With a focus on unleashing the potential of the blue economy, the Joint SDG Fund is supporting Cape Verde to create the enabling framework and financing solutions for key transformations in the country’s sustainable finance landscape, to bridge financing gaps that slow down the implementation of SDGs, national plans and local strategies.
Under the leadership of the Resident Coordinator, with the tools provided by the Integrated National Financing Framework (INFF) methodology, UNDP, ILO and the UN Office for Drugs and Crime supported the government in designing different financing options to optimize the potential of the country’s blue economy and achieve its Ambition 2030 strategic vision.
"The World Bank estimates that up to 130 million people could be pushed into poverty by 2030 because of rising temperatures. [...] Limiting the rise in global temperature to 1.5 degrees is possible if the world takes a quantum leap in climate action, together."
The UN Secretary-General, António Guterres' remarks at the High-Level Political Forum on Sustainable Development, 2023
In partnership with Cape Verde’s Stock Exchange, a sustainable finance platform Blue-X, was created for listing and trading sustainable and inclusive financial instruments for the development of the country’s blue, green and social economy.
Blue-X has raised over US$26 million in capital markets through the issuance of green, social, sustainability-linked and blue bonds. It aims to become a regional and international platform to support sustainable projects that can be financed by a vast universe of investors.
In 2023, the platform listed its first blue bond to raise US$3.5 million, issued by the Cape Verde International Investment Bank, to supply affordable loans to microentrepreneurs and startups in coastal communities, investing in small and medium-sized enterprises operating in the maritime and fisheries sectors. As a small island development state, highly dependent on the ocean environment and maritime spaces, the blue bond issuance will directly improve the livelihoods of the local communities.
The joint programme guided the Cape Verde International Investment Bank through the process of issuing the bond framework, following an external review process conducted by EY that ensures adherence to blue principles. The first group bond issuance in Cape Verde was also launched through the Blue-X platform in the format of a social bond in favour of 22 municipalities, with an interest rate close to the public bond rate.
The platform has allowed the coordination between relevant actors and the capital market regulatory agency creating the adequate conditions and legal framework for the issuance of the social bond.
The INFF has been key in guiding the country towards this solution to finance municipalities and the blue economy, as well as aligning investments and other funding sources with the SDGs. Cape Verde’s Blue-X platform builds on three key lessons:
- Strategic context and political-economic institutions matter.
- Adequate institutional capacity is crucial to ensure local ownership and foster bottom-up actions that can catalyse private investments.
- Partnerships across sectors and an integrated local-global approach can help transcend the public-private divide.
The programme supported the government to develop the National Strategy to Combat Money Laundering, Terrorist Financing and the Financing of the Proliferation of Weapons of Mass Destruction, with the objective of improving the country’s business and investment environment and complying with international standards and best practices.
Learn more about other examples of what the UN is doing to support this transition:
- Climate Change, Biodiversity Loss and Pollution | United Nations Joint SDG Fund (jointsdgfund.org)
- Driven by nature: the economic transformation we need by 2030 | United Nations DCO (un-dco.org)
- Harnessing the potential of the Brazilian Amazon through local and global partnerships | United Nations DCO (un-dco.org)
The Joint SDG Fund's joint programmes are under the prestige leadership of the Resident Coordinator Office and implementing United Nations Agencies. With sincere appreciation for the contributions from the European Union and Governments of Denmark, Germany, Ireland, Italy, Luxembourg, Monaco, The Netherlands, Norway, Portugal, Republic of Korea, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland and our private sector funding partners, for a transformative movement towards achieving the SDGs by 2030.