This seminar studies the  case of Cape Verde’s graduation out of the category of Least Developed Countries (LDC). The decision to graduate Cape Verde was taken by the UN General Assembly in 2004, but Cape Verde was not left in the dark. Indeed, Cape Verde’s LDC graduation negotiation process proved key in contributing to the formulation of a UN-supported LDC transition framework, including a three-year grave period and a transition period until 2015.

Graduation was influential. On the national scale, it came as a shock to most as (due to the country’s historically close relationship with aid) people had been taught to believe that Cape Verde could not survive outside of an international support system such as the LDC mechanism. At least initially, the general perception was that a fall back into LDC status was sure to happen as a result of the abrupt withdrawal of LDC special and differential treatment.

The response to Cape Verde’s graduation differed by country. Some countries continued, but refocused aid relationships. Others, including the Netherlands, used trade and investment cooperation to fill the gap left by the phasing out of development aid.

This seminar takes stock of  the first negotiated LDC graduation case, a thus far under-researched topic.


Inge Hutter (Chair)

Andre Corsino Tolentino (Cape Verde): Is Cape Verde a success story? A testimony by Corsino Tolentino. I would cover the emergence of the independence and the struggle for the sustainable development (1975 – 2015). 

Marten van den Berg (Director General International Economic Relationships, Netherlands Ministry of Foreign Affairs): From aid to trade & investment: it can really work. 

Please register if you wish to attend this seminar by filling in this form.

More details on the ISS/INCLUDE New Modes of Development Cooperation Seminar Series can be found here.

Date: 19th June 2015 
Time: 10:00 am – 1:00 pm 

Organizer: ISS & INCLUDE

Venue: International Institute of Social Studies (ISS), Kortenaerkade 12, The Hague, the Netherlands 

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