Facts about Cape-Verde
|Population||426,998 (July 2008 est.)|
|Time zone||UTC-1 (4 hours ahead of Washington, DC during Standard Time)|
Western Africa, group of islands in the North Atlantic Ocean, west of Senegal
General info about 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.
Portuguese, Crioulo (a blend of Portuguese and West African words)
What about drugs?
used as a transshipment point for Latin American cocaine destined for Western Europe; the lack of a well-developed financial system limits the country's utility as a money-laundering center
Creole (mulatto) 71%, African 28%, European 1%
HIV/AIDS prevalence rate
0.035% (2001 est.)
temperate; warm, dry summer; precipitation meager and very erratic
salt, basalt rock, limestone, kaolin, fish, clay, gypsum
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.
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
Cities in Cape-Verde