Cape Verde is considered as an example of democracy and stability in Africa. Following the introduction of multiparty democracy in the 1990s, Cape Verde’s political and social institutions have been strengthened rapidly and continuously.
Cape Verde lacks natural resources and faces a set of intrinsic challenges as a small island economy. Among others, it has to deal with fragmentation across 9 inhabited islands and the distance between islands that results in high transport costs.
The country is vulnerable to climate change, environmental degradation, rising sea levels and natural disasters. Only 10% of its territory is classified as arable land, although considerable efforts to enhance irrigation are beginning to yield results. But, if the current droughts become a recurrent phenomenon over the next years, Cape Verde will experience an acceleration of rural exodus to the urban areas of the country, especially to Praia, Mindelo, Sal and Boavista. This would make the management of urban areas, infrastructures and social services very difficult.
The EU is supporting Cape Verde’s efforts in:
- eradicating poverty
- promoting sustainable and inclusive growth
- fostering domestic accountability
- strengthening national control mechanisms
- improving basic services delivery
- contributing to its competiveness and private sector development
Under the 11th European Development Fund (EDF) National Indicative Programme covering the 2014-2020 period allocates €55 million. The 2 main focal sectors are:
- Good governance (support to poverty reduction and growth): aiming to eradicate poverty, promote sustainable and inclusive frowth, address Cape Verde’s challenges arising from its vulnerabilities, and consolidating and improving democratic and economic governance.
- Strengthening the special partnership between the EU and Cape Verde: to enhance convergence with the EU, and to improve national and border security in Cape Verde.
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 6 priority sectors:
- information society
- regional integration
- normative and technical convergence towards EU standards
- 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.
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.