FAO au Cabo Verde

Blue Economy and Blue Growth discussions in Cabo Verde

Opening ceremony of the Conference with the Minister of Economy and Employment of Cabo Verde (©FAO/Antonio Palazuelos Prieto)


International Conference gathers delegations from 30 countries and institutions to share experiences ahead of the upcoming United Nations Oceans Conference


Mindelo. – The Conference Dialogue on Blue Growth and Economy began today in Mindelo, on the island of Sao Vicente, Cabo Verde, with over 150 participants from 30 delegations primarily from African coastal nations, Small Islands Developing States (SIDS) and international organizations, including ministerial delegations from six of the participating countries. 

The Minister of Economy and Employment of Cabo Verde, Mr. José da Silva Gonçalves, highlighted during the opening ceremony that the Blue Economy is a new paradigm for development based on the sustainable exploration of the ocean's natural resources. In Cabo Verde, Blue Growth will be fostered with a Plan of Action that will provide an enabling environment for the consolidation of public and private investments in the maritime economy sector. 

The FAO Representative in Cabo Verde, Mr. Rémi Nono Womdim, stressed that “over 58 million people are directly employed in the fisheries and aquaculture sector and around 200 million jobs are created throughout fisheries value chains. The subsistence means of over 880 million people, nearly 12% of the world population, depends on this sector”. Likewise, he reminded attendees of the engagement by FAO with Cabo Verde through the Blue Growth Initiative, which began in 2015 and has been extended with the support of the African Development Bank. 

Mr. Samba Tounkara, representing the African Development Bank (AfDB), underlined the cooperation with FAO and the World Bank since 2016 through the African Package for Climate-Resilient Ocean Economies, representing an overall investment of 3.5 billion USD to foster Blue Growth and climate-resilient coastal development for the African continent. 

The Conference is organized by the Government of Cabo Verde through the Ministry of Economy and Employment, FAO and the AfDB with the theme “Sharing Perspectives and Experiences for Africa” and will last three days, including 15 sessions addressing issues relating to Blue Growth and the transition to the Blue Economy. In the framework of the Sustainable Development Goal 14, the conference will contribute directly to informing on the perspective of SIDS and LDCs in achieving SDG target 14.7, on the road to the UN Oceans Conference in June in New York.  

The main objective of this conference is to promote a platform for dialogue to share and exchange practices related to Blue Growth and Economy in Africa. The first day is allocated to share visions and experiences from countries and regional programmes, ending with a ministerial panel on the perspective of the UN Oceans Conference. 

The second day focuses on Blue Growth processes, the transitions of production systems, markets, value chains, products, best practices and governance of local, national and regional communities. Lastly, a special AfDB session, aimed at consolidating Bank's Blue Economy concept note, will conclude the second working day. 

The third day deal with the catalyzers and mechanisms to support the transition to Blue Growth and Economy, as well as the financing mechanisms and cooperation strategies for the transition. A specific session is dedicated to partnerships and cooperation, in which South-South and Triangular Cooperation are presented as a mechanism to support Blue Growth and Economy, by complementing ongoing initiatives. Finally, the need for public-private partnerships will also be highlighted, as well as the development of indicators to monitor progress made towards achieving a common goal. 

The closing ceremony is scheduled for Friday, May 5th, with the President of the Republic of Cabo Verde, H.E. Mr. Jorge Carlos Fonseca scheduled to deliver the closing comments. 


Additional information

Oceans Conference 

FAO and the Sustainable Development Goals

Coastal Fisheries Initiative 

Blue Growth blog

FAO South-South Cooperation



Antonio Palazuelos Prieto

Communication Specialist

Antonio.PalazuelosPrieto (a) fao.org

FAO Cabo Verde