Camões – Institute for Cooperation and Language, I.P.,in short Camões, I.P., is a public institute created in 2012, part of the State’s indirect administration, administratively and financially autonomous and with its own assets. It exercises the Ministry of Foreign Affair’s powers, under the supervision and guidance of the respective Minister. It is the result of the merging of the development aid agency IPAD – Instituto Português de Apoio ao Desenvolvimento (Portuguese Institute for Development Support) and the Camões Institute.
Camões, I.P., aims to plan and implement the Portuguese cooperation policy and to coordinate the cooperation activities developed by other public entities that participate in that policy; to propose and implement the policy for the teaching and promotion of Portuguese language and culture abroad; to ensure the presence of researchers, lecturers and teachers of Portuguese in universities abroad; and to manage the network of Portuguese teaching abroad at the basic and secondary education phases.
Camões I.P., has an interactive e-platform, Centro Virtual Camões (The Camões Virtual Centre), which includes databases on Portuguese Culture, virtual exhibitions and e-learning training courses.
LANGUAGE AND CULTURE
Camões, I.P., is responsible for a global network of Language and Culture representing Portugal throughout the world.
As far as Basic and Secondary Education are concerned, the EPE (Ensino Português no Estrangeiro), the network for Portuguese Teaching abroad, consists of 402 teachers and 56 thousand young students, in 11 Coordenações de Ensino (Education Departments) in a number of countries in Africa, America, Australia and Europe. Under this, Teaching Programmes, Learning Certification, Teacher Training and a Reading Incentive Plan are provided to communities.
Regarding Higher Education Institutions, Camões, I.P.,present in 72 countries worldwide. It consists of 283 Higher Education Institutions, 499 Portuguese Language teachers, 64 Centros de Língua Portuguesa (Portuguese Language Centres) and over 100,000 students. They focus on providing Teaching Programmes and Learning Certification.
By means of this global network Camões, I.P., puts into operation strategic action plans for the promotion and dissemination of the Portuguese Language: Initial Teacher Training, Initial Training and Continuing Professional Development for Translators and Interpreters, Linguistic Training for future executives, Research, Post-Graduate Courses and scholarships in teaching and research.
Camões, I.P., also comprises a network of Centros Culturais Portugueses (Portuguese Cultural Centres) spread among 15 countries on four continents, which permanently host and/or organize events devoted to promoting an array of matters of cultural relevance.
At the same time, every year Camões, I.P., lends its support to many thousands of cultural initiatives, ranging from Literature to Architecture, including the Visual Arts, Dance, Theatre, Music, Cinema and Cultural Heritage.
Finally, Camões, I.P’s Language and Cultural work includes a Programme in Support of Publishing, which encourages the translation of the work of Portuguese authors and a Virtual Centre equipped with a Digital Library, a Thematic Data Base, Virtual Exhibitions and the facility to provide e-learning training courses.
The Portuguese cooperation policy is based on a decentralised model, for which the main stakeholders are:
+ The Central Government
(The Ministry of Foreign Affairs and other ministries)
+ Local Government
+ Civil Society
(Non-Governmental Development Organizations – NGDO)
Portugal’s contribution, as Official Development Assistance (ODA) is concerned, is concentrated on six countries: Angola, Cape Verde, Guinea-Bissau, Mozambique, São Tomé and Príncipe and East Timor.
The main sectors of activity have been Education, Government and Civil Society. Portugal also intends the new development strategy to focus on the key priority sectors of health and security, involving three new areas: the private sector, innovation and climate change.
The Portuguese ODA has been showing a globally positive evolution since 2007, amounting to 509 million euro in 2011. Portuguese cooperation is also committed to intervening more widely by means of the so-called “Flagship Projects”.
The Civil Society’s initiatives have a dominant role in the execution of the Portuguese Cooperation Policy. Over 500 projects for intervention on the ground have been financed in the last ten years, by means of helplines to the NGDO and to Education for Development, amounting overall to a sum exceeding 35 million euro.
A significant amount (about 40%) of Portugal’s aid programme is guaranteed by the multilateral ODA, the majority part of which is financed through EU institutions (The European Development Fund, EDF, and the European Commission Budget).
A GLOBAL NETWORK