African Party of Independence for Guinea and the Cape Verde Islands

The following article is from The Great Soviet Encyclopedia (1979). It might be outdated or ideologically biased.

African Party of Independence for Guinea and the Cape Verde Islands


(Partido Africano da Independencia da Guiné e Cabo Verde; PAIGC), national revolutionary party, founded in the territory of Guinea (Bissau) in September 1956. Most of the party’s members are peasants, and a small number are urban workers and representatives of the revolutionary intelligentsia. The party has a charter and a program (approved by the second conference of leading cadres of the party in January 1962). The basic tasks set forth by the PAIGC are “the immediate conquest of independence for so-called Portuguese Guinea and the Cape Verde Islands, the establishment of a democratic system, and the implementation of rapid economic progress and genuine social development of the peoples of Guinea and the Cape Verde Islands.” The PAIGC has led the liberation struggle against the Portuguese colonialists since the organization’s inception; under its leadership (since 1963) armed struggle has unfolded in the continental part of the country. The armed forces of the PAIGC (numbering 10,000 fighters on Jan. 1, 1970) consist of a liberation army, partisan detachments, and a people’s militia. By early 1970 more than half of the territory of the country had been liberated from the Portuguese colonialists. The PAIGC carries out profound socioeconomic transformations in the liberated areas of Guinea (Bissau); local governmental authorities, courts, schools, and medical stations have been established, producers’ cooperatives organized, and the production and supply of the most essential industrial goods for the population put in order.

The first national congress of the PAIGC was held in 1964 on liberated territory. The party has been recognized by the Organization of African Unity. Youth, trade union, and women’s organizations operate under the leadership of the PAIGC. The party’s press organ is the newspaper Libertaçáo, which has been published since December 1960, since 1969 under the title PAIGC actuel. The general secretary of the party was Amilcar Cabral until his assassination on Jan. 20, 1973.

The PAIGC is aided and supported in its activities by the Organization of African Unity, the independent countries of Africa, and the socialist countries.


The Great Soviet Encyclopedia, 3rd Edition (1970-1979). © 2010 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.
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