Cape Verde has announced it will pay homage to Nelson Mandela by renaming its Praia International Airport after the former South African president.
According to a statement released from the Cape Verdean government, the decision is intended to honour Mandela, who on February 11 marks the 22nd anniversary since he was released from prison.
The statement said that Mandela was “an uncontested icon of the struggle for freedom and dignity in Africa” who had dedicated his life to defending these values.
It read: “Giving Nelson Mandela's name to the capital's airport is a gesture to underline the calling of a Cape Verdean nation which is open to the world, and historically linked to mixed-race people and dialogue between cultures.”
The island-nation said the decision also marked an important step in bilateral relations with South Africa.
The Cape Verde gateway is following in the footsteps of a number of airports across the globe which have named themselves after somebody famous.
The idea is commonplace with many of the larger gateways across the world – George Bush Intercontinental Airport, Paris CDG (Charles De Gaulle), New York JFK (John Fitzgerald Kennedy), and Louis Armstrong New Orleans International Airport, to name but a few, but other smaller airports are also getting in on the act.
For example, Washington Reagan National Airport, John Lennon Airport in Liverpool, Warsaw Frederick Chopin Airport in Poland, and Salzburg Airport-WA Mozart are just a few of the smaller gateways named after local celebrities, and Nelson Mandela Airport will soon be added to this list.