Community of Portuguese Language Countries

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Comunidade dos Países de Língua Portuguesa
(Community of Portuguese Language Countries)
A cylindrical projection of the world, highlighting the member states of the CPLC (red)
A cylindrical projection of the world, highlighting the member states of the CPLC (red)
Headquarters Palace of the Counts of Penafiel
Lisbon, Portugal

38°42.65′N 9°8.05′W / 38.71083°N 9.13417°W / 38.71083; -9.13417
Official language Portuguese
 -  Executive Secretary Mozambique Murade Isaac Murargy
 -  Summit Presidency  Mozambique
 -  estimate ~ 240 million

The Community of Portuguese Language Countries or Community of Portuguese-Speaking Countries[1] (Portuguese: Comunidade dos Países de Língua Portuguesa, pronounced: [kumuniˈðaðɨ ðuʃ pɐˈizɨʒ ðɨ ˈɫĩɡwɐ puɾtuˈɣezɐ] (EP), [komuɲiˈdadi/komuɲiˈdadʒi dus pɐˈiziʒ di/dʒi ˈɫĩɡwɐ poʁtuˈɡezɐ/puʁtuˈɡezɐ] (BP); abbreviated as CPLP) is the intergovernmental organization for friendship among lusophone (Portuguese-speaking) nations, where Portuguese is an official language.

Formation and member states[edit]

The CPLP was formed on July 17, 1996 with seven countries: Portugal, Brazil, Angola, Cape Verde, Guinea-Bissau, Mozambique, and São Tomé and Príncipe. East Timor 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 Luanda, 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 Bissau summit, Equatorial Guinea and Mauritius were admitted as Associate Observers[2] along with 17 International associations and organizations considered as Consultative Observers.

When the CPLP was formed, Equatorial Guinea asked for observer status. Equatorial Guinea (Portuguese: Guiné Equatorial) 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 Príncipe and Portugal are felt. Also, the country has recently cooperated with Portuguese-speaking African countries and Brazil at an educational level. At the CPLP summit of July 2004, in São Tomé and Príncipe, 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.[3] In June 2010, Equatorial Guinea asked to be admitted as full member. At its 8th summit in Luanda in July 2010, the CPLP decided to open formal negotiations with Equatorial Guinea about full membership in the CPLP.[4]

Mauritius, which was unknown to Europeans until the Portuguese sailed there and has strong connections with Mozambique, also obtained associate observer status in 2006. In 2008, Senegal, with historical connections to Portuguese colonisation in Casamance, was admitted as Associate Observer.[5] On May 4 2014, Japan positioned itself as an official observer.[6]


Summit Host country Host city Year
I  Portugal Lisbon 1996
II  Cape Verde Praia 1998
III  Mozambique Maputo 2000
IV  Brazil Brasília 2002
V  São Tomé and Príncipe São Tomé 2004
VI  Guinea-Bissau Bissau 2006
VII  Portugal Lisbon 2008
VIII  Angola Luanda 2010
IX  Mozambique Maputo 2012
X  Brazil Manaus 2014


The Portuguese-speaking countries are home to more than 240 million people located across the globe but having cultural similarities and a shared history. The CPLP nations have a combined area of about 10,742,000 square kilometres (4,148,000 sq mi), which is larger than Canada.

Since its formation, the CPLP has helped to solve problems in São Tomé and Príncipe and in Guinea-Bissau, 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 Angola and Mozambique as well as East Timor's independence favors 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 Namibia 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.

Angola has not yet signed the most recent accord on the orthography of the Portuguese language, and has asked other PALOP countries to support it in discussions on various points of that accord with Portugal.[7]


The Organization’s Executive Secretariat is responsible for designing and implementing the CPLP's projects and initiatives. It is located in Lisbon, Portugal. The Executive Secretary has a two-year mandate, and can be 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 now has 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 Angola
Dulce Maria Pereira July 2000 1 August 2002 Brazil
João Augusto de Médicis 1 August 2002 April 2004 Brazil
Zeferino Martins (interim) April 2004 July 2004 Mozambique
Luís de Matos Monteiro da Fonseca July 2004 July 2008 Cape Verde
Domingos Simões Pereira 25 July 2008 20 July 2012 Guinea-Bissau
Murade Isaac Miguigy Murargy 20 July 2012 present Mozambique

Main initiatives[edit]

  • CPLP's HIV-Aids Programme, designed to help the 5 African member states.
  • Centre for the Development of Entrepreneurial Skills (Luanda, Angola).
  • Centre for the Development of Public Administration (Maputo, Mozambique).
  • Centre for East-Timorese Official Languages.
  • Conference on Malaria, to be held in São Tomé and Príncipe.
  • Portuguese Language Census.
  • Digital School and University.
  • Electoral Mission to Guinea-Bissau (East Timor’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 Exercise, an annual combined exercise of the Armed Forces of CPLP's countries.
  • The CPLP Movie Festival.

Consultative observers[edit]

Besides Associate Observer states, the CPLP also engages civil society organizations as Consultative Observers from various CPLP and non-CPLP countries (Spain and China), as well as pan-Lusophone bodies.[8]

Country Consultative observers
  • Fundação Agostinho Neto
  • Fundação Eduardo dos Santos
 Cape Verde
  • Fundação Amílcar Cabral
Flag of Galicia.svg Galicia
  • Instituto Internacional de Macau
 São Tomé and Príncipe
  • Fundação Novo Futuro


Map of the Community of Portuguese Language Countries.

Macau accession[edit]

Macau was the last Portuguese overseas territory to be decolonized, and returned to China in 1999. However, it still retains traces of Portuguese culture and Portuguese is an official language of the territory. The request for obtaining the status of "Observer Member" has not yet been made by the Government of Macao Special Administrative Region (SAR), however in 2006, during the II Ministerial Meeting between China and Portuguese Speaking Countries, the Executive Secretary CPLP Deputy ambassador Tadeu Soares, representing the CPLP sent an invitation to the Chief Executive, Edmund Ho Hau Wa, to the MSAR become Associate Observer of the Organization.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Republic of Mauritius. Prime Minister's Office. Cabinet Decisions taken on 21 July 2006,
  2. ^ CPLP Associate Observers in CPLP Official website
  3. ^ CPLP discusses Equatorial Guinea's membership - People's Daily Online. (2008-07-26). Retrieved on 2013-08-09.
  4. ^ "Nota informativa: Missão da CPLP à Guiné Equatorial". CPLP. 3 May 2011. Retrieved 27 March 2012. 
  5. ^ Comunidade dos Países de Língua Portuguesa - Observadores Associados. CPLP. Retrieved on 2013-08-09.
  6. ^
  7. ^ "PALOP reunem-se à margem da 20ª Cimeira do Conselho Executivo" [PALOP countries meet at the 20th summit of the UA executive] (in Portuguese). Angop. 28 January 2012. Retrieved 27 March 2012. 
  8. ^ Comunidade dos Países de Língua Portuguesa. "Lista completa dos Observadores Consultivos" (in Portuguese). Retrieved 20 February 2010. 

External links[edit]