Africa :: Cape Verde
page last updated on October 28, 2009
Flag of Cape Verde
Location of Cape Verde
 
Map of Cape Verde
Introduction ::Cape Verde
The uninhabited islands were discovered and colonized by the Portuguese in the 15th century; Cape Verde subsequently became a trading center for African slaves and later an important coaling and resupply stop for whaling and transatlantic shipping. Following independence in 1975, and a tentative interest in unification with Guinea-Bissau, a one-party system was established and maintained until multi-party elections were held in 1990. Cape Verde continues to exhibit one of Africa's most stable democratic governments. Repeated droughts during the second half of the 20th century caused significant hardship and prompted heavy emigration. As a result, Cape Verde's expatriate population is greater than its domestic one. Most Cape Verdeans have both African and Portuguese antecedents.
Geography ::Cape Verde
Western Africa, group of islands in the North Atlantic Ocean, west of Senegal
16 00 N, 24 00 W
total: 4,033 sq km
country comparison to the world: 175
land: 4,033 sq km
water: 0 sq km
slightly larger than Rhode Island
0 km
965 km
measured from claimed archipelagic baselines
territorial sea: 12 nm
contiguous zone: 24 nm
exclusive economic zone: 200 nm
temperate; warm, dry summer; precipitation meager and very erratic
steep, rugged, rocky, volcanic
lowest point: Atlantic Ocean 0 m
highest point: Mt. Fogo 2,829 m (a volcano on Fogo Island)
salt, basalt rock, limestone, kaolin, fish, clay, gypsum
arable land: 11.41%
permanent crops: 0.74%
other: 87.85% (2005)
30 sq km (2003)
0.3 cu km (1990)
total: 0.02 cu km/yr (7%/2%/91%)
per capita: 39 cu m/yr (2000)
prolonged droughts; seasonal harmattan wind produces obscuring dust; volcanically and seismically active
soil erosion; deforestation due to demand for wood used as fuel; water shortages; desertification; environmental damage has threatened several species of birds and reptiles; illegal beach sand extraction; overfishing
party to: Biodiversity, Climate Change, Climate Change-Kyoto Protocol, Desertification, Endangered Species, Environmental Modification, Hazardous Wastes, Law of the Sea, Marine Dumping, Ozone Layer Protection, Ship Pollution, Wetlands
signed, but not ratified: none of the selected agreements
strategic location 500 km from west coast of Africa near major north-south sea routes; important communications station; important sea and air refueling site
People ::Cape Verde
429,474 (July 2009 est.)
country comparison to the world: 171
0-14 years: 35.2% (male 76,012/female 74,993)
15-64 years: 58.5% (male 123,376/female 127,653)
65 years and over: 6.4% (male 10,040/female 17,400) (2009 est.)
total: 21.1 years
male: 20.4 years
female: 21.9 years (2009 est.)
0.561% (2009 est.)
country comparison to the world: 149
23.5 births/1,000 population (2009 est.)
country comparison to the world: 74
6.22 deaths/1,000 population (July 2009 est.)
country comparison to the world: 155
-11.67 migrant(s)/1,000 population (2009 est.)
country comparison to the world: 177
urban population: 60% of total population (2008)
rate of urbanization: 3.5% annual rate of change (2005-10 est.)
at birth: 1.03 male(s)/female
under 15 years: 1.01 male(s)/female
15-64 years: 0.97 male(s)/female
65 years and over: 0.58 male(s)/female
total population: 0.95 male(s)/female (2009 est.)
total: 41.35 deaths/1,000 live births
country comparison to the world: 63
male: 47.39 deaths/1,000 live births
female: 35.12 deaths/1,000 live births (2009 est.)
total population: 71.61 years
country comparison to the world: 126
male: 68.27 years
female: 75.05 years (2009 est.)
3.07 children born/woman (2009 est.)
country comparison to the world: 69
0.035% (2001 est.)
country comparison to the world: 167
775 (2001)
country comparison to the world: 144
225 (as of 2001)
country comparison to the world: 103
noun: Cape Verdean(s)
adjective: Cape Verdean
Creole (mulatto) 71%, African 28%, European 1%
Roman Catholic (infused with indigenous beliefs), Protestant (mostly Church of the Nazarene)
Portuguese, Crioulo (a blend of Portuguese and West African words)
definition: age 15 and over can read and write
total population: 76.6%
male: 85.8%
female: 69.2% (2003 est.)
total: 12 years
male: 11 years
female: 12 years (2006)
6.3% of GDP (2006)
country comparison to the world: 34
Government ::Cape Verde
conventional long form: Republic of Cape Verde
conventional short form: Cape Verde
local long form: Republica de Cabo Verde
local short form: Cabo Verde
republic
name: Praia
geographic coordinates: 14 55 N, 23 31 W
time difference: UTC-1 (4 hours ahead of Washington, DC during Standard Time)
17 municipalities (concelhos, singular - concelho); Boa Vista, Brava, Maio, Mosteiros, Paul, Praia, Porto Novo, Ribeira Grande, Sal, Santa Catarina, Santa Cruz, Sao Domingos, Sao Filipe, Sao Miguel, Sao Nicolau, Sao Vicente, Tarrafal
5 July 1975 (from Portugal)
Independence Day, 5 July (1975)
25 September 1992; a major revision on 23 November 1995 substantially increased the powers of the president; a 1999 revision created the position of national ombudsman (Provedor de Justica)
based on the legal system of Portugal; has not accepted compulsory ICJ jurisdiction
18 years of age; universal
chief of state: President Pedro Verona Rodriques PIRES (since 22 March 2001)
head of government: Prime Minister Jose Maria Pereira NEVES (since 1 February 2001)
cabinet: Council of Ministers appointed by the president on the recommendation of the prime minister
elections: president elected by popular vote for a five-year term (eligible for a second term); election last held 12 February 2006 (next to be held in February 2011); prime minister nominated by the National Assembly and appointed by the president
election results: Pedro PIRES reelected president; percent of vote - Pedro PIRES (PAICV) 51.2%, Carlos VIEGA (MPD) 48.8%
unicameral National Assembly or Assembleia Nacional (72 seats; members are elected by popular vote to serve five-year terms)
elections: last held 22 January 2006 (next to be held in January 2011)
election results: percent of vote by party - PAICV 52.3%, MPD 44%, UCID 2.7%; seats by party - PAICV 41, MPD 29, UCID 2
Supreme Tribunal of Justice or Supremo Tribunal de Justia
African Party for Independence of Cape Verde or PAICV [Jose Maria Pereira NEVES, chairman]; Democratic Christian Party or PDC [Manuel RODRIGUES]; Democratic Renovation Party or PRD [Victor FIDALGO]; Democratic and Independent Cape Verdean Union or UCID [Antonio MONTEIRO]; Movement for Democracy or MPD [Jorge SANTOS]; Party for Democratic Convergence or PCD [Dr. Eurico MONTEIRO]; Party of Work and Solidarity or PTS [Isaias RODRIGUES]; Social Democratic Party or PSD [Joao ALEM]
other: environmentalists; political pressure groups
ACCT, ACP, AfDB, AU, CPLP, ECOWAS, FAO, G-77, IBRD, ICAO, ICCt (signatory), ICRM, IDA, IFAD, IFC, IFRCS, ILO, IMF, IMO, Interpol, IOC, IOM, IPU, ITSO, ITU, ITUC, MIGA, NAM, OIF, OPCW, UN, UNCTAD, UNESCO, UNIDO, Union Latina, UNWTO, UPU, WCO, WFTU, WHO, WIPO, WMO, WTO
chief of mission: Ambassador Fatima Lima VEIGA
chancery: 3415 Massachusetts Avenue NW, Washington, DC 20008
telephone: [1] (202) 965-6820
FAX: [1] (202) 965-1207
consulate(s) general: Boston
chief of mission: Ambassador Marianne M. MYLES
embassy: Rua Abilio Macedo n6, Praia
mailing address: C. P. 201, Praia
telephone: [238] 2-60-89-00
FAX: [238] 2-61-13-55
five unequal horizontal bands; the top-most band of blue - equal to one half the width of the flag - is followed by three bands of white, red, and white, each equal to 1/12 of the width, and a bottom stripe of blue equal to one quarter of the flag width; a circle of 10, yellow, five-pointed stars, each representing one of the islands, is centered on the red stripe and positioned 3/8 of the length of the flag from the hoist side
Economy ::Cape Verde
This island economy suffers from a poor natural resource base, including serious water shortages exacerbated by cycles of long-term drought. The economy is service-oriented, with commerce, transport, tourism, and public services accounting for about three-fourths of GDP. Although nearly 70% of the population lives in rural areas, the share of food production in GDP is low. About 82% of food must be imported. The fishing potential, mostly lobster and tuna, is not fully exploited. Cape Verde annually runs a high trade deficit, financed by foreign aid and remittances from emigrants; remittances supplement GDP by more than 20%. Economic reforms are aimed at developing the private sector and attracting foreign investment to diversify the economy. Future prospects depend heavily on the maintenance of aid flows, the encouragement of tourism, remittances, and the momentum of the government's development program. Cape Verde became a member of the WTO in July 2008.
$1.626 billion (2008 est.)
country comparison to the world: 190
$1.542 billion (2007 est.)
$1.442 billion (2006 est.)
note: data are in 2008 US dollars
$1.723 billion (2008 est.)
5.5% (2008 est.)
country comparison to the world: 71
6.9% (2007 est.)
10.8% (2006 est.)
$3,800 (2008 est.)
country comparison to the world: 156
$3,600 (2007 est.)
$3,400 (2006 est.)
note: data are in 2008 US dollars
agriculture: 9.1%
industry: 16.6%
services: 74.4% (2008 est.)
196,100 (2007)
country comparison to the world: 165
21% (2000 est.)
country comparison to the world: 167
30% (2000)
lowest 10%: NA%
highest 10%: NA%
41.6% of GDP (2008 est.)
country comparison to the world: 2
revenues: $508 million
expenditures: $540.2 million (2008 est.)
6.8% (2008 est.)
country comparison to the world: 113
4.4% (2007 est.)
NA% (31 December 2008)
country comparison to the world: 50
8.5% (31 December 2007)
NA% (31 December 2008)
country comparison to the world: 78
10.55% (31 December 2007)
$NA (31 December 2008)
country comparison to the world: 133
$574 million (31 December 2007)
$NA (31 December 2008)
country comparison to the world: 131
$689 million (31 December 2007)
$NA (31 December 2008)
country comparison to the world: 131
$1.049 billion (31 December 2007)
bananas, corn, beans, sweet potatoes, sugarcane, coffee, peanuts; fish
food and beverages, fish processing, shoes and garments, salt mining, ship repair
5% (2008 est.)
country comparison to the world: 49
250 million kWh (2007 est.)
country comparison to the world: 171
232.5 million kWh (2007 est.)
country comparison to the world: 172
0 kWh (2008 est.)
0 kWh (2008 est.)
0 bbl/day (2008 est.)
country comparison to the world: 195
2,000 bbl/day (2008 est.)
country comparison to the world: 184
0 bbl/day (2007 est.)
country comparison to the world: 194
1,619 bbl/day (2007 est.)
country comparison to the world: 180
0 bbl (1 January 2009 est.)
country comparison to the world: 184
0 cu m (2008 est.)
country comparison to the world: 193
0 cu m (2008 est.)
country comparison to the world: 194
0 cu m (2008)
country comparison to the world: 64
0 cu m (2008 est.)
country comparison to the world: 184
0 cu m (1 January 2009 est.)
country comparison to the world: 191
$-186 million (2008 est.)
country comparison to the world: 86
$-132.6 million (2007 est.)
$99 million (2008 est.)
country comparison to the world: 192
$76.5 million (2007 est.)
fuel, shoes, garments, fish, hides
Japan 37.8%, Spain 28.7%, Portugal 17.7% (2008)
$866 million (2008 est.)
country comparison to the world: 174
$743.6 million (2007 est.)
foodstuffs, industrial products, transport equipment, fuels
Portugal 39.5%, Netherlands 11.4%, Spain 6.5%, UK 6.3%, Cote d'Ivoire 4.4%, Brazil 4% (2008)
$258 million (31 December 2008 est.)
country comparison to the world: 143
$281 million (31 December 2007 est.)
$325 million (2002)
country comparison to the world: 172
Cape Verdean escudos (CVE) per US dollar - 73.84 (2008 est.), 81.235 (2007), 87.946 (2006), 88.67 (2005), 88.808 (2004)
Communications ::Cape Verde
72,000 (2008)
country comparison to the world: 155
277,700 (2008)
country comparison to the world: 169
general assessment: effective system, extensive modernization from 1996-2000 following partial privatization in 1995
domestic: major service provider is Cabo Verde Telecom (CVT); fiber-optic ring, completed in 2001, links all islands providing Internet access and ISDN services; cellular service introduced in 1998; broadband services launched in 2004
international: country code - 238; landing point for the Atlantis-2 fiber-optic transatlantic telephone cable that provides links to South America, Senegal, and Europe; HF radiotelephone to Senegal and Guinea-Bissau; satellite earth station - 1 Intelsat (Atlantic Ocean) (2007)
AM 0, FM 22 (plus 12 repeaters), shortwave 0 (2001)
1 (plus 7 repeaters) (2001)
.cv
24 (2009)
country comparison to the world: 214
102,800 (2008)
country comparison to the world: 153
Transportation ::Cape Verde
10 (2009)
country comparison to the world: 156
total: 9
over 3,047 m: 1
1,524 to 2,437 m: 3
914 to 1,523 m: 3
under 914 m: 2 (2009)
total: 1
under 914 m: 1 (2009)
total: 1,350 km
country comparison to the world: 178
paved: 932 km
unpaved: 418 km (2000)
total: 8
country comparison to the world: 125
by type: cargo 2, chemical tanker 1, passenger/cargo 5
foreign-owned: 2 (Spain 1, UK 1) (2008)
Porto Grande
Military ::Cape Verde
People's Revolutionary Armed Forces (FARP): Army, Coast Guard (includes maritime air wing) (2007)
18 years of age (est.) for selective compulsory military service; 14-month conscript service obligation (2006)
males age 16-49: 103,650
females age 16-49: 103,553 (2008 est.)
males age 16-49: 84,967
females age 16-49: 90,154 (2009 est.)
male: 5,471
female: 5,349 (2009 est.)
0.7% of GDP (2005)
country comparison to the world: 152
Transnational Issues ::Cape Verde
none
used as a transshipment point for Latin American cocaine destined for Western Europe, particularly because of Lusophone links to Brazil, Portugal, and Guinea-Bissau; has taken steps to deter drug money laundering, including a 2002 anti-money laundering reform that criminalizes laundering the proceeds of narcotics trafficking and other crimes and the establishment in 2008 of a Financial Intelligence Unit (2008)