Economy of Cape Verde

Cape Verde is a small archipelagic nation that lacks resources and has experienced severe droughts. Agriculture is made difficult by lack of rain and is restricted to only four islands for most of the year. Most of the nation's GDP comes from the service industry. Cape Verde's economy has been steadily growing since the late 1990s, and it is now officially considered a country of average development, being only the second African country to have achieved such transition, after Botswana in 1994. Cape Verde has significant cooperation with Portugal at every level of the economy, which has led it to link its currency (the Cape Verdean escudo) first to the Portuguese escudo and, in 1999, to the euro.

Economy of Cape Verde
Praia market potatoes manioc
A market place in Praia
CurrencyCape Verdean escudo (CVE)
Calendar year
Trade organisations
GDP$1.728 billion (2016 est.)
GDP growth
1.0% (2015), 3.8% (2016),
4.0% (2017e), 4.2% (2018f) [1]
GDP per capita
$6,900 (2017 est.)
GDP by sector
agriculture (7.9%), industry (17.9%), services (74.2%) (As of 2017)
1% (2017 est.)
Population below poverty line
15% (As of 2010)
Labour force
243,120 (2010)
Labour force by occupation
food and beverages, fish processing, shoes and garments, salt mining, ship repair
129th (2017)[2]
Exports$158.6 (2017 est.)
Export goods
fuel, shoes, garments, fish, hides
Main export partners
 Australia 48.6%
 Spain 20.2%
 Portugal 18.9% (2016)[3]
Imports$724.8 million (2017 est.)
Import goods
foodstuffs, industrial products, transport equipment, fuels
Main import partners
 Portugal 43%
 Spain 12.8%
 France 5.9%
 China 5%
 Russia 4.4% (2016)[4]
$284 million (As of 2010)
Public finances
N/A (As of 2008)
Revenues$480 million (2009 est.)
Expenses$595.9 million (2009 est.)
Economic aid$136 million (recipient) (As of 2009)
B+ (Domestic)
B+ (Foreign)
BB (T&C Assessment)
(Standard & Poor's)[5]
Main data source: CIA World Fact Book
All values, unless otherwise stated, are in US dollars.


About 75% of food is imported. Cape Verde annually runs a high trade deficit, financed by foreign aid and remittances from emigrants; remittances constitute a supplement to GDP of more than 20%. Economic reforms, launched by the new democratic government in 1991, are aimed at developing the private sector and attracting foreign investment to diversify the economy. Since 1991, the policies the government has pursued include an open welcome to foreign investors and a far-reaching privatization program.

Fish and shellfish are plentiful, and small quantities are exported. Cape Verde has cold storage and freezing facilities as well as fish processing plants in Mindelo, Praia, and on Sal. However, the fishing potential, mostly lobster and tuna, is not fully exploited.

The economy is service-oriented, with commerce, transport, and public services accounting for almost 70% of the GDP. Although nearly 35% of the population lives in rural areas, the share of agriculture in GDP in 2010 was only 9.2% (up from 8.9% in 1995); of the 1998 total, fishing accounts for 1.5%.

The Cape Verdean government established the top priorities for development as the promotion of a market economy and of the private sector; the development of tourism, light manufacturing industries, and fisheries; and the development of transport, communications, and energy facilities. In 1994-95 Cape Verde received a total of about U.S.$50 million in foreign investments, of which 50% was in industry, 19% in tourism, and 31% in fisheries and services. Prospects for 2000 depend heavily on the maintenance of aid flows, remittances, and the momentum of the government's development program.

Mineral industry

Mining is an insignificant contributor to the country's economy.[6] Most of the country's mineral requirements are imported.[6] As of 2007, production of mineral commodities was limited to clay on the islands of Boa Vista, Sal, and São Vicente; gypsum and iron ore on the island of Maio; limestone on the islands of Boa Vista, Sal, and Santo Antão; pozzolana on the island of Santo Antão; and salt on the islands of Maio and Sal.[6] Cape Verde was not a natural gas or petroleum producer as of 2007.[6]


Cape Verde's strategic location at the crossroads of mid-Atlantic air and sea lanes has been enhanced by significant improvements at Mindelo's harbor (Porto Grande) and at Sal's international airport. Ship repair facilities at Mindelo were opened in 1983, and the harbors at Mindelo and Praia were recently renovated. The major ports are Mindelo and Praia, but all other islands have small port facilities, some of which are to be expanded in the near future. In addition to the international airport on Sal, airports are located on all of the inhabited islands except for the smallest island, Brava, which was built, but found to be too dangerous so it was shut down after a few failed attempted landings. The archipelago has 3,050 kilometers (1,830 mi.) of roads, of which 1,010 kilometers (606 mi.) are paved. The new Praia International Airport is currently operative.

International recognition

Cape Verde is considered a developing country, and is included on the list of the United Nations Small Island Developing States.

In 2007 the United Nations graduated Cape Verde from the category of Least Developed Countries, only the second time this has happened to a country.[7]

On December 18, 2007, the General Council of the World Trade Organization approved a package for the accession of Cape Verde to the WTO. Accession was effective on July 23, 2008, 30 days after ratification by Cape Verde, which took place on 23 June.[8] The package requires Cape Verde to adapt some of its economic regulation. In particular, it will need to introduce a new Customs Code, and to introduce copyright and patent laws complying with the Agreement on Trade-Related Aspects of Intellectual Property Rights.[9][10] According to the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO), Cape Verde does not have legislation for industrial property, such as patents, trademarks, and industrial designs but does have a law on copyrights (Law No. 101/III/90, December 1990).[11] Pascal Lamy, director-general of the WTO said, "I am very pleased to welcome Cape Verde as a new member. This new membership will strengthen multilateral trading system. Being part of the WTO will enable Cape Verde to continue its integration into the world economy."[12]


The following table shows the main economic indicators in 1980–2017.[13]

Year 1980 1985 1990 1995 2000 2005 2006 2007 2008 2009 2010 2011 2012 2013 2014 2015 2016 2017
GDP in $
0.23 bil. 0.41 bil. 0.69 bil. 0.84 bil. 1.37 bil. 2.05 bil. 2.30 bil. 2.58 bil. 2.81 bil. 2.79 bil. 2.87 bil. 3.04 bil. 3.13 bil. 3.21 bil. 3.29 bil. 3.36 bil. 3.53 bil. 3.96 bil.
GDP per capita in $
798 1,287 1,633 2,106 3,089 4,278 4,778 5,338 5,793 5,750 5,883 6,205 6,195 6,268 6,342 6,396 6,643 6,944
GDP growth
5.3 % 8.6 % 0.7 % 7.5 % 7.3 % 5.8 % 9.1 % 9.2 % 6.7 % −1.3 % 1.5 % 4.0 % 1.1 % 0.8 % 0.6 % 1.0 % 3.8 % 4.0 %
(in Percent)
15.1 % 5.9 % 11.1 % 8.4 % −2,4 % 0,4 % 4,8 % 4,4 % 6.8 % 1.0 % 2.1 % 4.5 % 2.5 % 1.5 % −0.2 % 0.1 % −1.4 % 0.8 %
Government debt
(Percentage of GDP)
... ... ... ... 83 % 85 % 77 % 65 % 57 % 65 % 72 % 79 % 91 % 102 % 116 % 126 % 129 % 126 %

See also


  1. ^ "World Bank forecasts for Cabo Verde, June 2018 (p. 153)" (PDF). World Bank. Retrieved 11 September 2018.
  2. ^ "Ease of Doing Business in Cabo Verde". Retrieved 2017-01-24.
  3. ^ "Export Partners of Cape Verde". CIA World Factbook. 2016. Retrieved 2018-02-11.
  4. ^ "Import Partners of Cape Verde". CIA World Factbook. 2016. Retrieved 2018-02-11.
  5. ^ "Sovereigns rating list". Standard & Poor's. Retrieved 26 May 2011.
  6. ^ a b c d Newman, Harold R. "The Mineral Industries of Cameroon and Cape Verde" (PDF). 2007 Minerals Yearbook. United States Geological Survey (December 2008) This article incorporates text from this source, which is in the public domain..
  7. ^ "UN advocate salutes Cape Verde’s graduation from category of poorest States", UN News Centre, 14 June 2007.
  8. ^ "Cape Verde to join WTO on 23 July 2008". WTO News.
  9. ^ WTO press release on Cape Verde's accession
  10. ^ Cape Verde's other accession commitments: Besides Market access for goods and services, WTO, 18 December 2007. "Intellectual property: Cape Verde would apply the TRIPS agreement by January 2013. In light of the Doha Declaration on TRIPS and Public Health, the provisions related to the scope and use of patents and the protection of undisclosed information would be implemented by January 2016."
  11. ^ WIPO, Legislative Profile of Cape Verde Intellectual Property Laws Archived 2008-08-13 at the Wayback Machine
  12. ^ "Cape Verde joins WTO". afrol News. 2008-07-23. Retrieved 2008-07-24.
  13. ^ "Report for Selected Countries and Subjects". Retrieved 2018-09-10.


External links

Aeroportos e Segurança Aérea

Aeroportos e Segurança Aérea (Portuguese for "Airports and Air Safety", acronym: ASA) is the operator of airports of Cape Verde. Its headquarter is in Espargos on the island of Sal. It was founded as a state company on February 17, 1984, and was privatised to a Sociedade Anónima in 2001. With 530 employees (2017), it manages the four international (Sal, Praia, Boa Vista and Mindelo) and three domestic (São Filipe, São Nicolau and Maio) airports of Cape Verde. It also manages air traffic in the flight information region of Sal.

Agriculture in Cape Verde

Agriculture in Cape Verde is an industry that has plenty of potential.

Bank of Cape Verde

The Bank of Cape Verde (Portuguese: Banco de Cabo Verde) is Cape Verde's central bank. Its headquarter is located on Avenida Amílcar Cabral, in the national capital of Praia on the island of Santiago. Its current governor is João António Pinto Coelho Serra, who is in office since December 2014.

Bolsa de Valores de Cabo Verde

The Bolsa de Valores de Cabo Verde (Cape Verde Stock Exchange) is the stock exchange of Cape Verde. It is located in the Achada Santo António district of Praia. The Cape Verde Stock Exchange (BVC) was established on May 11 1998 by governmental decision. At the end of 2017, the market capitalisation was 68.4 billion escudos, which equals 621 million euro.

The operating structure of the Cape Verde stock exchange combines the auctioning system with quote-driven systems in order to support larger market liquidity. The market deployed huge efforts to re-structure itself in line with the best practices and most relevant international guidelines. All platforms are credible ones and some are used by Euronext Lisbon and Interbolsa.The BVC is a member of the African Securities Exchanges Association.

Cape Verde

Cape Verde ( (listen)) or Cabo Verde ( (listen), ) (Portuguese: Cabo Verde, pronounced [ˈkabu ˈveɾdɨ]), officially the Republic of Cabo Verde, is an island country spanning an archipelago of 10 volcanic islands in the central Atlantic Ocean. It forms part of the Macaronesia ecoregion, along with the Azores, Canary Islands, Madeira, and the Savage Isles. In ancient times these islands were referred to as "the Islands of the Blessed" or the "Fortunate Isles". Located 570 kilometres (350 mi) west of the Cape Verde Peninsula off the coast of Northwest Africa, the islands cover a combined area of slightly over 4,000 square kilometres (1,500 sq mi).

The Cape Verde archipelago was uninhabited until the 15th century, when Portuguese explorers discovered and colonized the islands, establishing the first European settlement in the tropics. Ideally located for the Atlantic slave trade, the islands grew prosperous throughout the 16th and 17th centuries, attracting merchants, privateers, and pirates. The end of transatlantic slavery in the 19th century led to economic decline and emigration. Cape Verde gradually recovered as an important commercial center and stopover for shipping routes. Incorporated as an overseas department of Portugal in 1951, the islands continued to campaign for independence, which was peacefully achieved in 1975.

Since the early 1990s, Cape Verde has been a stable representative democracy, and remains one of the most developed and democratic countries in Africa. Lacking natural resources, its developing economy is mostly service-oriented, with a growing focus on tourism and foreign investment. Its population of around 540,000 is mostly of mixed European, Moorish, Arab and African heritage, and predominantly Roman Catholic, reflecting the legacy of Portuguese rule. A sizeable diaspora community exists across the world, slightly outnumbering inhabitants on the islands.

Historically, the name "Cape Verde" has been used in English for the archipelago and, since independence in 1975, for the country. In 2013, the Cape Verdean government determined that the Portuguese designation Cabo Verde would henceforth be used for official purposes, such as at the United Nations, even in English contexts. Cape Verde is a member of the African Union.

Cape Verdean escudo

The escudo (sign: ; ISO 4217: CVE) is the currency of the Republic of Cape Verde.

Amounts are generally written by using the cifrão as the decimal separator, such as 2000 for 20 escudos, or 1.00000 for 1000.


ENAPOR (Empresa Nacional de Administração dos Portos, Portuguese for "National Company for Port Administration") is the Cape Verdean port authority. Its purpose is the administration, management and economic exploitation of the ports, terminals and zones of port jurisdiction of Cape Verde. It is a public limited company, 100% owned by the State of Cape Verde. Its current president is Jorge Pimenta Maurício. In 2017, 2,334,079 tonnes of cargo and 873,915 passengers were handled. The net income of ENAPOR was 187.8 million CVE in 2016.ENAPOR was established on 19 June 1982 as the successor of the former Junta Autónoma dos Portos de Cabo Verde. In 2005 there were plans to privatize ENAPOR and at least two major ports. An international tender for the sub-concession of the four major ports was launched in 2015, but this was cancelled in 2017.

Index of Cape Verde-related articles

This page list topics related to Cape Verde.


Mindelo is a port city in the northern part of the island of São Vicente in Cape Verde. Mindelo is also the seat of the parish of Nossa Senhora da Luz, and the municipality of São Vicente. The city is home to 93% of the entire island's population. Mindelo is known for its colourful and animated carnival celebrations, with roots in Portuguese traditions.

Outline of Cape Verde

The following outline is provided as an overview of and topical guide to Cape Verde:

Cape Verde – sovereign country located on an archipelago in the Macaronesia ecoregion of the North Atlantic Ocean, off the western coast of Africa. The previously uninhabited islands were discovered and colonized by the Portuguese in the 15th century (though there may have been earlier discoveries), and attained independence in 1975.

Porto Grande Bay

Porto Grande Bay (Portuguese: Baía do Porto Grande), also Mindelo Bay, is a bay on the north coast of the island of São Vicente, Cape Verde. The main city of São Vicente, Mindelo, is situated at the bay. The Porto Grande Bay is a natural harbour. It stretches between the headlands Ponta João Ribeiro in the northeast and Ponta do Morro Branco in the west. To the northwest it opens towards the Canal de São Vicente, the channel between the islands São Vicente and Santo Antão. The small rocky islet Ilhéu dos Pássaros lies north of the bay.

Praia Harbor

Praia Harbor (Portuguese: Porto da Praia) is the port of the city of Praia in the southern part of the island of Santiago, Cape Verde. It is situated in a natural bay of the Atlantic Ocean. Since the latest modernization in 2014, it has 2 long quays, 3 shorter quays, a quay for fishing boats with fish processing installations, 2 container parks, 2 roll-on/roll-off ramps and a passenger terminal. The total length of the quays is 863 m, and the maximum depth is 13.5 m. The port of Praia played an important role in the colonization of Africa and South America by the Portuguese. With 817,845 metric tonnes of cargo and 85,518 passengers handled (2017), it is the second busiest port of Cape Verde, after Porto Grande (Mindelo).

The bay of Praia lies between the headlands Ponta Temerosa and Ponta das Bicudas. The islet Ilhéu de Santa Maria lies in the bay, west of the port. The river Ribeira da Trindade empties into the bay, between the city centre (Plateau) and the port. Directly north of the port is the city subdivision Achada Grande Frente.

Sal Rei

Sal Rei is a city on the northwestern coast of the island of Boa Vista in eastern Cape Verde. Sal Rei is the island's main urban settlement, and the seat of the Boa Vista Municipality. In 2010 its population was 5,778. The name of the settlement means "Salt King" in Portuguese. This name stems from when the island's main industry was salt production.

Sal Rei has a port on the bay with ferry routes to the islands of Santiago (Praia), Sal (Santa Maria) and Maio (Cidade do Maio). A new quay was built in 2015. West of the port lies the small islet of Ilhéu de Sal Rei. Tourism is concentrated on the area of Praia de Cabral.

Science and technology in Cape Verde

Science and technology in Cape Verde examines government policies designed to foster a national innovation system and the impact of these policies.

Vale de Cavaleiros

Vale de Caveiros is the port of the island of Fogo, Cape Verde. It is situated 3 km north of the city of São Filipe. The port is managed by the national port authority ENAPOR. The port was reconstructed and expanded in 2013.

Flag of Cape Verde.svg Economy of Cape Verde
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