What Are The Major Natural Resources Of Cabo Verde?

Basalt shore line of Cape Verde's Sao Vicente Island.
Basalt shore line of Cape Verde's Sao Vicente Island.

Cape Verde is an independent African country situated in the Atlantic Ocean. The nation is comprised of a chain of 10 volcanic islands which are near the West African coast. The islands have a combined area of approximately 1,500 square miles. Cape Verde has limited natural resources. Only five islands have land suitable for farming. Despite the few natural resources, Cape Verde has a vibrant economy. The island nation is ranked as a developing country, and its natural resources include beautiful beaches, water resource, arable land, wind energy, basalt, limestone, pozzolana, kaolin, and gypsum among others.

Beautiful Beaches

Cape Verde has plenty of magnificent sandy beaches. Most of the country’s Islands have expansive and beautiful beaches. The beach resorts in Cape Verde are popular tourist locations. The islands’ strategic location in the mid-Atlantic region is also beneficial to the country’s tourism sector. Tourism is a big industry in Cape Verde. It provides direct and indirect employment to many residents. The industry also contributes to Cape Verde’s national income. Therefore, Cape Verde’s stunning beaches not only add beauty to the country’s landscape but also support the key tourism sector.

Water Resource

Cape Verde is situated in the middle of the Atlantic Ocean. Therefore, the island nation has plenty of water resources. The large maritime territory is home to a wide range of marine life. As a result, Cape Verde runs a , fishing sector. The fishing industry is important to the country as it has four main benefits. Firstly, the sector is a source of food to the island nation. Secondly, fishing employs most people in the country. Lastly, the sector is a foreign income earner through fish exports. Some of the main fish caught in Cape Verde waters include tuna, tilapia, lobster, and cephalopods. Most of the fish is exported to Europe. In 2013, the fishing sector earned Cape Verde 58 million US dollars. Cape Verde’s government has partnered with foreign companies to grow the fishing industry.

Arable Land

A few of Cape Verde’s islands have arable land. Approximately 11% of the nation’s land is arable. The land provides a critical resource for the rural communities in the country. Cape Verde has a huge rural population whose main economic activity is farming. The nation’s farmers are mostly small-scale farmers who grow food crops such as corn, potatoes, beans, peanuts, and sugar cane. A few farmers grow crops for export like coffee, grapes, and bananas. Despite a large population taking part in agriculture, the industry only contributes approximately 9% of the nation’s income. Agriculture in Cape Verde has huge unexplored potential. The country has invested heavily in the sector in the hope of reaping its full benefits.

Wind Energy

Cape Verde is located in a windy location in the Atlantic Ocean. The nation experiences such high winds it had to close one of its airports in Brava Island. Recently, the abundant wind energy has been put into good use. In 2011, Cape Verde established a wind farm on four of its islands. The wind farm generates energy for electricity production in the country. The wind farm provides 30% of the nation’s electricity needs. Wind energy is a useful source of energy because it is cheap, good to the environment, and it is renewable energy.


Basalt is a dark mineral substance formed from volcanic eruptions. Approximately 90% of volcanic rocks are basalt. The island country of Cape Verde is endowed with abundant basalt deposits. The main explanation for the country’s rich basalt deposits is that Cape Verde Islands were formed from volcanic activity. Big mining companies extracted the Basalt and exported to African nations such as the Gambia. Basalt is an important resource in the construction of buildings, roads, paving stones, and making sculptures.


Cape Verde is also home to another volcanic rock known as Pozzolana, which is a useful resource in the manufacture of cement. Extraction of Pozzolana is one of the major economic activities in Cape Verde. The mineral substance sustains major cement factories in the nation. Additionally, some pozzolana is exported to neighboring nations.


Cape Verde’s islands have a wealth of kaolin reserves. Kaolin is a form of clay found in different parts of the world, which is used in a variety of industries such as making porcelain, paper industry, paint industry, rubber industry, and in the medical field. Kaolin is white in its natural state and it is extracted in Cape Verde where most of it is exported to the United States.


Cape Verde has gypsum as part of its natural resources. Gypsum is a mineral substance that is mainly found in areas with sedimentary rocks. It occurs in white or grey colors. Gypsum is partially soluble in water, and it is primarily used in a wide range of areas from agriculture to manufacturing. In the agricultural sector, gypsum is used to improve the structure of soil, as a source of nutrient for plants. It is also used to treat acidic soil and to reduce nutrient erosion from the soil. Sculptors also use gypsum in making their pieces of art. The versatile mineral is used in the construction industry as well and it is popular in making wallboards, ceilings, and partitions. In the medical world, gypsum is used to make casts. The mineral resource has endless uses, and it is easy and cheap to extract. It is found in large quantities in Cape Verde.

Management of Natural Resources in Cape Verde

The island country of Cape Verde does not have as many natural resources as other African nations do. Even so, Cape Verde’s economy does fairly well with the few resources it has. Cape Verde is listed as a middle-income nation and a model for other African countries. The nation’s economic success is largely due to proper management of its natural resources. Cape Verde has rules that regulate extraction and use of natural resources. The government of Cape Verde also maintains transparency in its operations. The country also works with foreign countries such as China and Spain in exploring its resources. Lastly, Cape Verde has enjoyed political stability for many years, and as a result, the country’s economy experiences one of the highest growth rates in Africa.


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