The first official visit to the UK in Guinea-Bissau’s history has concluded with an academic conference hosted at the University of Birmingham by the Amilcar Cabral Institute.
The Guinean delegation, which included the President and Vice-President of the country’s parliament, held high-level talks in Whitehall and Westminster, enjoyed a visit of Westminster Abbey by the Canon of Westminster, and hosted a trade and investment conference for British industry.
Amongst the focal points of the visit was an academic conference on failed states in Africa, hosted by The Amilcar Cabral Institute in the University of Birmingham’s Senate Chamber. Attended by academics and students from across the UK, keynote speakers included Raimundo Pereira, President of Guinea-Bissau’s parliament, and Peter R. Thompson, founder and president of the Institute. Dr. Jose Lingna Nafafe, chairman of the institute’s academic advisory board, chaired the event.
“[The event] marks a turning point in short history of Guinea-Bissau’s relations with the United Kingdom”, said Thompson, “and has been universally welcomed. The countries have never enjoyed higher levels of dialogue, and the academic conference, which also allowed members of the Guinean diaspora to question and counsel their elected representatives, is in itself a significant step forward.”