Exploring innovative financing to maximize the potential of the blue economy

Posted February 4, 2022

Image: Aisha Jemila Daniels

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Written by Dr. (Mrs.) Adalgisa Barbosa Vaz, Secretary of State for Business Development of Cabo Verde

With 99% of its territory covered by the ocean, the advantages of investing in the blue and green economy are not a novelty to Cabo Verde. In 2019, the Ministry of Finance and the National Planning Directorate of Cabo Verde launched the Integrated National Financing Framework (INFF) at a time when local resources had become very limited because of the pandemic; but also at a strategic time, when we started to prepare the new development plan for 2022.

We identified a new modality for mobilizing funding for impact investments in the blue, green and social economy – the Blu-X platform – in cooperation with the Cabo Verde Stock Exchange. UNDP offered the technical assistance needed to launch green, blue and social bonds on the Stock Exchange. Partnerships have also been established between public and private entities and development partners. The coordination between these actors and the capital market regulatory agency allowed us to immediately create the conditions and legal framework for the issuance of these bonds.

As a result, the first social bond was launched in November 2021 at the Cabo Verde Stock Exchange in favour of 22 municipalities, with an interest rate close to the public bond rate. It was the first time that a grouped bond issuance has been launched in Cabo Verde.

The initiative has been very successful, exceeding the amount initially planned. We are already planning to issue a new grouped bond for private companies that perform public works in municipalities with a social development purpose.

Cabo Verde has the ambition to position itself in the coming years as a regional reference for the issuance of blue, social and green bonds. The INFF has been key in guiding the country towards this solution to finance municipalities, as well as aligning investments and other funding sources with the SDGs.

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