The “Island of Gorée” or simply “Gorée” is an island in the North Atlantic Ocean, located in the bay of Dakar (Senegal). Its discovery is due to a Portuguese, called Denis Dias, that arrived there in the XV century.
The Portuguese baptized it with the name of “Island of Palma” and occupied it until 1580. In 1627, the Dutch took the island and the history owes them the name “Goree” that derives from the Dutch “Goede Reede” which means “Good Harbor”.
It is a symbolic place for the memory of the slave trade in Africa, having been one of the continent’s largest slave trade centers between the fifteenth and nineteenth centuries, from a factory founded by the Portuguese. This warehouse was, over the centuries, conquered and administered by Dutch, English and French.
It was one of the first places to be placed on the list of the world heritage managed by the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization. (UNESCO). Gorée is one of 5 sites that make up the City 2020 Project.
City 2020 Project
The City 2020 Project is an initiative approved by the FEDER funded Interreg MAC 2014-2020 Cooperation Program, whose partners are the Cities declared World Heritage Sites in the Atlantic, namely Angra do Heroísmo (Azores), La Laguna (Canary Islands), Saint Louis (Senegal), Isle de Gorée (Senegal) and Ribeira Grande de Santiago (Cape Verde). This territorial cooperation project aims to highlight and enrich business and commercial competitiveness in networks, particularly in the tourism sector, through inclusive, intelligent and sustainable initiatives.
With the signing of the Cooperation Protocol between these five cities, a period of continuous exchange and joint work for the pursuit of the objectives set forth in this Project begins – promotion of sustainable, innovative and quality tourism products and services, promotion of local commerce in World Heritage Cities, support to SMEs in the tourism sector and hotel companies through training actions or support to entrepreneurs for a more competitive development of the tourism sector in terms of efficiency and increase the quality of local products and services, for example.
The final objective is to achieve greater business development, economic reactivation of the World Heritage Cities participating in this Project, the increase of competitiveness in the territorial scope and the consolidation of the open commercial zone. The CITY 2020 Project builds on the premise that the sustainable economic development and entrepreneurial competitiveness of World Heritage cities must be achieved through joint work at the local level, with a view to achieving a balance between conservation, tradition and the progress.
Visit of the Portuguese President to Gorée
President Marcelo Rebelo de Sousa made, in April 2017, an official visit to the memory island of the suffering of the slaves.
The President’s delegation visited the house of the slaves in a visit marked by moments of strong emotions, if we remember the atrocity that the African continent suffered with the slave trade, but also a visit marked by moments of exchanges and pleasures shared by President Marcelo Rebelo de Sousa with the inhabitants of the island of Gorée.
Source: Diplomatic Magazine