Cabo Verde seeks to transform itself into a mid-Atlantic technology hub that will not only produce digital products but also serve as a center for digital innovation in the ECOWAS region. To achieve this goal, the country is investing in technological literacy and digital skills. Cabo Verde has made significant progress in the use of digital technologies to promote internal efficiency, simplify government procedures, and improve public services. This has been particularly important in allowing Cabo Verde to overcome the geographical dispersion of its population. Data form the National Statistics Institute show that 71.2 percent of the population has access to the internet, mainly through cell phones. Nevertheless, further progress is required in digital government policies and practices to overcome the constraints of low connectivity due to a lack of cable capacity and bandwidth restrictions. Huawei maintains an active, but not exclusive, presence in the country and supplies Cabo Verde’s two telecom providers with equipment. Cabo Verde’s telecommunication market is open to all interested vendors. The government is in the process of establishing a tax-free Special Economic Zone for Technology (ZEET) with special incentives to attract international companies. The country also has an initiative to attract foreigners, particularly Portuguese speakers, to work remotely from the archipelago.
Subsea Cables: Leveraging its political stability and unique location near multiple subsea cable systems, Cabo Verde has the potential to serve as an important node for subsea cables connecting Europe, Africa, and the Americas. A new cable terminal, the EllaLink subsea cable, connecting Europe to Latin America became operational in Cabo Verde in June. Cabo Verde is also hoping to link to Equiano, Google’s subsea cable announced in July 2019 that will connect Portugal and South Africa.
Regional Hub for Data Storage/Processing: With funding from the African Development Bank, the government is establishing two data centers – in Praia and Mindelo – to provide the infrastructure needed to develop Cabo Verde’s capacity as a regional ICT hub.
Education/Research: Cabo Verde intends to include technology among the “basic skills” taught to all students. Cabo Verde seeks to develop a critical mass of professional skills in digital technologies, in partnership with manufacturers, to contribute to national technology companies and staff foreign companies based in Cabo Verde. In partnership with universities, Cabo Verde hopes to boost research, development, and practical application of digital technologies. The country aims to create affordable, sustainable, and innovative solutions that appeal to national and regional markets.
As Cabo Verde moves to improve its ICT infrastructure, opportunities to export technology, material, and technical assistance to the country abound. There are several small companies developing apps, and the government actively supports these innovation efforts. Small digital companies seek additional investment to fully build and export their products. This year, Cabo Verde plans to inaugurate a “technology park,” an infrastructure project that aims to create an ICT cluster, positioning Cabo Verde as an international center of ICT service and a gateway to Africa for IT companies. It will include a data center, business center, incubation center, and a training and qualification center with ICT facilities. The technology park will offer opportunities to export U.S. equipment and provide technical assistance and training.
- · Operational Nucleus for the Information Society (NOSI)
- · General Directorate for Digital Economy
- · Economic Regulator (ARME)
- · Technology Park