Santa Catarina on Santiago Island has always been a municipality with great cultural and economic potential. Its full potential, however, has gone underdeveloped, given how difficult it is to access it various communities. This has long been the reality for the seven major communities along the way from Assomada to Chã de Tanque to Rincão, a way that has seen its share of notable landowners, fishermen, and adventurers who used the Port of Rincão to develop Cape Verde’s economy.
Indeed, Rincão served as one of the most important ports on Santiago Island, from where agricultural products were shipped all over the country. Some speculate that the port was used by militants fighting for Cape Verde’s independence, making Rincão a place of historic significance in the fight for Cape Verde’s freedom.
However, as time passed, Rincão was left isolated due to the lack of infrastructure and access to major cities like Assomada. Fishing became Rincão’s main means to survive.
When Cape Verde and MCC signed the $110 million compact in July 2005, the people of Rincão were excited at the chance finally to develop their community, with a road that would pave the way to prosperity and connect them to greater commerce and community services. This past week on July 18, 2009, the road from Assomada to Chã de Tanque to Rincão was inaugurated. It is totally asphalted, modern, and functioning, providing a gateway to the world for the people of Rincão
As one of the first infrastructure projects completed within the Millennium Challenge Account-Cape Verde (MCA-CV) program, I am proud of this milestone, and proud to see this day come for the people of Rincão. More than just a celebration of a road, or the success of the MCA-CV in partnership with Cape Verdean’s, this is a time of reflection on the rich history of the people of Rincão. Now, what used to be for them a painful one hour and a half journey to Assomada is a pleasant 30 minute drive.
With this completed road, the future of Rincão has the potential to attract tourism-related investments, and the six other localities along the road are already enjoying more dynamic and closer interactions, reclaiming the historic greatness of the municipality of Santa Catarina. Rinc_o is reborn and has the very real potential to become a reference point for the tourism and culture sectors.
With the inauguration of the road in Rincão, we can all say, Yes, its possible!
Thanks to MCC funds, the dream of bridging the prosperous past with a bright future for this area of Cape Verde gives us all reason to smile.