José Maria Neves

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José Maria Neves
Jm neves.jpg
Prime Minister of Cape Verde
In office
1 February 2001 – 22 April 2016
President António Mascarenhas Monteiro
Pedro Pires
Jorge Carlos Fonseca
Preceded by Gualberto do Rosário
Succeeded by Ulisses Correia e Silva
Personal details
Born José Maria Pereira Neves
(1960-03-28) 28 March 1960 (age 58)
Santa Catarina, Cape Verde
Political party African Party for the Independence of Cape Verde
Alma mater Getúlio Vargas Foundation

José Maria Pereira Neves (Portuguese pronunciation: [ʒuˈzɛ mɐˈɾiɐ pɨˈɾejɾɐ ˈnɛvɨʃ]; born March 28, 1960) is a Cape Verdean politician who was Prime Minister of Cape Verde from 2001 to 2016. He is a member of the African Party for the Independence of Cape Verde (PAICV).


Born on the island of Santiago,[1]“José Maria Neves became interested in the politics and government of Cape Verde as a teen-ager.”[2] “He was the leader of a nationalist youth organization during the country’s transition from Portuguese rule to independence and democracy in 1975.” [3] Part of his superior education was in the Getúlio Vargas Foundation in Brazil,[4] the other was at Escola de Administração de Empresas de São Paulo (Administrative School of Business).

He returned to Cape Verde in the 1980s and worked as a clerk in different state institutions. From 1987 to 1989, he was coordinator of the Project Administrative and Reform and Modernization. From 1988 to 1988, he was director of the National Training Centre for Public Administration. From 1989 to 1998, he was consultant in the field of National Training and Development of Human Resources Management.

Political career[edit]

In 1989, he became member of the PAICV party. As a candidate for the party leadership at PAICV's September 1997 congress, he faced Pedro Pires;[5] Pires defeated Neves in the leadership election, winning 68% of the vote.[6] In May 2000, Neves—then serving as President of the Santa Catarina Town Council—announced that he would seek the PAICV presidency again at the June 2000 party congress; Pires was leaving the PAICV presidency in anticipation of his candidacy in the next year's national presidential election.[7]

After he became Prime Minister, he established diplomatic relations with the People's Republic of China. In 2002, he signed a "special treaty" with the European Union, it was discussed on 15 November 2005.[8] In addition, a meeting with the CPLP (Community of Portuguese Speaking Countries) was held in November 2002. He also met Alamara Nhassé, Prime Minister of Guinea-Bissau.

From August 12 to August 16, 2005, he visited eight state capitals of Brazil including São Paulo, Rio de Janeiro, Goiânia, Recife, Maceió, João Pessoa, Natal and Fortaleza. He also received an audience from Brazilian President Lula da Silva on August 22.

He won the 2006 parliamentary election on January 22 with 52.28% of the votes and got 41 seats.[9] and on March 7, he served his second term as Prime Minister.[10] The World Bank and the IMF judged favorably on its economic and financial policies.

While acknowledging the harmful effects of slavery and colonialism on Africa, Neves said in December 2006 that African leaders were primarily responsible for the continent's present-day problems, and that they "must assume their responsibility to develop a clear strategy for Africa's future that takes advantage of all of its human capabilities and natural resources."[11] Neves is a supporter of European Union membership for Cape Verde.

On 2 January 2007, he wanted to make Cape Verde a special status with ECOWAS.[12]

A new government under Neves was announced on June 27, 2008, with six ministers joining the government and four ministers leaving it. Three of the new ministers were women, making it the first government in Cape Verde with a female majority (eight out of 15 portfolios).[13]

On August 14, 2009, he met the then U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton who finished her visit to Africa at Cape Verde.

On 6 February 2011, he was elected to his third term by most Cape Verdean voters with 52.68% over MpD and 38 out of 72 seats, thus reinforcing his party's influence in the Cape Verdean parliament.[14]

On March 28, 2013, the Prime Minister visited the Pentagon south of Washington D.C. as the US Secretary of Defense Chuck Hagel hosted a honor cordon along with the Sierra Leonean President Bai Koroma, the Senegalese President Macky Sall and the Malawian President Joyce Banda. This was the first ever Cape Verdean leader who met a Sierra Leonean mand Malawian presidents.

He visited an trading conference, the 4th Global Review of Aid for Trade in from 8 to 10 July 2013.

On 6 September 2014, he announced another government. Janira Hopffer Almada succeeded Neves as president of the parliamentary section of the PAICV party. After the 2016 parliamentary elections on 22 April, he was succeeded by Ulisses Correia e Silva as Prime Minister.[15][16]

As a writer[edit]

Neves is also author of six books and some news articles. Some of these were published in other African countries and in parts of Europe and in Brazil. He wrote:

  • Ensaios sobre la Adminstrativa de la Ciência Política (Essyas on the Administrative of Political Sciences)
  • A Teória de la Administração Pública em Cabo Verde (A Theory on Public Administration in Cape Verde)
  • Princípios Administração Pública para Cabo Verde no Século XXI (Principles on Public Administration in Cape Verde in the 21st Century)
  • O Estado e a Administração Pública em Cabo Verde (A State on Public Administration in Cape Verde)
  • Administração Pública no Concelho do Santa Catarina (Public Administration in the Municipality of Santa Catarina)
  • O Estado na Era da Modernização no Cabo Verde. (The State in the Modernization Age in Cape Verde)


  1. ^
  2. ^
  3. ^
  4. ^ Lobban Jr and Khalil Saucier 2007, p. 167.
  5. ^ "Cape Verde: Opposition party congress opens", Radio Renascenca, Lisbon (, September 19, 1997.
  6. ^ "Cape Verde: Former PM elected leader of main opposition PAICV party", Radio Renascenca, Lisbon (, September 22, 1997.
  7. ^ "Cape Verde: Town council leader to run for PAIGC party leadership", RDP Africa web site (, May 29, 2000.
  8. ^ "Cape Verde PM Discusses Special Partnership with EU". Afrol. 15 November 2005. 
  9. ^ Lobban Jr and Khalil Saucier 2007, p. 167
  10. ^ "Cape Verde's New Government Sworn". Afrol. 8 March 2006. 
  11. ^ "Africa 'stop blaming colonialism'" Archived 2007-01-02 at the Wayback Machine., AFP (, December 22, 2006.
  12. ^ "Cape Verde wants special status at ECOWAS". Afrol. 2 January 2007. 
  13. ^ "Profunda remodelação governamental em Cabo Verde", Panapress, June 27, 2008 (in Portuguese).
  14. ^ "Atlântico Weekly". 7 February 2011. 
  15. ^ "José Maria Neves passa testemunho ao novo Primeiro-ministro Ulisses Correia e Silva". A Nação (in Portuguese). 21 April 2016. 
  16. ^ João Manuel Rocha, "Primeiro-ministro de Cabo Verde anuncia último mandato à frente do Governo" Publico (in Portuguese), 12 March 2011

Further reading[edit]

  • Richard A. Lobban Jr et Paul Khalil Saucier, "José Maria Neves Pereira", Historical dictionary of the Republic of Cape Verde, Scarecrow Press, 2007, p. 167. ISBN 978-0-8108-4906-8

External links[edit]

Political offices
Preceded by
Gualberto do Rosário
Prime Minister of Cape Verde
Succeeded by
Ulisses Correia e Silva