The nationality laws of the Lusophone states in Africa
Source: Network Timor - e-boletim Lei & Justiça
e-BLJ, Ano 2 (2019), n.º 3
By Bronwen Manby
Abstract: This article provides a detailed comparative overview of the nationality laws of the five Lusophone member states of the African Union, known collectively as the Países Africanos de Língua Oficial Portuguesa (PALOP): Angola, Guinea Bissau, and Mozambique on the continental mainland, and the island archipelagos of Cape Verde and São Tomé and Príncipe. The five states share family likenesses among themselves and with East Timor, but also show important differences, and have diverged since independence. The legal regimes reflect not only the framework of law inherited from Portugal, but also the ideological outlooks of the liberation movements that took power on Portugal’s departure in 1975, and the political struggles over belonging and participation that have taken place since independence. All five states have shared in the continental trend towards adopting or strengthening gender equality and reducing restrictions on dual nationality. There is, however, a lack of research on the application of the rules in practice, given low rates of birth registration and civil registration generally.