October 2022

Decentralizing Development Finance through Capital Markets Integration: The Emergence of Cabo Verde's Blue Sustainable Finance Exchange

Insights from Cabo Verde’s blue finance platform show how small-island developing states can leverage capital markets to achieve sustainable objectives.


Christopher Marc Lilyblad - Head of Strategy and Policy Unit, a.i. UNDP Cabo Verde; Development Economist & Head of Strategy and Economic Cluster, a.i. UNDP Guinea-Bissau


UNDP Development Futures Series

Document Type



Cabo Verde



Building Block

Financing strategy

Useful Links


#ClimateChange #PrivateFinance #InnovativeFinancing #SIDS #MICs

In January 2020, the Bolsa de Valores de Cabo Verde (Cabo Verde Stock Exchange) and the UN in Cabo Verde, under UNDP technical leadership, began designing a platform to facilitate greater exchange between the supply and demand sides of sustainable finance.

The blue finance exchange (Blu-X) platform - a regional platform for listing and trading sustainable and inclusive financial instruments, such as blue bonds, green bonds, social bonds and sustainability bonds - connects issuers and investors in sustainable bonds and supports public-private partnerships. The platform attracts investment and resources towards strategic sustainable development objectives, notably towards the blue economy as a catalyst for SDG acceleration.

The case of Cabo Verde’s Blu-X platform illustrates three insights for the implementation of sustainable finance instruments for achieving sustainable development objectives: 

  1. Strategic context and political-economic institutions matter; 
  2. Focus on building the institutional capacity necessary to develop instruments;
  3. Integrating an instrument horizontally (across sectors) and vertically (local-global) through, in the case of Cabo Verde, an INFF process can diversify development finance, while transcending the public-private divide. 

Lessons from Cabo Verde can inform policy approaches in other contexts, especially in small island developing states, African middle-income countries, Portuguese-speaking African countries and others seeking to integrate capital markets into sustainable development financing strategies.