Cape Verde’s lack of natural resources has not deterred the island country from flourishing into a middle-income economy and one of few African states likely to meet the U.N. Millennium Development Goals by their 2015 deadline.
This is Cape Verde’s “non-resource success story,” Reuters notes, adding that the country is currently pushing for even higher goals.
The country is seeking to use its strategic location of mainland Africa’s western coast to boost its tourism industry and hub for services in the region, the news agency says.
“The fact that we don’t have resources has made us be creative,” said Fatima Fialho, the country’s minister for tourism, industry and energy. “We are an economy in transformation – moving from one of (aid) to one of production.”
Fialho said the country is planning to develop a service-based economy focusing on fisheries and shipping. The goal, she said, according to Reuters, is to transform Cape Verde into a hub for finance, technology and tourism.
African Development Bank President Donald Kaberuka noted in April that Cape Verde demonstrated Africa’s first case of “policy induced graduation.”
“Here is evidence that no matter how bad the initial conditions, with good governance, solid institutions, and a peaceful political and social climate, take-off is possible,” Kaberuka said, according to Reuters.