|Republic of Cabo Verde
República de Cabo Verde
|Anthem: Cântico da Liberdade (Portuguese)
Song of Freedom
and largest city
|Recognised regional languages||Cape Verdean Creole|
|Government||Unitary semi-presidential republic|
|-||President||Jorge Carlos Fonseca|
|-||Assembly President||Basílio Ramos|
|-||Prime Minister||José Maria Neves|
|-||from Portugal||5 July 1975|
|-||Total||4,033 km2 (172nd)
1,557 sq mi
|-||2013 estimate||512,096 (167th)|
|GDP (PPP)||2014 estimate|
|GDP (nominal)||2014 estimate|
|HDI (2013)|| 0.636
medium · 123rd
|Currency||Cape Verdean escudo (CVE)|
|Time zone||CVT (UTC-1)|
|-||Summer (DST)||not observed (UTC-1)|
|Drives on the||right|
|ISO 3166 code||CV|
Cape Verde / / or Cabo Verde / / (Portuguese: Cabo Verde, pronounced: [ˈkabu ˈveɾdɨ]), officially the Republic of Cabo Verde, is an island country spanning an archipelago of 10 volcanic islands in the central Atlantic Ocean. Located 570 kilometres (350 miles) off the coast of Western Africa, the islands cover a combined area of slightly over 4,000 square kilometres (1,500 sq mi).
Portuguese explorers discovered and colonized the uninhabited islands in the 15th century, the first European settlement in the tropics. Ideally located for the Atlantic slave trade, the islands grew prosperous and often attracted privateers and pirates, among them Sir Francis Drake in the 1580s. The islands were also visited by Charles Darwin during FitzRoy's 'Beagle' voyage in 1832. The islands were settled as the colony grew in importance on the main shipping lanes from Europe to India and Australia, and population increased steadily.
At the time of independence from Portugal in 1975, Cape Verdeans emigrated across the world, such that the population in the 21st century of over half a million people on the islands is equaled by the diaspora in Europe, the Americas, and on the African continent. The Cape Verdean economy is mostly service-oriented with a growing focus on tourism and foreign investment, which benefits from the islands' warm year-round climate, diverse landscape and cultural wealth, especially in music. The country is known for the Cape Verdean type hurricanes that form off the coast of the Cape Verde islands, in the western Atlantic coast of Africa. While many move harmlessly out to sea, some move across the Caribbean sea and Gulf of Mexico, becoming damaging storms for Caribbean nations, Central America, Mexico, Bermuda, the United States, and occasionally even Canada.
Historically, the name "Cape Verde" has been used in English for the archipelago and, since independence in 1975, for the country. In 2013, the Cape Verdean government determined that the Portuguese designation "Cabo Verde" would henceforth be used for official purposes, such as at the United Nations, even in English contexts.
- 1 Etymology
- 2 History
- 3 Politics
- 4 Geography
- 5 Economy
- 6 Society
- 7 Culture
- 8 Transport
- 9 See also
- 10 References
- 11 Bibliography
- 12 External links
The name of the country stems from the nearby Cap-Vert, on the Senegalese coast, which in its turn was originally named "Cabo Verde" when it was sighted by Portuguese explorers in 1444, a few years before the islands were discovered (verde is Portuguese for "green").
On 24 October 2013 it was announced at the United Nations that the official name should no longer be translated into other languages. Instead of "Cape Verde", the designation "Republic of Cabo Verde" is to be used.
Before the arrival of Europeans, the Cape Verde Islands were uninhabited. The islands of the Cape Verde archipelago were discovered by Genoese and Portuguese navigators around 1456. According to Portuguese official records, the first discoveries were made by Genoa-born António de Noli, who was afterwards appointed governor of Cape Verde by Portuguese King Afonso V. Other navigators mentioned as contributing to discoveries in the Cape Verde archipelago are Diogo Gomes (who was with António de Noli and claimed to have been the first to land on and name Santiago island), Diogo Dias, Diogo Afonso and the Italian (Venice-born) Alvise Cadamosto.
In 1462, Portuguese settlers arrived at Santiago and founded a settlement they called Ribeira Grande (now called Cidade Velha, to avoid being confused with the town of Ribeira Grande on the Santo Antão island). Ribeira Grande was the first permanent European settlement in the tropics.
In the 16th century, the archipelago prospered from the transatlantic slave trade. Pirates occasionally attacked the Portuguese settlements. Sir Francis Drake, an English corsair privateering under a Letter of marque granted by the English crown, twice sacked the (then) capital Ribeira Grande in 1585. After a French attack in 1712, the town declined in importance relative to nearby Praia, which became the capital in 1770.
Decline in the slave trade in the 19th century resulted in an economic crisis. Cape Verde's early prosperity slowly vanished. However, the islands' position astride mid-Atlantic shipping lanes made Cape Verde an ideal location for re-supplying ships. Because of its excellent harbour, Mindelo (on the island of São Vicente) became an important commercial centre during the 19th century. Diplomat Edmund Roberts visited Cape Verde in 1832.
With few natural resources and inadequate sustainable investment from the Portuguese, the citizens grew increasingly discontented with the colonial masters, who nevertheless refused to provide the local authorities with more autonomy. In 1951, Portugal changed Cape Verde's status from a colony to an overseas province in an attempt to blunt growing nationalism. In 1956, Amílcar Cabral and a group of fellow Cape Verdeans and Guineans organised (in Portuguese Guinea) the clandestine African Party for the Independence of Guinea and Cape Verde (PAIGC).
It demanded improvement in economic, social and political conditions in Cape Verde and Portuguese Guinea and formed the basis of the two nations' independence movement. Moving its headquarters to Conakry, Guinea in 1960, the PAIGC began an armed rebellion against Portugal in 1961. Acts of sabotage eventually grew into a war in Portuguese Guinea that pitted 10,000 Soviet bloc-supported PAIGC soldiers against 35,000 Portuguese and African troops.
By 1972, the PAIGC controlled much of Portuguese Guinea despite the presence of the Portuguese troops, but the organization did not attempt to disrupt Portuguese control in Cape Verde. Portuguese Guinea declared independence in 1973 and was granted de jure independence in 1974. A budding independence movement - originally led by Amílcar Cabral, assassinated in 1973 - passed on to his half-brother Luís Cabral and culminated in independence for the archipelago in 1975.
Following the April 1974 revolution in Portugal, the PAIGC became an active political movement in Cape Verde. In December 1974, the PAIGC and Portugal signed an agreement providing for a transitional government composed of Portuguese and Cape Verdeans. On 30 June 1975, Cape Verdeans elected a National Assembly which received the instruments of independence from Portugal on July 5, 1975. In the late 1970s and 1980s, most African countries prohibited South African Airways from overflights but Cape Verde allowed them and became a centre of activity for the airline's flights to Europe and the United States.
Immediately following the November 1980 coup in Guinea-Bissau, relations between Cape Verde and Guinea-Bissau became strained. Cape Verde abandoned its hope for unity with Guinea-Bissau and formed the African Party for the Independence of Cape Verde (PAICV). Problems have since been resolved and relations between the countries are good. The PAICV and its predecessor established a one-party system and ruled Cape Verde from independence until 1990.
Responding to growing pressure for pluralistic democracy, the PAICV called an emergency congress in February 1990 to discuss proposed constitutional changes to end one-party rule. Opposition groups came together to form the Movement for Democracy (MPD) in Praia in April 1990. Together, they campaigned for the right to contest the presidential election scheduled for December 1990.
The one-party state was abolished 28 September 1990, and the first multi-party elections were held in January 1991. The MPD won a majority of the seats in the National Assembly, and MPD presidential candidate António Mascarenhas Monteiro defeated the PAICV's candidate with 73.5% of the votes. Legislative elections in December 1995 increased the MPD majority in the National Assembly. The party won 50 of the National Assembly's 72 seats.
A February 1996 presidential election returned President Monteiro to office. Legislative elections in January 2001 returned power to the PAICV, with the PAICV holding 40 of the National Assembly seats, MPD 30, and Party for Democratic Convergence (PCD) and Labour and Solidarity Party (PTS) 1 each. In February 2001, the PAICV-supported presidential candidate Pedro Pires defeated former MPD leader Carlos Veiga by only 13 votes.
Cape Verde is a stable semi-presidential representative democratic republic. It is among the most democratic nations in the world, ranking 26th in the world, according to the Democracy Index 2012. The constitution - adopted in 1980 and revised in 1992, 1995 and 1999 - defines the basic principles of its government. The president is the head of state and is elected by popular vote for a 5-year term.
The prime minister is the head of government and proposes other ministers and secretaries of state. The prime minister is nominated by the National Assembly and appointed by the president. Members of the National Assembly are elected by popular vote for 5-year terms. Three parties now hold seats in the National Assembly — PAICV (40), MPD (30), and Cape Verdean Independent Democratic Union (UCID) (2).
The judicial system consists of a Supreme Court of Justice - whose members are appointed by the president, the National Assembly, and the Board of the Judiciary - and regional courts. Separate courts hear civil, constitutional, and criminal cases. Appeal is to the Supreme Court.
Cape Verde follows a policy of nonalignment and seeks cooperative relations with all friendly states. Angola, Brazil, the People's Republic of China, Cuba, France, Germany, Portugal, Spain, Senegal, Russia, Luxembourg, and the United States maintain embassies in Praia. Cape Verde is actively interested in foreign affairs, especially in Africa.
Cape Verde has bilateral relations with some Lusophone nations and holds membership in a number of international organisations. It also participates in most international conferences on economic and political issues. Since 2007, Cape Verde has a special partnership status with the EU, under the Cotonou Agreement, and might apply for special membership. In 2011 Cape Verde ratified the Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court.
The military of Cape Verde consists of a coast guard and an army; 0.7% of the country's GDP was spent on the military in 2005.
Cape Verde is often praised as an example among African nations, for its stability and developmental growth despite its lack of natural resources. Among others, it has been recognized with the following assessments:
|Index||Score||PALOP rank||CPLP rank||African rank||World rank||Year|
|Human Development Index||0.636||1 (top 17%)||3 (top 38%)||[A]10 (top 19%)||123 (top 61%)||2013|
|Ibrahim Index of African Governance||76.6||1 (top 17%)||N/A||2 (top 4%)||N/A||2014|
|Freedom of the Press||27 (Free)||1 (top 17%)||2 (top 25%)||1 (top 2%)||48 (top 24%)||2014|
|Freedom in the World||1/1[B]||1 (top 17%)||[C]1 (top 13%)||[D]1 (top 2%)||[E]1 (top 1%)||2014|
|Press Freedom Index||14,32||1 (top 17%)||1 (top 13%)||2 (top 4%)||24 (top 12%)||2014|
|Democracy Index||7.92 (Flawed democracy)||1 (top 17%)||1 (top 13%)||2 (top 4%)||26 (top 13%)||2012|
|Corruption Perceptions Index||5.7||1 (top 17%)||2 (top 25%)||2 (top 4%)||42 (top 21%)||2014|
|Index of Economic Freedom||66.1||1 (top 17%)||1 (top 13%)||3 (top 6%)||60 (top 30%)||2014|
|e-Government Readiness Index||0.3551||1 (top 17%)||3 (top 38%)||14 (top 26%)||127 (top 63%)||2014|
|Failed States Index||74.1||1 (top 17%)||3 (top 38%)||8 (top 15%)||[F]93 (top 46%)||2014|
|Networked Readiness Index||3.73||1 (top 17%)||3 (top 38%)||6 (top 12%)||81 (top 40%)||2014|
|A See List of countries by Human Development Index#Africa|
|B 1/1 is the highest possible rating.|
|With the maximum score, Cape Verde shares the first place with 48 other countries.|
|D Cape Verde was the only African country to reach the maximum rating.|
|With the maximum score, Cape Verde shares the first place with Portugal.|
|F The rank on this list is expressed in reverse order. To be comparable with the other rankings on this table, the actual rank of 88 was inverted, by subtracting it from the number of countries on the list, currently 177.|
The Cape Verde archipelago is located in the Atlantic Ocean, approximately 570 kilometres (350 mi) off the coast of West Africa, near Senegal, The Gambia and Mauritania, and is part of the Macaronesia ecoregion. It lies between latitudes 14° and 18°N, and longitudes 22° and 26°W.
The islands are spatially divided into two groups:
- The Barlavento Islands (windward islands): Santo Antão, São Vicente, Santa Luzia, São Nicolau, Sal, Boa Vista; and
- The Sotavento Islands (leeward): Maio, Santiago, Fogo, Brava.
Physical geography and geology
Geologically, the islands, covering a combined area of slightly over 4,033 square kilometres (1,557 sq mi), are principally composed of igneous rocks, with volcanic structures and pyroclastic debris comprising the majority of the archipelago's total volume. The volcanic and plutonic rocks are distinctly basic; the archipelago is a soda-alkaline petrographic province, with a petrologic succession which is similar to that found in other Macaronesian islands.
Magnetic anomalies identified in the vicinity of the archipelago indicate that the structures forming the islands date back 125-150 million years: the islands themselves date from 8 million (in the west) to 20 million years (in the east). The oldest exposed rocks occurred on Maio and northern peninsula of Santiago and are 128-131 million year old pillow lavas. The first stage of volcanism in the islands began in the early Miocene, and reached its peak at the end of this period, when the islands reached their maximum sizes. Historical volcanism (within human settlement) has been restricted to the island of Fogo.
The origin of the islands' volcanism has been attributed to a hotspot, associated with bathymetric swell that formed the Cape Verde Rise. The Rise is one of the largest protuberances in the world's oceans, rising 2.2 kilometers in a semi-circular region of 1200 km², associated with a rise of the geoid and elevated surface heat flow.
Most recently erupting in 2014, Pico do Fogo is the largest active volcano in the region. It has a 8 km (5 mi) diameter caldera, whose rim is 1,600 m (5,249 ft) altitude and an interior cone that rises to 2,829 m (9,281 ft) above sea level. The caldera resulted from subsidence, following the partial evacuation (eruption) of the magma chamber, along a cylindrical column from within magma chamber (at a depth of 8 km (5 mi)).
Extensive salt flats are found on Sal and Maio. On Santiago, Santo Antão, and São Nicolau, arid slopes give way in places to sugarcane fields or banana plantations spread along the base of towering mountains. Ocean cliffs have been formed by catastrophic debris avalanches.
Cape Verde's climate is milder than that of the African mainland because the surrounding sea moderates temperatures on the islands and cold Atlantic currents produces an arid atmosphere around the archipelago. Conversely, the islands do not receive the upwellings (cold streams) that affect the West African coast, so the air temperature is cooler than in Senegal, but the sea is actually warmer, because the orographic relief of some islands, such as Santiago with steep mountains, cover it with rich woods and luxuriant vegetation where the humid air condenses and soak the plants, rocks, soil, logs, moss etc..On the higher islands and somewhat wetter islands, exclusively in mountainous areas, like Santo Antão island, the climate is suitable for the development of dry monsoon forest, and laurel forest as this vegetation Average daily high temperatures range from 23 °C (73 °F) in February to 29 °C (84.2 °F) in September.
Cape Verde is part of the Sahelian arid belt, with nothing like the rainfall levels of nearby West Africa. It does rain irregularly between August and October, with frequent brief-but-heavy downpours. A desert is usually defined as terrain which receives less than 250 mm (9.8 in) of annual rainfall. Cape Verde's total (265 mm (10.4 in)) is slightly above this criterion, which makes the area climate semi-desert.
|Climate data for Cape Verde: Praia City|
|Average high °C (°F)||25
|Daily mean °C (°F)||22
|Average low °C (°F)||20
|Precipitation mm (inches)||—||—||—||—||—||—||10
|Source: Weatherbase.com |
Sal, Boa Vista and Maio have a flat landscape and arid climate, the remaining ones are generally rockier and have more vegetation. Because of the infrequent occurrence of rainfall the overall landscape is not particularly green. The archipelago can be divided into four broad ecological zones: arid, semiarid, subhumid and humid, according to altitude and average annual rainfall ranging from 200 mm in the arid areas of the coast to more than 1000 mm in the humid mountain. Mostly rainfall precipitation is due to condensation of the ocean mist.
In some islands, as Santiago, the wetter climate of the interior and the eastern coast contrasts with the dryer one in the south/southwest coast. Praia, on the southeast coast, is the largest city of the island and the largest city and capital of the country.
Because of their proximity to the Sahara, most of the Cape Verde islands are dry, but on islands with high mountains and farther away from the coast, by orography, the humidity is much higher, providing a rainforest habitat, although much affected by the human presence. Northeastern slopes of high mountains often receive a lot of rain while southwest slopes do not. These umbria areas are identified with cool and moisture. Some islands, with steep mountains, are covered with vegetation where the dense ocean moisture condenses and soaks the plants, rocks, soil, logs, moss etc.
Hurricanes that form near the Cape Verde Islands are sometimes referred to as Cape Verde-type hurricanes. These hurricanes can become very intense as they cross warm Atlantic waters. The average hurricane season has about two Cape Verde-type hurricanes, which are usually the largest and most intense storms of the season because they often have plenty of warm open ocean over which to develop before encountering land. The five largest Atlantic tropical cyclones on record have been Cape Verde-type hurricanes. Most of the longest-lived tropical cyclones in the Atlantic basin are Cape Verde hurricanes.
Cape Verde's isolation has resulted in the islands having a number of endemic species, particularly bird and reptiles, many of which are endangered by human development. Endemic birds include Alexander's Swift (Apus alexandri), Bourne's Heron (Ardea purpurea bournei), the Raso Lark (Alauda razae), the Cape Verde Warbler (Acrocephalus brevipennis), and the Iago Sparrow (Passer iagoensis). The islands are also an important breeding area for seabirds including the Cape Verde Shearwater. Reptiles include the Cape Verde Giant Gecko (Tarentola gigas).
|Island||Municipality||Census 2013 ||Parish|
|Santo Antão||Ribeira Grande||18,890||Nossa Senhora do Rosário|
|Nossa Senhora do Livramento|
|São Pedro Apóstolo|
|Paúl||6,997||Santo António das Pombas|
|Porto Novo||18,028||São João Baptista|
|São Vicente||São Vicente||79,374||Nossa Senhora da Luz|
|São Nicolau||Ribeira Brava||7,580||Nossa Senhora da Lapa|
|Nossa Senhora do Rosário|
|Tarrafal de São Nicolau||5,237||São Francisco|
|Sal||Sal||30,879||Nossa Senhora das Dores|
|Boa Vista||Boa Vista||9,162||Santa Isabel|
|São João Baptista|
|Island||Municipality||Census 2010 ||Parish|
|Maio||Maio||6,952||Nossa Senhora da Luz|
|Santiago||Praia||131,719||Nossa Senhora da Graça|
|São Domingos||13,808||Nossa Senhora da Luz|
|São Nicolau Tolentino|
|Santa Catarina||44,388||Santa Catarina|
|São Salvador do Mundo||8,677||São Salvador do Mundo|
|Santa Cruz||26,617||Santiago Maior|
|São Lourenço dos Órgãos||7,388||São Lourenço dos Órgãos|
|Ribeira Grande de Santiago||8,325||Santíssimo Nome de Jesus|
|São João Baptista|
|São Miguel||15,648||São Miguel Arcanjo|
|Tarrafal||18,565||Santo Amaro Abade|
|Fogo||São Filipe||22,248||São Lourenço|
|Nossa Senhora da Conceição|
|Santa Catarina do Fogo||5,299||Santa Catarina do Fogo|
|Mosteiros||9,524||Nossa Senhora da Ajuda|
|Brava||Brava||6,952||São João Baptista|
|Nossa Senhora do Monte|
Cape Verde's notable economic growth and improvement in living conditions despite a lack of natural resources has garnered international recognition, with other countries and international organizations often providing development aid. Since 2007, Cape Verde has been classified as a developing nation.
Cape Verde has few natural resources. Only five of the ten main islands (Santiago, Santo Antão, São Nicolau, Fogo, and Brava) normally support significant agricultural production, and over 90% of all food consumed in Cape Verde is imported. Mineral resources include salt, pozzolana (a volcanic rock used in cement production), and limestone. Its small number of wineries making Portuguese-style wines have traditionally focused on the domestic market, but have recently met with some international acclaim. A number of wine tours of Cape Verde's various microclimates began to be offered in spring 2010 and can be arranged through the tourism office.
The economy of Cape Verde is service-oriented, with commerce, transport, and public services accounting for more than 70% of GDP. Although nearly 35% of the population lives in rural areas, agriculture and fishing contribute only about 9% of GDP. Light manufacturing accounts for most of the remainder. Fish and shellfish are plentiful, and small quantities are exported. Cape Verde has cold storage and freezing facilities and fish processing plants in Mindelo, Praia, and on Sal. Expatriate Cape Verdeans contribute an amount estimated at about 20% of GDP to the domestic economy through remittances. In spite of having few natural resources and being semi-desert, the country boasts the highest living standards in the region, and has attracted thousands of immigrants of different nationalities.
Since 1991, the government has pursued market-oriented economic policies, including an open welcome to foreign investors and a far-reaching privatization programme. It established as top development priorities the promotion of a market economy and of the private sector; the development of tourism, light manufacturing industries, and fisheries; and the development of transport, communications, and energy facilities. From 1994 to 2000 about $407 million in foreign investments were made or planned, of which 58% were in tourism, 17% in industry, 4% in infrastructure, and 21% in fisheries and services.
In 2011, on four islands a windfarm was built that in total supplies about 30% of the electricity of the country. It is one of the top countries for renewable energy.
Between 2000 and 2009, real GDP increased on average by over 7 percent a year, well above the average for Sub-Saharan countries and faster than most small island economies in the region. Strong economic performance was bolstered by one of the fastest growing tourism industries in the world, as well as by substantial capital inflows that allowed Cape Verde to build up national currency reserves to the current 3.5 months of imports. Unemployment has been falling rapidly, and the country is on track to achieve most of the UN Millennium Development Goals – including halving its 1990 poverty level.
Cape Verde has significant cooperation with Portugal at every level of the economy, which has led it to link its currency first to the Portuguese escudo and, in 1999, to the euro. On June 23, 2008 Cape Verde became the 153rd member of the WTO.
The minimum wage has been set at 11,000.00 Cape Verdean Escudos (CVE) monthly (equivalent to 138 USD or 101 Euros) for the first time in Cape Verdean history, in August 2013. The national minimum wage went into full effect on January 1, 2014.
The European Commission's total allocation for the period of 2008–2013 foreseen for Cape Verde to address "poverty reduction, in particular in rural and periurban areas where women are heading the households, as well as good governance" amounts to €54.1 million.
Cape Verde's strategic location at the crossroads of mid-Atlantic air and sea lanes has been enhanced by significant improvements at Mindelo's harbour (Porto Grande) and at Sal's and Praia's international airports. A new international airport was opened in Boa Vista in December 2007, and on the island of Sao Vicente, the newest international airport (São Pedro Airport) in Cape Verde, was opened in late 2009. Ship repair facilities at Mindelo were opened in 1983.
The major ports are Mindelo and Praia, but all other islands have smaller port facilities. In addition to the international airport on Sal, airports have been built on all of the inhabited islands. All but the airports on Brava and Santo Antão enjoy scheduled air service. The archipelago has 3,050 km (1,895 mi) of roads, of which 1,010 km (628 mi) are paved, most using cobblestone.
The country's future economic prospects depend heavily on the maintenance of aid flows, the encouragement of tourism, remittances, outsourcing labour to neighbouring African countries, and the momentum of the government's development programme.
Tourism has increased in recent years. Large hotels have been built across the country in an effort to boost tourism. In particular, on the islands of Boa Vista (Club Hotel Riu Karamboa (750 rooms)) and Sal (Club Hotel Riu Funana/Garopa (1000 rooms) — the largest hotel in all of West Africa). The country has 222 tourist facilities including hotels, pensions, residentials, etc., with total room and bed capacities rounding at 9,058 and 15.995 respectively.
In 2013, 552,144 tourists (including about 9% domestic tourists) visited the archipelago. Most of these tourists flew into Cape Verde from many European destinations. The British (i.e., largely English) made up the majority of visitors.
The Cape Verde archipelago was uninhabited when the Portuguese discovered it in 1456. African slaves were brought to the islands to work on Portuguese plantations. Cape Verdeans are mulattos (mestiços in Portuguese), who have mixed African and European origins; another term is creole meaning mixed black and white descent.
European ancestors include Spanish and Italian seamen who were granted land by the Portuguese Empire, followed by Portuguese settlers, exiles, and Portuguese Jews who were victims of the Inquisition. Many foreigners from other parts of the world settled in Cape Verde as their permanent country. Most of them were Dutch, French, British (English), Arab and Jewish (from Lebanon and Morocco), Chinese (especially from Macau), India, Indonesia, South America, American and Brazilian (including people of Portuguese and African descent). All of these have been absorbed into the mestiço population.
Cape Verde's population in the 21st century is mostly creole; the capital city Praia accounts for a quarter of the country's population. Over 65% of the population in the archipelago lives in urban centers, and the literacy rate is around 87% (i.e., 91% among men aged 15 and above and 83% among women aged 15 and above) according to the 2013 Cape Verdean census.
A genetic study revealed that the ancestry of the population in Cape Verde is predominantly European in the male line and West African in the female line; counted together the percentage is 56% African and 44% European. The high degree of genetic and ethnic mixture of individuals is a result of centuries of migration. It is not unusual to encounter persons with dark skin and blond hair and blue eyes, and persons with light skin and black hair.
Cape Verde's official language is Portuguese. It is the language of instruction and government.
Cape Verdean Creole is used colloquially and is the mother tongue of virtually all Cape Verdeans. Cape Verdean Creole or Kriolu is a dialect continuum of a Portuguese-based creole. There is a substantial body of literature in Creole, especially in the Santiago Creole and the São Vicente Creole. Creole has been gaining prestige since the nation's independence from Portugal.
The differences between the forms of the language within the islands have been a major obstacle in the way of standardization of the language. Some people have advocated the development of two standards: a North (Barlavento) standard, centered on the São Vicente Creole, and a South (Sotavento) standard, centered on the Santiago Creole. Manuel Veiga, PhD, a linguist and Minister of Culture of Cape Verde, is the premier proponent of Kriolu's officialization and standardization.
Around 95% of the population are Christian. More than 85% of the population was nominally Roman Catholic in 2007. For a minority of the population, Catholicism is syncretized with African influences.
The largest Protestant denomination is the Church of the Nazarene; other groups include the Seventh-day Adventist Church, The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, the Assemblies of God, the Universal Church of the Kingdom of God, and other Pentecostal and evangelical groups. There is a small Muslim community. There were Jewish settlements on several islands. The number of atheists is estimated at less than 1% of the population.
Today, more Cape Verdeans live abroad than in Cape Verde itself, with significant emigrant Cape Verdean communities in the United States (500,000 Cape Verdeans descent, with a major concentration on the New England coast from Providence, Rhode Island, to New Bedford, Massachusetts).
There are significant Cape Verde populations in Portugal (150,000), Angola (45,000), São Tomé and Príncipe (25,000), Senegal (25,000), the Netherlands (20,000, of which 15,000 are concentrated in Rotterdam), France (25,000), Spain (12,500), Italy (10,000) Luxembourg (7,000) and Scandinavia (7,000). There is a Cape Verdean community in Argentina numbering 8,000. A large number of Cape Verdeans and people of Cape Verdean descent who emigrated before 1975 are not included in these statistics, because Cape Verdeans had Portuguese passports before 1975.
There are approximately 3,000 Chinese immigrants in Cape Verde, as well as citizens of the African mainland, approximately 72% of the total (most of these immigrants hail from West Africa). There are a significant number of citizens of Europe, approximately 17% of the total, and North America and South America (US and Latin America) residing in the country. There are an estimated 25,196 immigrants in Cape Verde of which 17,708 were legal residents as of December 2013.
Over the years, Cape Verde has increasingly become a net immigration country due to its relative high per capita income, political and social stability, and freedom.
In the USA, the children and grandchildren of the first immigrant waves became involved in the US Army for centuries: in the Revolutionary War, Civil War, the First and Second World Wars, as well as the Korean and Vietnam Wars. Cape Verdeans moved to places all over the world, from Macau to Haiti to Argentina to northern Europe.
The infant mortality rate in Cape Verde is 18.5 per 1,000 live births according to , and the maternal mortality rate is 53.7 deaths per 100,000 live births. The AIDS prevalence rate is low: There are approximately 1,000 HIV/AIDS patients in the country, with just over half of these in Praia according to the United Nations' HIV/AIDS 2013 report and the country's sexually transmitted diseases prevention bureau.
At 75 years, Cape Verde (along with Tunisia and Libya) has the highest life expectancy across Africa, that is, 71 years for males and 79 years for females at birth in 2012 according to the world bank and the unicef. There are six regional hospitals on five islands (Santiago(2), São Vicente, São Antão, Fogo, and Sal). There are health centers, sanitation centers and a variety of private clinics located throughout the archipelago.
Cape Verde's population is among the healthiest in Africa. Since its independence, it has greatly improved its health indicators. Besides having been promoted to the group of "medium development" countries in 2007, leaving the least developed countries category (which is only the second time it has happened to a country), is currently the 9th best ranked country in Africa in its Human Development Index.
The total expenditure for Health was 4.8% of GDP (2011).
Although The Cape Verdean educational system is similar to the Portuguese system, over the years the local universities have been increasingly adopting the American educational system; for instance, all 10 existing universities in the country offer 4-year bachelor's degree programs instead of Portuguese style 5-year bachelor's degree programs. Cape Verde has the second best educational system in Africa, after South Africa. Primary school education in Cape Verde is mandatory and free for children between the ages of 6 and 14 years.
In 2011, the net enrollment ratio for primary school was 85%. Approximately 90% of the total population over 15 years of age is literate, and roughly 25% of the population holds a college degree; 250 of these college graduates hold doctorate degrees in different academic fields. Textbooks have been made available to 90 percent of school children, and 98 percent of the teachers have attended in-service teacher training. Although most children have access to education, some problems remain. For example, there is insufficient spending on school materials, lunches, and books.
The total expenditure on education was 5.6% of GDP (2010). The mean years of schooling of adults over 25 years is 12.
Theft and burglary are common in Cape Verde especially in crowds, such as market places, festivals, and celebrations. Often the perpetrators of these crimes are gangs of street children. Murders are concentrated in the major population centres of Praia and Mindelo.
Cape Verdean social and cultural patterns are similar to those of rural Portugal . Football (Futebol) games and church activities are typical sources of social interaction and entertainment. The traditional walk around the praça (town square) to meet friends is practised regularly in Cape Verde towns.
In towns with electricity, television is available on two channels (Cape Verdean and Portuguese).
Cape Verde music incorporates "African, Lusitanian and Brazilian influences." Cape Verde's quintessential national music is the morna, a melancholy and lyrical song form typically sung in Cape Verdean Creole. The most popular music genre after morna is the coladeira, influenced by modern French Caribbean pop, followed by funaná and batuque music. Amongst the best known Cape Verdean singers worldwide are Ildo Lobo, Nelson Freitas and Cesária Évora whose songs became a hallmark of the country and its culture.
There are also well known artists born to Cape Verdean parents who excelled themselves in the international music scene. Amongst these artists are jazz pianist Horace Silver, Duke Ellington's saxophonist Paul Gonsalves, Teófilo Chantre, Paul Pena, the Tavares brothers and singer Lura.
Dance forms include the soft dance morna, the extreme sensuality of coladeira including the modernized version called Cabo love (similar to the zouk from Guadeloupe), the Funaná (a sensual mixed Portuguese and African dance), and the Batuque dance.
Cape Verdean literature is one of the richest of Lusophone Africa. Famous poets include Paulino Vieira, Manuel de Novas, Sergio Frusoni, Eugénio Tavares, and B. Léza, and famous authors include Baltasar Lopes da Silva, António Aurélio Gonçalves, Manuel Lopes, Orlanda Amarílis, Henrique Teixeira de Sousa, Arménio Vieira, Kaubverdianu Dambará, Dr. Azágua, and Germano Almeida.
The Cape Verde diet is mostly based on fish and staple foods like corn and rice. Vegetables available during most of the year are potatoes, onions, tomatoes, manioc, cabbage, kale, and dried beans. Fruits such as bananas and papayas are available year-round, while others like mangoes and avocados are seasonal.
A popular dish served in Cape Verde is Cachupa, a slow cooked stew of corn (hominy), beans, and fish or meat. A common appetizer is the pastel which is a pastry shell filled with fish or meat that is then fried.
Cape Verde is famous for wave sailing (a type of windsurfing) and kiteboarding. Josh Angulo, a Hawaiian and 2009 PWA Wave World Champion, has done much to promote the archipelago as a windsurfing destination. Cape Verde is now his adopted country. Mitu Monteiro, a local kitesurfer, was the 2008 Kite Surfing World Champion in the wave discipline.
The Cape Verde national football team, nicknamed either the Tubarões Azuis (Blue Sharks) or Crioulos (Creoles), is the national team of Cape Verde and is controlled by the Federação Caboverdiana de Futebol. On Sunday, October 14, 2012, the team qualified for their first ever Africa Cup of Nations with a 3-2 aggregate victory over Cameroon. Cape Verde were drawn into Group A of the 2013 Africa Cup of Nations, alongside Angola, Morocco and the host nation South Africa.
Although the Cape Verde national football team represents Cape Verde abroad, many internationally known footballers were born in Cape Verde, or were descendants of Cape Verdeans, and play for other nation's teams. Several currently play, or have played, in the Portuguese league or national team, such as Nani (Manchester United), Jorge Andrade (Porto, Juventus), Rolando (Inter Milan on loan from Porto) and Nélson (Benfica, Real Betis, Osasuna and now Palermo). Henrik Larsson (whose father is Cape Verdean) played for Sweden, Patrick Vieira (whose mother is Cape Verdean) and Patrice Evra (whose mother is Cape Verdean) played for France, Luc Castaignos (whose mother is Cape Verdean) plays for Netherlands (youth levels), while Gelson Fernandes (who was born in Praia) plays for Switzerland.
Ports and harbors: Mindelo on São Vicente is the main port for cruise liners and the terminus for the ferry service to Santo Antão. Praia on Santiago is a main hub for local ferry services to other islands. Palmeira on Sal supplies fuel for the main airport on the island, Amílcar Cabral International Airport, and is important for the hotel construction taking place on the island. Porto Novo on Santo Antão is the only source for imports and exports of produce from the island as well as passenger traffic since the closure of the airstrip at Ponta do Sol.
There are smaller harbors, essentially single jetties at Tarrafal on São Nicolau, Sal Rei on Boa Vista, Vila do Maio (Porto Inglês) on Maio, São Filipe on Fogo and Furna on Brava. These act as terminals for the inter-island ferry services which carry both freight and passengers. The pier at Santa Maria on Sal used by both fishing and dive boats has been rehabilitated.
7 operational in 2014 - 4 international and 3 domestic. 2 inoperational, one on Brava and the other on Santo Antão, closed for safety reasons.
- Amílcar Cabral International Airport, Sal Island
- Nelson Mandela International Airport, Santiago Island
- Aristides Pereira International Airport, Boa Vista Island
- Cesária Évora Airport, Sao Vicente Island
- Outline of Cape Verde
- Index of Cape Verde-related articles
- List of Cape Verdeans
- Cape Verdean American
- Cape Verdeans in the Netherlands
- List of island countries
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On behalf of President Obama and the people of the United States, I send best wishes to Cabo Verdeans as you celebrate 39 years of independence on July 5.
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|Wikimedia Commons has media related to:|
- Cape Verde travel guide from Wikivoyage
- Wikimedia Atlas of Cape Verde
- Official website of the Government of Cape Verde
- Cape Verde at DMOZ
- Cape Verde entry at The World Factbook
- Cape Verde from State.gov
- Country Profile from BBC News
- Cape Verde entry on Encyclopædia Britannica
- Cape Verde from UCB Libraries GovPubs
- Key Development Forecasts for Cape Verde from International Futures
- Cape Verde 2012 Summary Trade Statistics