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About Cape Verde

About Cape Verde

About Cape Verde

Official Name

Republic of Cabo Verde


Area: 4,033 sq. km. (1,557 sq. mi.), slightly larger than Rhode Island .
Cities: Capital-- Praia (pop. 200,000 est.). Other city--Mindelo (pop. 67,844 est.).
Terrain: Steep, rugged, rocky, volcanic.
Climate: Temperate; warm, dry summer; precipitation meager and erratic.


Nationality: Noun and adjective-- Cape Verdean(s) .
Population (2009 forecast): 506,000.
Annual population growth rate (2008 est.): 1.41%.
Ethnic groups: Creole (mixed African and Portuguese) 71%, African 28%, European 1%.
Religions: Roman Catholic, Protestant.
Languages: Portuguese (official); Cape Verdean Creole (national).
Education: Literacy (2008)--77%.
Health: Infant mortality rate (2008)--24.8/1,000. Life expectancy (2008)--72.5 yrs


Type: Republic.
Independence : July 5, 1975.
Constitution: 1980; revised 1992, 1995, 1999, and 2010.
Branches: Executive--president (head of state), prime minister (head of government), Council of Ministers. Legislative--National Assembly. Judicial--Supreme Court, lower courts.

President: Jorge Carlos Fonseca
Prime Minister: José Maria Neves
President of Parliament: Basilio Mosso Ramos
Administrative subdivisions: 17 administrative districts.
Political parties: African Party for Independence of Cape Verde or PAICV [Jose Maria Pereira NEVES, chairman]; Democratic and Independent Cape Verdean Union or UCID [Antonio MONTEIRO]; Movement for Democracy or MPD [Carlos VEIGA].
Suffrage: Universal over 18.


GDP (2009 forecast): $1.909 billion.
GDP per capita (2009 forecast): $3,770.
Real GDP growth rate (2009 forecast): 4%.
Inflation (2009 forecast): 3.5%.
Natural resources: Salt, pozzolana, limestone, fish, shellfish.
Agriculture: Products--bananas, corn, beans, sugarcane, coffee, fruits, vegetables, livestock products.


Types--fish and fish products, clothing, shoes, beverages, salt, construction, building materials, ship repair, furniture, metal products, tourism.


Trade (2009): Exports--$36.7 million: re-exported fuel, fish and crustaceans, clothing, shoes and shoe parts. Imports--$746.3 million: consumer goods, intermediary goods, capital goods, petroleum. Major trading partners, exports-- Spain 62%, Portugal 34%, France 3%, United States 1%. Major trading partners, imports-- Portugal 48%, Netherlands 17%, Spain 10%, Brazil 4%, Germany 2%.

Fiscal year: Calendar year.

Currency: Escudo (CVEsc 79 = $1 as of February 2010), which is pegged to the Euro.

Economic aid received: $161 million (2005). Largest donors--Portugal ($43 million); European Union ($22 million); World Bank-IDA ($21 million); Luxembourg ($15 million); Netherlands ($10 million); the United States (more than $110 million).


In 1462, Portuguese settlers arrived at Santiago and founded Ribeira Grande (now Cidade Velha)--the first permanent European settlement city in the tropics. In the 16th century, the archipelago prospered from the transatlantic slave trade. Pirates occasionally attacked the Portuguese settlements. Sir Francis Drake sacked Ribeira Grande in 1585. After a French attack in 1712, the city declined in importance relative to Praia , which became the capital in 1770.



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