Cabo Verde remains strongly committed to the development of its digital economy. Although growing, e-commerce is challenged by inefficient and expensive shipping infrastructure, aggravated by an informal home address system and the small market size.
Cabo Verde’s population of approximately 490,000 is young, with one-third under the age of 18. The municipality of Praia is home to roughly 29.6 percent of the national population, followed by São Vicente with 15.4 percent. Education is valued, and 87 percent of the population is literate. Mobile phones are ubiquitous, and 71.2 percent of Cabo Verdeans have internet access.
Legal and Regulatory
The ongoing COVID-19 pandemic led to the implementation of new e-commerce rules and regulations, accelerated government certification and acceptance of e-documents, and made consumers more open to online shopping. Innovative solutions were introduced as businesses and government entities started to rely upon online sales of products and delivery of services; this trend will likely continue long after the pandemic. The government has recognized the need to modernize e-commerce rules and regulations and reinforce the security and safety of online sales.
Notwithstanding strong competition from European products, the population likes U.S. products, and many Cabo Verdeans have strong linkages with the United States due to a diaspora of over 500,000 in the United States. Despite the country’s small population and relatively low median income, there is a consumer class that can afford and would prefer U.S. products were they more readily available. Tourists who visit the islands are another class of consumer who prefer quality products and specific brands.
Digital Marketing and Social Media
Cabo Verde’s internet penetration rate was 71.2 percent of the total population at the start of 2022, and the number of social media users was equivalent to 54 percent of the total population. Data shows that nine in 10 internet users access social media each month and that Facebook and Instagram are the social media platforms most used in Cabo Verde. Facebook has by far the greatest advertising audience, reaching 63.9 percent of population aged 13 and older, followed by Instagram at 23.7 percent.