The African Development Bank (ADB) and the Government of Cape Verde have signed a €14 million (about US$15.4 million) loan agreement to enhance the Cape Verde Technology Park, which opened earlier this year, by making it more climate-resilient and supportive of enterprise development.
According to the ADB website the overarching goal of the Technology Park project is to transform the country into a digital and innovation hub by operationalising a technology park, equipped with modern infrastructure and workspaces, with an innovative ambience.
It is designed to accommodate a range of companies, from emerging start-ups to more established multinational technology companies. It will also help to diversify the country’s economy, which has for some time been strongly reliant on tourism.
The park, which functions as a special economic zone with tax and import duty incentives, will, it is claimed, draw ICT professionals from across Africa. It has two campuses: one in the capital, Praia and the second on the island of São Vicente.
As part of phase two, the hub will be equipped to run on renewable energy and, as part of a public-private partnership, furnished with two data centres.
The latest agreement was signed on 19 July in Praia (although the ADB announcement only appeared today). The ADB had earlier provided a loan of €31.59 million (US$35.1 million) to finance the first phase of the technology park, which, it says, is already transforming the country into an innovative regional information and communication hub.
A seed fund to invest in approximately 20 innovative start-ups from Cape Verde is planned as well as integration grants to tech start-ups from across Africa.
There are also plans to collaborate with international universities and corporations to extend soft skills training to 300 African youth over the next three years as well as helping to prepare them to secure jobs that will be created as part of the Fourth Industrial Revolution.