Cape Verde

Cape Verde

Cape Verde

Situated in the Atlantic Ocean 620 km off the West Coast of Africa, the Cape Verde archipelago has made steady progress since independence in 1975, performing well in both human development and economic terms.

The National Indicative Programme for Cape Verde outlines the main focal sectors of the EU cooperation with the country during the period 2014-20 under the 11th European Development Fund.

The Country Strategy Paper for Cape Verde (2008-13) details the areas of cooperation. Initially €51 million of assistance under the 10th European Development Fund (EDF) were foreseen.

The priorities are:

  • poverty reduction through improvements to water and sanitation and health and,

  • promotion of the ’EU-Cape Verde Special Partnership’.

In 2008, Cape Verde graduated to middle-income status. However, the country’s lack of natural resources makes it economically vulnerable and poverty and inequality are prevalent. The government is spurring growth to improve the livelihoods of the most impoverished communities.  In addition to its membership of the Cotonou partnership, Cape Verde has a special partnership with the EU, shaped to strengthen dialogue and promote policy convergence.

The Special Partnership was approved by the Council at the end of 2007. Now in its implementation phase, it has six priority sectors: governance, security, information society, regional integration, normative and technical convergence towards EU standards and the fight against poverty.

The country also benefits from the EU’s thematic programme for Non-State Actors and Local Authorities in Development, the instrument for the promotion of democracy and human rights and the ACP-EU Energy Facility, among others.

A Fisheries Partnership Agreement between the EU and Cape Verde runs until 2014.

The country also participates in the transnational Madeira, Azores, Canaries (MAC) cooperation programme, 2007-13, and cooperation programmes with the EU’s outermost regions.

Cape Verde is also one of the beneficiaries of the EU's regional cooperation programme with Portuguese-speaking African countries (PALOP) countries: Angola, Guinea Bissau, Cape Verde and São Tomé and Príncipe together with East Timor.


Key country statistics

  • Total population (2015): 521 000
  • Life expectancy (at birth) (2015): 71 years (male), 75 years (female)
  • Human Development Index - Medium human development (2014): 0.646
  • Population living below $1.90 a day (2007): 17.6%
  • Income share held by lowest 40% of income distribution (2007): 13.7%
  • Average Gross Domestic Product growth over 5 years (20102014): 1.9 %

Selected results achieved with EU support through projects and programmes completed between mid-2014 and mid-2015

Civil Society and Local Authorities

  • 70 managers and technicians from the municipality of Ilha de Maio were trained in governance subjects and sustainable development planning
  • 11 community based organisations actively participated in the (re)definition of local development plans


  • 180 managers and technicians from borders police were trained in the management of migration issues
  • 23 Cape Verdean migrants who voluntarily wanted to return to Cape Verde have been supported for their economic and social reintegration in the country through a start-up assistance mechanism (financial support, expert support to business start-ups)
  • In 4 airports in the country (Sal, Praia, S. Vincente and Boavista airports), the border control system "PASSE" (automatic and safe process of entry and exit) has been established and is functional; aside from controlling passports, the new system also comprises new electronic passports which include reinforced access control and the storage of biometric data

Good Governance and Human Rights

  • 630 agents from the judiciary police received specialized training in criminal investigation activities
  • 300 new police agents were trained and integrated into national police forces
  • 340 prisoners were provided with access to professional training while serving sentence in prison (covering professional areas such as carpentry, decoration, electricity, tailoring, computing, vegetable production, gardening and forestry
  • The implementation of the Special Partnership between Cape Verde and the EU (established in 2007) has made satisfactory progress; this was verified in relation to good governance, security and stability, regional integration, knowledge society, technical and normative convergence, development and fight against poverty. The Special Partnership between the EU and Cape Verde consists in an innovative cooperation partnership based on shared principles of democracy, the rule of law and respect for human rights, as well as fostering international peace and security

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