Image Gallery


WAI Publications


NL Capa


WAI Strategic Plan 2016 2020 Accepted Final s1



WAI Director General participates as a Panelist in the 1st Edition of Cabo Verde Ocean Week, Mindelo, São Vicente, 19 - 23 November 2018

cv owAt the invitation of HE José da Silva Gonçalves, Minister of Tourism and Transport and Minister of Maritime Economy of Cabo Verde, the Director General of the West Africa Institute, Prof. Djénéba Traoré, took part in the 1st Edition of Cabo Verde Ocean Week "(CVOW) that took place in Mindelo, São Vicente Island, from 19 to 23 November 2018.

Platform par excellence for high-level exchanges on opportunities for the development of the Blue Economy in the Republic of Cabo Verde, the meeting brought together the Prime Minister HE Ulisses Correia e Silva, President of the National Assembly HE Jorge Santos, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Finance HE Olavo Correia, Secretary of State for the Maritime Economy HE Paulo Veiga, European Commissioner for Research, Science and Innovation Carlos Moedas, HE Adiatu Djalo Nandinga, Minister of Finance Guinea Bissau Fisheries, representatives of the Community of Portuguese Speaking Countries (CPLP), representatives of international organizations, the Mayor of São Vicente Island, University lecturers and researchers, promoters of sporting and cultural events, heads of research centers and participants from some 20 countries.

This first Edition of the CVOW was organized by the National Organizing Commission chaired by Mr. Ildo Rocha in collaboration with the Executive Secretariat leaded by Mr. Marco António da Cruz Silva.

The main highlights of the event included the inauguration of the Oceanographic Center of Mindelo by Prime Minister Ulisses Correia e Silva and the signing of a cooperation agreement between Cabo Verde and the European Union in the field of Research, Science and Innovation.

The opening ceremony held in the Auditorium of the University of Mindelo was chaired by the President of the National Assembly of Cabo Verde.

CVOW's website offering an overview of activities during this eventful week can be viewed here

unnamed 1Panel II in which WAI Director General participated was entitled: “Investment in the Blue Economy" and focused on the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs 2030), specifically Goal 14 (Conservation and Sustainable Use of Oceans, Seas and Marine Resources), took place on 19 November on the following three themes:

1. Global Partnerships for the Blue Economy and the Sustainability of Oceans by Prof. Manuel Pinhero, Observatory of the Blue Economy, São Vicente.

2. The Blue Economy as a Market Integration Mechanism in West Africa and Promotion of Trade Exchanges between Cabo Verde and West Africa by Prof. Djénéba Traoré, Director General of the West Africa Institute (WAI).

3. WHO Healthy Cities Movements - Local Development of the Coastline in the Context of Climate Change: Building the Resilience of Small Island Developing States (SIDS) Populations by Dr. Suvajee Good - Head of Health Promotion Program and Social Determinants - WHO.

WAI Director General focused on the following points:

I. The Republic of Cabo Verde within the ECOWAS

II. The Blue Economy as a Market Integration Mechanism in West Africa

II.1 The main Blue Sectors in the African SIDS

III. The Blue Economy as a Mechanism for Promoting Trade Between Cabo Verde and West Africa


III.2 Two Prerequisites for the Integration of Markets

III.3 In which Areas to promote Trade between Cabo Verde and West Africa?

III.4 The Assets of Cabo Verde

In essence, Prof. Traoré reminded that for the Republic of Cabo Verde regionalBaíaMindelo integration is an established fact and its commitment to this cause has been and continues to be unshakeable. However, there is a real need to take into account the specificities of Cabo Verde as a Small Island Developing State (SIDS), particularly with regard to the free movement of people and the implementation of the Common External Tariff (CET).

Archipelago of 4033 km2, independent since July 05th, 1975, Cabo Verde became a member of the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) only one year after the creation of the Regional Organization on May 28, 1975. The population of Cabo Verde is estimated at 538 535 inhabitants (2017) divided between two groups of islands: in the north the Barlavento islands (Boa Vista, Sal, São Nicolau, São Vicente, Santo Antão and Santa Lucia, the last one being uninhabited) and to the south, the islands of Sotavento (Santiago, Fogo, Brava and Maio). Praia, the capital city, is located in the island of Santiago and alone has nearly 350 000 residents. The caboverdean diaspora could reach 700 000 people.

Cabo Verde has opted for an economy oriented towards the production of services, particularly in the field of tourism. Considerable progresses have been performed in the economic domain. However, due to a number of factors, the country still faces challenges, particularly in the employment of young graduates. In these circumstances, can the Blue Economy be a mechanism for the integration of markets in West Africa?

What are the specificities of SIDS? According to the Economic Commission for Africa (ECA), SIDS are "small islands or low-lying coastal countries located in the tropics and subtropics that are (partly) surrounded by the ocean. SIDS are considered as a distinct group of the UN on the basis of their specific characteristics such as small size, insularity and remoteness. They are basically very vulnerable because of their social, economic and geographical characteristics."

economia azul bIn terms of vulnerability, African SIDS are particularly affected by sea level rise (exacerbated by the melting of the ice floe in the North Pole), natural disasters and sometimes lack of rainfall. On the economic front, the public debt of African SIDS is quite high compared to SIDS in the Pacific and other coastal countries.

The blue economy could help to develop the African SIDS and address the challenges they are confronted with. The blue economy is the result of the pressure from coastal states during the Rio + 20 process in 2012, regarding the term “green economy”. The blue economy advocates the same desired outcome expected from the green economy, namely:" Improving human well-being and social equity while significantly reducing environmental risks and ecological scarcities "(UNEP 2013). The decoupling of socio-economic development and environmental degradation is at the heart of the blue economy."

The Main Blue Sectors in the African SIDS

There are six (6) African SIDS. in alphabetical order they are : Cabo Verde, Comores, Guinea Bissau, Mauritius, São Tomé e Principe and Seychelles.

Fishing: Fishing is a key development area for the SIDS. However, there are real threats such as "Illegal, unreported and unregulated fishing, overexploitation of living marine resources, land-based pollution, destructive harvesting methods, overexploitation, invasive alien species, acidification oceans, natural disasters and climate change". Climate change is having a significant impact on fisheries with changing water temperatures and negative impacts on coral reefs and mangroves used for nursery, nesting and fish feeding.

Aquaculture: Aquaculture, still underdeveloped in African SIDS, represents a sector with great potential. Indeed, fish farming can be a factor in reducing imports, improving employment in contexts where unemployment, especially that of young people, is relatively high, and contributing to food security. Coastal aquaculture can reduce overexploitation of some aquatic resources and decline in marine biodiversity.

Shipping and Transport: With the exception of Seychelles, almost all ports of the African SIDS need better infrastructures or are in the process of improvement. The deterioration of existing infrastructures and coastal erosion are largely the result of climate change. For Cabo Verde, this sector is highly important to support the economy. However, these infrastructure creation or renovation projects are expensive and often require international funding.

Protocolo UE CV 2Tourism: For African SIDS, tourism is an important sector which, with a few exceptions, and has contributed to their economic development. In 2018, tourism accounts for 24% of Cabo Verde's GDP. There are several aspects to marine tourism, for instance diving tourism and heritage tourism. Cabo Verde holds more than 100 wrecks, an interesting fact that can boost maritime archeology.

Energy: Cabo Verde, like other African SIDS, produces neither natural gas nor oil, but it is not excluded that these raw materials are present in its vast maritime area, nearly 1 million km2. In the meantime, importing oil and gas for transport and electricity generation remains an important source of economic vulnerability. Consequently, the State has set up with its development partners a renewable energy development program, including the creation of the Center for Renewable Energies and Industrial Handling (CERMI), which is a reference vocational training center in West Africa and beyond. There is an emerging cooperation between CERMI and ECOWAS which holds the Center for Renewable Energy and Energy Efficiency (ECREEE)m based in Praia.

West Africa is today a community of peoples, which tends to be reconstituted politically in the frame of the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS), and a space of civilization forged by a thousand-year history. According to the IMF, the aggregate PPP GDP of the ECOWAS member states is $ 564.86 billion, making it the 25th largest economy in the world.

ECOWAS is an Intergovernmental Organization created on May 28, 1975. It is the main structure to coordinate the actions of West African countries. Its main purpose is to promote cooperation and integration with the aim of creating a West African Economic and Monetary Union. In 1990, his power was extended to maintaining regional stability with the creation of ECOMOG (Economic Community of West African States Cease-Fire Monotoring Group), a military intervention group that became permanent in 1999.

It is a region whose economic potential is enormous, but largely under exploited.Mindelo Congresso Countries with contrasting economic and demographic resources coexist. If, due to the importance of its demographic resources (55% of the population of the region), Nigeria is the economic engine, the palm of the country with income the highest per capita returns to Cabo Verde with 4000 US $.

West Africa represents immense opportunities for trade between Member States, facilitated by the free movement of people and goods. To this end, the implementation of the Common External Tariff (CET) and the reduction of customs barriers represent considerable assets.

According to the African Development Bank (2018): "After several good years, average GDP growth in West Africa stagnated at 0.5% in 2016, then climbed to 2.5% in 2017. It should reach 3.8% in 2018, and 3.9% in 2019. Performance has varied across countries, but trends are mostly regional in that Nigeria contributes nearly 70% of the regional GDP. "

According to Prof. Traoré, there are two prerequisites for the integration of markets:

  1. Create an entity bringing together the six (6) African SIDS to recognize, at the international level, the common specificities and jointly address the challenges of vulnerability.
  1. Conclude Trade Agreements, based on field studies, with West African States, including Mauretania, presenting opportunities as well as potentialities.

In what Areas can Trade be promoted between Cabo Verde and West Africa?

Tourism and development of start-up as well as small and medium-sized enterprises and industry related to fishing and tourism (cultural events, music, literature, painting, cinema, photography / hotel / restaurant / entertainment)

Renewable Energies and Environmental Protection

Fishing: 12 ECOWAS Member States (except Burkina Faso, Mali and Niger) and Mauretania have maritime facades

Aquaculture or Fish Farming

Shipping and Transport

Scientific Research and Sharing of Experiences. In this area, ECOWAS has designed, developed and implemented a key document on its Science, Technology and Innovation Policy (ECOPOST) to accelerate sustainable economic development in the Region.

The assets of Cabo Verdeunnamed 2

Quality of Democratic Institutions

Good Governance & Political Stability

High Literacy Rate and Human Capital Quality

Favorable Business Climate

Technological & Digital Advances

Social cohesion

Questions from the audience focused on desalination, the environmental risks about aquaculture and marine pollution risks, maritime safety, the role of civil society organizations, oceans and ecosystem protection, biodiversity conservation and the role of school education for the formation of a new generation able to be an agent of change.

WAI Director General intervened, on November 20th, at the National Institute of Fisheries Development (Instituto Nacional de Desenvolvimento das Pescas - INDP) during a Workshop on the Design of Craft Boats regarding the New challenges and the new Approaches, organized by the APESC (Associação dos Armadores de Pesca de Cabo Verde). The theme presented was entitled "The possible partnerships between the different actors of the Blue Economy". It was about to describe each of the actors in relation to the exploitation of the oceans and the conservation of biodiversity ".

expomar ocean weekAt the end of the discussions, the INDP and the APESC expressed the wish to conclude a partnership with WAI to respectively conduct a study and organize a social dialogue session.

Prof. Djénéba Traoré responded positively to the request and suggested a partnership between INDP and the RISC Consortium.  


Adolé Blim Blimvi, L’Erosion côtière en Afrique de l’Ouest : Que peut apporter l’intégration Régionale dans la maîtrise du phénomène ?, IAO-ACSA, No 4-2013

Cape Verde A Success Story – African Development Bank, 2012

Libérer les pleines potentialités de l’économie bleue : Les Petits Etats insulaires en développement africains sont-ils prêts à en saisir toutes les opportunités ?

Perspectives économiques en Afrique de l’Ouest – Banque Africaine de Développement, 2018

Traoré Djénéba, L'Impact de la Mondialisation et les Perspectives pour les Petits Etats'Impact_de_la_Mondialisation_et_les_Perspectives_pour_les_Petits_Etats

Traoré Djénéba, Promotion des Echanges Commerciaux entre la République de Cabo Verde et les Pays Francophones d'Afrique : Quel Rôle peut jouer la Langue Française? IAO – ACSA – 4-2015'Afrique_Quel_Role_peut_jouer_la_Langue_Francaise

Copyright © 2012 WAI - West Africa Institute. All Rights Reserved - Designed and developed by: NOSi.