The Info List - Cape Verde

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CAPE VERDE /ˌkeɪp ˈvɜːrd/ or CABO VERDE /kɑːboʊ ˈvɜːrdeɪ/ , /kæ-/ (Portuguese : Cabo Verde, pronounced ), officially the REPUBLIC OF CABO VERDE, is an island country spanning an archipelago of 10 volcanic islands in the central Atlantic Ocean
Atlantic Ocean
. Located 570 kilometres (350 mi) west of the Cape Verde Peninsula in West Africa
, the islands cover a combined area of slightly over 4,000 square kilometres (1,500 sq mi).

The Cape Verde
Cape Verde
archipelago was uninhabited until the 15th century, when Portuguese explorers discovered and colonized the islands, establishing the first European settlement in the tropics. Ideally located for the Atlantic slave trade
Atlantic slave trade
, the islands grew prosperous throughout the 16th and 17th centuries, attracting merchants, privateers , and pirates . The end of slavery in the 19th century led to economic decline and emigration. Cape Verde
Cape Verde
gradually recovered as an important commercial center and stopover for shipping routes. Incorporated as an overseas department of Portugal
in 1951, the islands continued to agitate for independence, which was peacefully achieved in 1975.

Since the early 1990s, Cape Verde
Cape Verde
has been a stable representative democracy , and remains one of the most developed and democratic countries in Africa. Lacking natural resources, its developing economy is mostly service-oriented, with a growing focus on tourism and foreign investment. Its population of around 512,000 is mostly of mixed European and sub-Saharan African heritage, and predominantly Roman Catholic, reflecting the legacy of Portuguese rule. A sizeable diaspora community exists across the world, slightly outnumbering inhabitants on the islands.

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
United Nations
, even in English contexts. Cape Verde
Cape Verde
is a member of the African Union .


* 1 Etymology

* 2 History

* 2.1 Independence (1975)

* 3 Politics

* 3.1 Foreign relations * 3.2 Military * 3.3 International recognition

* 4 Geography

* 4.1 Physical geography and geology * 4.2 Climate * 4.3 Biome * 4.4 Administrative divisions * 4.5 Largest cities

* 5 Economy

* 5.1 Development * 5.2 Tourism

* 6 Society

* 6.1 Demographics * 6.2 Ethnic groups
Ethnic groups
* 6.3 Languages * 6.4 Religion * 6.5 Emigration and immigration * 6.6 Health * 6.7 Education * 6.8 Science and technology * 6.9 Crime

* 7 Culture

* 7.1 Media * 7.2 Music * 7.3 Dance * 7.4 Literature * 7.5 Cinema * 7.6 Cuisine * 7.7 Sports

* 8 Transport

* 8.1 Ports

* 8.2 Airports

* 8.2.1 International airports

* 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. In 1444 Portuguese explorers had named that landmark as Cabo Verde, a few years before they discovered the islands. (Verde is Portuguese for "green").

On 24 October 2013, the country's delegation 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.


Main article: History of Cape Verde Insulae Capitis Viridis (1598), showing Cape Verde.

Before the arrival of Europeans, the Cape Verde
Cape Verde
Islands were uninhabited. The islands of the Cape Verde
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
Cape Verde
by Portuguese King Afonso V . Other navigators mentioned as contributing to discoveries in the Cape Verde
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 . A view of Monte Cara from Mindelo

In the 16th century, the archipelago prospered from the Atlantic slave trade . Pirates occasionally attacked the Portuguese settlements. Sir Francis Drake
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 when it was a part of the Iberian Union . 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
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
Cape Verde
in 1832. Grain Ship "Garthpool". In 1928 wrecked at Boavista, Cape Verde.

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
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.


Amílcar Cabral on a stamp of the former GDR .

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 5 July 1975. In the late 1970s and 1980s, most African countries prohibited South African Airways from overflights but Cape Verde
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
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
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.


Main article: Politics of Cape Verde Cape Verdean Prime Minister José Maria Neves meets with the US Secretary of Defense Chuck Hagel , in 2013.

Cape Verde
Cape Verde
is a stable semi-presidential representative democratic republic . It is among the most democratic nations in the world, ranking 23rd position in the world, according to the 2016 Democracy Index . 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 — MPD (36), PAICV (25) and the Cape Verdean Independent Democratic Union (UCID) (3).

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.

The two main political parties are PAICV and MPD.


Further information: Foreign relations of Cape Verde Map of countries with Cape Verdean embassies.

Cape Verde
Cape Verde
follows a policy of nonalignment and seeks cooperative relations with all friendly states. Angola
, Brazil, the People\'s Republic
of China , Libya
, Cuba
, France
, Germany
, Portugal
, Spain , Senegal
, Russia
, Luxembourg
, and the United States
United States
maintain embassies in Praia. Cape Verde
Cape Verde
is actively interested in foreign affairs, especially in Africa.

Cape Verde
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
Cape Verde
has a special partnership status with the EU , under the Cotonou Agreement
Cotonou Agreement
, and might apply for special membership , even because the Cape Verdean escudo
Cape Verdean escudo
, the country's currency, is indexed to the Euro
. In 2011 Cape Verde ratified the Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court .


Main article: Cape Verdean Armed Forces Marines of the Cape Verdean Coast Guard.

The military of Cape Verde
Cape Verde
consists of a National Guard and the Coast Guard.; 0.7% of the country's GDP was spent on the military in 2005.

Having fought their only war for independence against Portugal between 1974 and 1975, the efforts of the Caboverdean Armed Forces have now been turned to combating international drug trafficking. In 2007, together with the Cabo Verdean Police, they carried out Operation Flying Launch (Operacão Lancha Voadora), a successful operation to put an end to a drug trafficking group which smuggled cocaine from Colombia
to the Netherlands
and Germany
using the country as a reorder point. The operation took more than three years, being a secret operation during the first two years, and ended in 2010.

Although located in Africa, Cape Verde
Cape Verde
has always had close relations with Europe. Because of this, some scholars argue that Cape Verde
Cape Verde
may be eligible to join the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe and NATO

The most recent engagement of the Armed Forces was the Monte Tchota massacre that resulted in 11 deaths.


Cape Verde
Cape Verde
is often praised as an example among African nations for its stability and developmental growth despite its lack of natural resources. Among other achievements, it has been recognised with the following assessments:


Human Development Index
Human Development Index
0.648 7000100000000000000♠1 (top 17%) 7000300000000000000♠3 (top 38%) 7001100000000000000♠10 (top 19%) 7002122000000000000♠122 (top 60%) 2016

Ibrahim Index of African Governance 73.0 7000100000000000000♠1 (top 17%) N/A 7000300000000000000♠3 (top 6%) N/A 2015

Freedom of the Press 27 (Free) 7000100000000000000♠1 (top 17%) 7000200000000000000♠2 (top 25%) 7000100000000000000♠1 (top 2%) 7001480000000000000♠48 (top 24%) 2014

Freedom in the World 1/1 7000100000000000000♠1 (top 17%) 7000100000000000000♠1 (top 13%) 7000100000000000000♠1 (top 2%) 7000100000000000000♠1 (top 1%) 2016

Press Freedom Index 18.02 7000100000000000000♠1 (top 17%) 7000200000000000000♠2 (top 25%) 7000300000000000000♠3 (top 6%) 7001270000000000000♠27 (top 14%) 2017

Democracy Index 7.94 (Flawed democracy) 7000100000000000000♠1 (top 17%) 7000100000000000000♠1 (top 13%) 7000200000000000000♠2 (top 4%) 7001230000000000000♠23 (top 12%) 2016

Corruption Perceptions Index 59 7000100000000000000♠1 (top 17%) 7000200000000000000♠2 (top 25%) 7000200000000000000♠2 (top 4%) 7001380000000000000♠38 (top 19%) 2016

Index of Economic Freedom 66.5 7000100000000000000♠1 (top 17%) 7000100000000000000♠1 (top 13%) 7000300000000000000♠3 (top 6%) 7001570000000000000♠57 (top 28%) 2016

e-Government Readiness Index 0.3551 7000100000000000000♠1 (top 17%) 7000300000000000000♠3 (top 38%) 7001140000000000000♠14 (top 26%) 7002127000000000000♠127 (top 63%) 2014

Failed States Index 74.1 7000100000000000000♠1 (top 17%) 7000300000000000000♠3 (top 38%) 7000800000000000000♠8 (top 15%) 7001930000000000000♠93 (top 46%) 2014

Networked Readiness Index 3.8 7000100000000000000♠1 (top 17%) 7000300000000000000♠3 (top 38%) 7000700000000000000♠7 (top 13%) 7001870000000000000♠87 (top 43%) 2015

A See List of countries by Human Development Index# Africa

B 1/1 is the highest possible rating.

C With the maximum score, Cape Verde
Cape Verde
shares the first place with Portugal.

D Cape Verde
Cape Verde
was the only African country to reach the maximum rating.

E With the maximum score, Cape Verde
Cape Verde
shares the first place with 48 other countries.

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.


Main article: Geography of Cape Verde A topographic map of Cape Verde. A satellite photo of the Cape Verde
Cape Verde
islands, 2010.

The Cape Verde
Cape Verde
archipelago is in the Atlantic Ocean, approximately 570 kilometres (350 mi) off the western coast of the African continent, 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 country is a horseshoe-shaped cluster of ten islands (nine inhabited) and eight islets, that constitute an area of 4033 km2.

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 .

The largest island, both in size and population, is Santiago , which hosts the nation's capital, Praia, the principal urban agglomeration in the archipelago.

Three (Sal , Boa Vista and Maio ) are fairly flat, sandy, and dry; the others are generally rockier with more vegetation.


Geologically, the islands, covering a combined area of slightly over 4,033 square kilometres (1,557 square miles), 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 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
Cape Verde
Rise. The Rise is one of the largest protuberances in the world's oceans, rising 2.2 kilometres (1.4 miles) 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 kilometres (5 miles) diameter caldera , whose rim is 1,600 metres (5,249 feet) altitude and an interior cone that rises to 2,829 metres (9,281 feet) 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 kilometres (5 miles)).

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 landslides .

According to the president of Nauru
, Cape Verde
Cape Verde
has been ranked the eighth most endangered nation due to flooding from climate change .

* Geography of Cape Verde


The beach of Calhau, with Monte Verde in the background, on the island of São Vicente . *

Countryside on Santiago Island *

A typical landscape of Santa Catarina, Santiago Island *

Santo Antão island landscapes *

Ribeira Grande Valley on Santiago .


Further information: Geography of Cape Verde § Climate

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 produce 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 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 26 °C (79 °F) in February to 31 °C (87.8 °F) in September. Cape Verde
Cape Verde
is part of the Sahelian arid belt , with nothing like the rainfall levels of nearby West Africa. It rains irregularly between August and October, with frequent brief heavy downpours. A desert is usually defined as terrain that receives less than 250 mm (9.8 in) of annual rainfall. Sal's total of (145 mm (5.7 in)) confirms this classification. Most of the year's rain falls in September.



RECORD HIGH °C (°F) 33.0 (91.4) 36.7 (98.1) 35.2 (95.4) 36.0 (96.8) 36.4 (97.5) 40.0 (104) 40.0 (104) 34.9 (94.8) 35.0 (95) 37.0 (98.6) 36.9 (98.4) 33.2 (91.8) 40.0 (104)

AVERAGE HIGH °C (°F) 26.1 (79) 26.2 (79.2) 27.4 (81.3) 27.7 (81.9) 28.9 (84) 29.4 (84.9) 29.7 (85.5) 30.6 (87.1) 30.5 (86.9) 30.7 (87.3) 29.4 (84.9) 27.6 (81.7) 28.68 (83.64)

DAILY MEAN °C (°F) 22 (72) 22 (72) 22 (72) 23 (73) 24 (75) 24 (75) 25 (77) 26 (79) 26 (79) 26 (79) 25 (77) 23 (73) 24 (75)

AVERAGE LOW °C (°F) 19.7 (67.5) 19.2 (66.6) 19.4 (66.9) 20.2 (68.4) 21.1 (70) 21.9 (71.4) 23.3 (73.9) 24.3 (75.7) 24.4 (75.9) 24.1 (75.4) 22.8 (73) 21.4 (70.5) 21.82 (71.27)

RECORD LOW °C (°F) 10.0 (50) 10.2 (50.4) 10.0 (50) 14.0 (57.2) 10.7 (51.3) 14.1 (57.4) 11.0 (51.8) 16.0 (60.8) 18.0 (64.4) 19.4 (66.9) 16.4 (61.5) 16.0 (60.8) 10.0 (50)

AVERAGE PRECIPITATION MM (INCHES) 3 (0.12) 7 (0.28) 5 (0.2) 5 (0.2) 0 (0) 3 (0.12) 5 (0.2) 15 (0.59) 14 (0.55) 16 (0.63) 7 (0.28) 10 (0.39) 90 (3.56)

AVERAGE RELATIVE HUMIDITY (%) 61 58 57 56 57 61 67 50 47 67 64 63 59

MEAN MONTHLY SUNSHINE HOURS 310.0 214.5 280.0 330.0 341.0 300.0 279.0 250.0 295.0 279.0 300.0 279.0 3,457.5

Source #1: Weatherbase.com (humidity, sun and mean temperature), Met Office
Met Office
for precipitation

Source #2: Voodoo Skies for the rest

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 landscape is arid. 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 millimetres (7.9 inches) in the arid areas of the coast to more than 1,000 millimetres (39 inches) in the humid mountain. Most 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.

Western Hemisphere-bound hurricanes often have their early beginnings near the Cape Verde
Cape Verde
Islands. These are referred to as Cape Verde-type hurricanes . These hurricanes can become very intense as they cross warm Atlantic waters away from Cape Verde. 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
Cape Verde

The islands themselves have only been struck by hurricanes twice in recorded history (since 1851): once in 1892, and again in 2015 by Hurricane Fred , the easternmost hurricane ever to form in the Atlantic.


Main article: Wildlife of Cape Verde

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
Cape Verde
giant gecko ( Tarentola gigas).


Main article: Administrative divisions of Cabo Verde

Cape Verde
Cape Verde
is divided into 22 municipalities (concelhos) and subdivided into 32 parishes (freguesias ), based on the religious parishes that existed during the colonial period:


Santo Antão Ribeira Grande 18,890 Nossa Senhora do Rosário

Nossa Senhora do Livramento

Santo Crucifixo

São Pedro Apóstolo

Paúl 6,997 Santo António das Pombas

Porto Novo 18,028 São João Baptista

Santo André

São Vicente São Vicente 79,374 Nossa Senhora da Luz

Santa Luzia

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


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


* v * t * e

Largest cities or towns in Cape Verde Instituto Nacional de Estatística (Distribuição da população residente - RGPH 2010: População urbana)



1 Praia
127 832

Santa Maria


2 Mindelo
São Vicente 70 468

3 Santa Maria Sal 23 839

4 Assomada Santa Catarina 12 026

5 Porto Novo Porto Novo 9 430

6 Pedra Badejo Santa Cruz 9 345

7 São Filipe São Filipe 8 125

8 Tarrafal Tarrafal 6 177

9 Sal Rei Boa Vista 5 407

10 Ribeira Grande Ribeira Grande 4 625


Main article: Economy of Cape Verde A row of colorful office buildings in Praia
, Santiago Island A proportional representation of Cape Verde's export products. A resort in Sal .

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, the UN has classified it as a developing nation rather than a least developed country .

Cape Verde
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
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
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
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 wind farm was built that 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
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.

In 2007, Cape Verde
Cape Verde
joined the World Trade Organization (WTO) and in 2008 the country graduated from Least Developed Country (LDC) to Middle Income Country (MIC) status.

Cape Verde
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 23 June 2008 Cape Verde became the 153rd member of the WTO.

The minimum wage has been set at 11,000.00 Cape Verde
Cape Verde
escudos (CVE) monthly (equivalent to US$110 or 101 Euros) for the first time in Cape Verdean history, in August 2013. The national minimum wage went into full effect on 1 January 2014.


The European Commission's total allocation for the period of 2008–2013 foreseen for Cape Verde
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. Freedom Avenue in Assomada , near town square



Main article: Tourism in Cape Verde Yachts in Porto Grande, Mindelo
on the island of São Vicente . Tourism is a growing source of income on the islands.

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 São Vicente, the newest international airport ( Cesária Évora 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.



Main articles: Cape Verdeans and Demographics of Cape Verde Cape Verde's population, (1961–2003). Cape Verde's population pyramid , 2005.

The official Census recorded that Cape Verde
Cape Verde
had a population of 512,096 in 2013. A large proportion (236,000) of Cape Verdeans live on the main island, Santiago.


The Cape Verde
Cape Verde
archipelago was uninhabited when the Portuguese discovered it in 1456. African slaves were brought to the islands to work on Portuguese plantations. Most Cape Verdeans are mulattos (mestiços in Portuguese), who have mixed African and European origins; another term is creole meaning mixed black and white descent. A lot of these Cape Verdeans have emigrated elsewhere, mainly to the United States
United States
and Europe.

European ancestors include Spanish and Italian seamen who were granted land by the Portuguese Empire, followed by Portuguese settlers, exiles, Portuguese Muslims and Portuguese Jews who were both victims of the Inquisition. Many foreigners from other parts of the world settled in Cape Verde
Cape Verde
as their permanent country. These people came from places such as the Netherlands, France, Britain, Arab countries(Lebanon and Morocco), China (especially from Macau), India, Indonesia, South America, North America and Brazil
(including people of Portuguese and African descent) and were 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 live 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.


Cape Verde's official language is Portuguese. It is the language of instruction and government. It is also used in such media as newspapers, television, and radio.

Cape Verdean Creole is used colloquially and is the mother tongue of virtually all Cape Verdeans. The national constitution calls for the measures to give it parity with Portuguese. 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.


Further information: Religion in Cape Verde

Religion in Cape Verde (2010) Catholic Church
Catholic Church
(78.7%) Other Christian (10.4%) Other or Non Religious (10.9%)

Around 95% of the population are Christian. More than 85% of the population was nominally Roman Catholic
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
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.


Main article: Cape Verdean diaspora

Today, more Cape Verdeans live abroad than in Cape Verde
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
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 ), Spain
(65,500), United Kingdom (35,500), France
(25,000), 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.

The Chinese make up a sizable and important segment of the immigrant population in Cape Verde. The immigrants from the nearby West African coast make up the majority of foreigners in the country. Over the last several years, a few thousand Europeans and Latin Americans have settled in the country. On the islands, there are over 22,000 foreigners/naturalized Cape Verdeans living and working on a permanent basis.

Over the years, Cape Verde
Cape Verde
has increasingly become a net immigration country due to its relative high per capita income, political and social stability, and freedom.

Emigrants from the Cape Verde
Cape Verde
islands to North America have a long history of involvement with the armed forces. Enlisting in aid of the Revolutionary War, the 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
, and Argentina
to northern Europe.


Main article: Health in Cape Verde A health clinic in a residential area of Praia.

The infant mortality rate among Cape Verdean children between 0 and 5 years old is 17.5 per 1,000 live births according to the latest (2016) data from the National Statistics Bureau , while the maternal mortality rate is 42 deaths per 100,000 live births. The HIV-AIDS prevalence rate among Cape Verdeans between 15 and 49 years old is approximately 1.09 %.

According to the latest data (2015) from the National Statistics Bureau , life expectancy at birth in Cape Verde
Cape Verde
is 71.5 years for males and 79.9 years for females. There are six hospitals in the Cape Verde archipelago; that is, two central hospitals (i.e., one in the capital city of Praia
and one in Mindelo, São Vicente), and four regional hospitals; that is, one in Santa Catarina (northern Santiago region), one on São Antão, one on Fogo, and one on Sal. In addition, there are 28 health centers, 35 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 10th best ranked country in Africa
in its Human Development Index
Human Development Index

The total expenditure for health was 7.1% of GDP (2015).


Main article: Education in Cape Verde A kindergarten graduation on Santiago island.

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 as opposed to 5-year bachelor's degree programs that existed before 2010. Cape Verde
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.

As of October 2016, there were 69 secondary schools throughout the archipelago (including 19 private secondary schools) and at least 10 universities in the country which are based on the two islands of Santiago and São Vicente. In 2015, 23% of the Cape Verdean population had either attended or graduated from secondary schools. When it came to higher education, 9% of Cape Verdean men and 8% of Cape Verdean women held a bachelor's degree or had attended universities. The overall college education rate (i.e., college graduates and undergraduate students) in Cape Verde
Cape Verde
is about 24%, in relation to the local college age population .

The total expenditure on education was 5.6% of GDP (2010). The mean years of schooling of adults over 25 years is 12.


Main article: Science and technology in Cabo Verde

In 2011, Cabo Verde devoted just 0.07% of GDP to research and development, among the lowest rates in West Africa. The Ministry of Higher Education, Science and Culture plans to strengthen the research and academic sectors by placing emphasis on greater mobility, through exchange programmes and international co-operation agreements. As part of this strategy, Cabo Verde is participating in the Ibero-American academic mobility programme that expects to mobilize 200 000 academics between 2015 and 2020.

Cabo Verde counted 25 researchers in 2011, a researcher density of 51 per million inhabitants. The world average was 1,083 per million in 2013. All 25 researchers were working in the government sector in 2011 and one in three were women (36%). There was no research being conducted in either medical or agricultural sciences. Of the eight engineers involved in research and develoment, one was a woman. Three of the five researchers working in natural sciences were women, as were three of the six social scientists and two of the five researchers from the humanities.

In 2015, the government was planning to build a ‘cyber-island’ which would develop and offer services that include software development, computer maintenance and back office operations. Approved in 2013, the Praia
Technology Park is a step in this direction. Financed by the African Development Bank , it is expected to be operational by 2018.


Further information: Crime in Cape Verde

Theft and burglary are common in Cape Verde
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.


Main article: Culture of Cape Verde Cape Verdeans are a very musical people; The Chã das Caldeiras group is an example.

In all its aspects, the culture of Cape Verde
Cape Verde
is characterized by a mixture of European and African elements. This is not a sum of two cultures, living side by side, but a third product, totally new, resulting from an exchange that began five hundred years ago. Much similar to some parts of Brazil

The Cape Verdean case may be situated in the common context of African nations, in which elites, who questioned European racial and cultural superiority and who in some cases undertook a long armed struggle against European imperialism and national liberation, use the rule of Western codes as the main instrument of internal domination.

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 practiced regularly in Cape Verde
Cape Verde


Further information: Media of Cape Verde

In towns with electricity, television is available on three channels; one state owned (RTC - TCV) and three foreign owned, RTI Cabo Verde launched by the Portuguese-based RTI in 2005,on March 31, 2007, Record Cabo Verde , its own version was launched by the Brazilian-based Rede Record . Cape Verde
Cape Verde
has now received TV CPLP and some of its programs are broadcast, the network first aired in 2016. Premium channels includes the Capeverdean versions of Boom TV and Zap Cabo Verde, two channels owned by Brazil's Record. Other premium channels are aired in Cape Verde
Cape Verde
especially Satellite Network, they are common in hotels and villas but availability is predominantly limited, one of them is RDP África , the African version of the Portuguese radio station RDP .

As of early 2017, about 19% of the Cape Verdean population own an active cellular phone, 70% have access to the internet, 11% own a landline telephone, and 2% of the population are signed up with a local cable TV company. In 2003, Cape Verde
Cape Verde
had 71,700 main line telephones with an additional 53,300 cellular phones in use throughout the country.

In 2004, there were seven radio stations; six independent and one state owned. The media is operated by the Capeverdean News Agency (secondarily as Inforpress ). Nationwide radio stations include RCV, RCV+, Radio Kriola, the religious station Radio Nova. Local radio stations include Rádio Praia
, the first radio station in Cape Verde, Praia
FM , the first FM station in the nation, Rádio Barlavento , Rádio Clube do Mindelo
and Radio Morabeza in Mindelo.


Further information: Music of Cape Verde Cesária Évora , cape verdean singer.

The Cape Verdean people are known for their musicality, well expressed by popular manifestations such as the Carnival of Mindelo, whose importance makes the city known in the days of the momesque celebrations as "Brazilim" (or "little Brazil"). Cape Verde
Cape Verde
music incorporates "African, Portuguese 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 , followed by funaná and batuque music. Cesária Évora was the best-known Cape Verdean singer in the world, known as the "barefoot diva", because she liked to perform on stage. The international success of Cesária Évora has made other Cape Verdean artists, or descendants of Cape Verdeans born in Portugal, gain more space in the music market. Examples of this are singers Sara Tavares, Lura and Mayra Andrade .

Another great exponent of traditional music from Cape Verde
Cape Verde
was Antonio Vicente Lopes, better known as Travadinha and Ildo Lobo , who died in 2004. The House of Culture in the center of the city of Praia is called Ildo Lobo House of Culture, in his honor.

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
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 , the Cape Verdean version of the zouk from Guadeloupe called Cabo love , 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 Carnival and the island of São Vicente is portrayed in the awarded feature documentary Tchindas , nominated at the African Oscars 2016, the 12th Africa
Movie Academy Awards



The Cape Verde
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
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.


The country's most successful sports team is the Cape Verde
Cape Verde
national basketball team , which won the bronze medal at the FIBA Africa Championship 2007 , after beating Egypt
in its last game. The country's most well-known player is Walter Tavares , who plays for the Cleveland Cavaliers of the NBA .

Cape Verde
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
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
Cape Verde
and is controlled by the Federação Caboverdiana de Futebol . The team has played at two Africa
Cup of Nations , in 2013 and 2015 .

The country has competed at every Summer Olympics since 1996.


Main article: Transport in Cape Verde


New port in Santo Antão

There are four international ports: Mindelo, São Vicente; Praia, Santiago; Palmeira, Sal; and Sal Rei, Boa Vista. 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.


Aristides Pereira International Airport in Boa Vista island.

Seven operational in 2014 — 4 international and 3 domestic. Two non-operational, one on Brava and the other on Santo Antão, closed for safety reasons.

International Airports

* Amílcar Cabral International Airport , Sal Island * Nelson Mandela International Airport , Santiago Island * Aristides Pereira International Airport , Boa Vista Island * Cesária Évora Airport , São Vicente Island * Joao Dos Santos Airport


* Cape Verde
Cape Verde

* 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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Wikivoyage has a travel guide for CAPE VERDE .

Wikimedia Commons
Wikimedia Commons
has media related to: CAPE VERDE (category)

* Cape Verde
Cape Verde
travel guide from Wikivoyage * Wikimedia Atlas of Cape Verde * News related to Category: Cape Verde
Cape Verde
at Wikinews * Official website of the Government of Cape