The Portuguese-speaking African Countries (PALOP) are Angola, Cape Verde, Guinea Bissau, Mozambique and São Tomé and Príncipe.
Apart from a common history and the Portuguese language, these five countries also share high poverty levels (are ranked as low income or medium-low income countries by the UN) and have an urgent need for trained human resources, in particular in engineering and the life sciences, especially because of the endemic (or sporadic) presence of several tropical diseases. And within the Community of Portuguese-speaking Countries these problems also extend to East Timor, one of the youngest countries in the world.
Benefiting from extensive coastlines, rich soils and a very young population, the PALOP and East Timor have a strong potential for achieving sustainable development in the medium run. A new generation, trained in research and education in strategic areas of the life sciences, such as health, fisheries or agriculture, can be a fundamental part of this change.