Publication site : International Fund for Agricultural Development
Date of publication: 2018
Type of publication: Report
Since 1991, Cabo Verde has been democratizing; its political stability is one of the factors behind its significant progress. Average GDP grew by more than 5 per cent annually during the period from 2002 to 2010, and since January 2008 Cape Verde has been classified as a lower middle-income country. From 2011 to 2015, cutbacks in development assistance and in access to concessional loans, combined with the global financial crisis, led to a sharp drop in the average annual growth rate (1.5 per cent). Since 2016 there have been signs of a rebound, with 3.6 per cent growth thanks to lower oil prices and foreign direct investment. GDP per capita was US$2,970 in 2016, with marked asymmetries between the islands: around US$6,000 on the tourist islands of Sal and Boa Vista and around US$2,500 on the largely agricultural islands. In 2016, the national debt stood at 130 per cent of GDP, a figure that should be brought down to 87 per cent by 2021, thanks to accelerated GDP growth. In 2016 remittances from Cabo Verdeans living abroad were estimated at over US$212 million (12 per cent of GDP). These remittances accounted for 48 per cent of the external funds injected into Cabo Verde, compared to 26 per cent for aid and 26 per cent for foreign private investment.
Cabo Verde is a small island developing state (SIDS) characterized by low taxation, a small and fragmented market, and limited economic diversification. It has a service economy based on tourism, transport, commerce and public services, which in 2017 together accounted for 61.3 per cent of the country’s GDP – with tourism being the dominant sector at 21 per cent of GDP. Tourism development has created job opportunities, sparking a new wave of internal migration towards the tourist islands of Sal and Boa Vista. Most of the external financing – previously represented by remittances and Official Development Assistance (ODA) – is today made up of private investments and the export of services. The industrial sector accounts for 18.5 per cent of GDP. Agriculture’s contribution to GDP was estimated in 2017 at 6.4 per cent. This sector employs 67.7 per cent of the employed population (75.8 per cent of women and 62 per cent of men). Food and energy accounted for some 40 per cent of imports in 2016. Around 80 per cent of all food products are imported.
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