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Cape Verde and the risks of tourism specialisation: the tourism option for Africa’s small states,


Year published: 2019
Categories: Journal Article

Author / Authors:

  • João Resende-Santos


Tourism is a viable, but risky, option for many small island countries to integrate and compete in the world economy. This article examines tourism in the small island economy of Cape Verde. It assesses the risks to its long term development posed by the industry. The country has one of the fastest growing tourism industries in the world. However, this rapid growth is a dual-edge sword. Tourism-led growth results in real economic gains. However, the type and organisation of Cape Verde’s tourism industry magnifies the country’s already high structural vulnerability. Given its current structure and pace of growth, tourism increases macroeconomic risks and vulnerability. It is reproducing the same monoculture dependency that traditionally hampered development in African economies. The policy lessons are clear. Cape Verde must foster economic diversification while simultaneously engaging in strategies to mitigate the risks that accompany its biggest and fastest growing sector and export.

Journal of Contemporary African Studies, 37:1, 148-168, DOI: 10.1080/02589001.2019.1619916


  • Journal Article