Cape Verde, 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 off the coast of West Africa, the islands cover a combined area of slightly over 4,000 square kilometres.
Since the early 1990s, 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 (mulato), 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, even in English contexts. Cape Verde is a member of the African Union.
Oficial denomination: Republic of Cabo Verde
Government: Unitary semi-presidential republic
President: Jorge Carlos Fonseca
Prime Minister: Ulisses Correa e Silva
Anthem: Chant of Freedom
Official language: Portuguese
Recognised national language: Cape Verdean Creole
Population (2015 estimate): 525,000 habitants
Currency: Cape Verdean escudo (CVE)
Cape Verde is a volcanic archipelago that comprises ten islands: Santo Antao, Sao Vicente, Santa Luzia, São Nicolau, Sal, Boavista, Maio, Santiago, Fogo and Brava. The island of Santa Luzia is completely uninhabited because it is part of a nature reserve.
The Constitution of the Republic of Cape Verde stipulates, among other things related to the principles of its economic organization, that all economic activities be conducted with a view to preserving the ecosystem, sustainable development, and balancing the relationship between man and the environment.
Cape Verde - Education
Due to its focus on education, Cape Verde currently has the lowest illiteracy rate of all African countries. This was a contributing factor to Cape Verde’s progression from an undeveloped country to an emerging country.
The level of education has improved at a considerable rate: 88% of children are attending primary school (6 to 14 years old) and 78% are attending secondary school (12 to 17 years old). The illiteracy rate is around 21.3%.
According to the 2010 Census, the number of Cape Verdeans with middle or higher qualifications – as we understand mid-level course as bachelor, master or doctorate - has grown exponentially in the last decade, with an increase by approximately 209%. Cape Verde is now an emerging country that has taken each opportunity to succeed after its independence in July 1975.
Cape Verde – Economy
Economic cooperation has been one of the ways to connect and awaken the interest of the international community in contribution and business investment in these islands.
Tourism, energy, industry, construction, real estate, fishing and transport are some of the areas for investment in Cape Verde.
The agricultural sector, like other similar sectors, despite its fragility, has been and remains extremely important to the country, and provides the livelihood of a large number of families. Corn and beans are the main crops that are grown.
Cape Verde is an example of a society characterised by its side-by-side coexistence of a huge diversity of cultures. Local traditions meet a new set of extra cultural forms from abroad, offering the people a bewildering range of lifestyle options. Thus, a Cape Verdean resident may remain strongly influenced by their cultural traditions and perspectives of their tribal roots, but at the same time, they can experience a cosmopolitan lifestyle - clothing, recreation and leisure.
One of the greatest manifestations of the heritage of a country is its language. In Cape Verde, the official language is Portuguese, used in schools, public administration and the press and publications, and this makes the country a member of the Community of Portuguese Language Countries (CPLP). The mother tongue is Creole, and you can find its variants in the nine inhabited islands. Creole is in the process of official standardisation and there are discussions about its adoption as a second official language, along with Portuguese.
In music, there are several genres, including “morna”, “funaná” and “coladeira”. A musical reference of Cape Verde is the famous singer Cesaria Evora, known as the “barefoot diva," as she liked to perform shoeless.
One of the most famous Cape Verdean parties is Carnival. It is very similar to the Brazilian carnival, and includes parades, masquerades and street dancing, spontaneously created by the people and the highlight of the festival. Carnival is celebrated on all of the Cape Verde islands. However, the most exuberant, crowded and lively is the traditional Mindelo, followed in notoriety by St. Nicholas. In addition to the carnival, there are many other regional parties in Cape Verde, most of which have religious character, combining devotional spirit to the playful relaxation of the party itself.
Tourism is undoubtedly the sector that most attracts foreign investment.
The annual temperature of 25 ° C, the dry subtropical climate and the volcanic origin of the islands give the place a diversity of landscapes with deep valleys, extensive beaches, flat and arid areas, small towns, calm villages and other rural landscapes. This diversity, distributed a little all over the islands, along with its cultural experiences, form the core of tourism in the country. Cape Verde is also a country free of endemic tropical diseases and as such, it is not required to take medical precautions or vaccinations to enter the country.
Tourism is one of the sectors that has most contributed to economic and social growth, providing strong flows of foreign currency into the economy, along with the creation of jobs.
For Cape Verde, tourism is one of the main pillars of sustainable economic development. Therefore, we developed the Strategic Plan of Cape Verde Tourism, which sets out four core principles for its development.
In Cape Verde, the main types of tourism include:
Balnear Tourism: For those who are looking for pleasant weather, sun and beaches of fine white sands, the perfect environment can be found in the islands of Sal, Boavista and Maio.
Nautical Tourism: Diving can be done from almost all of the islands. Fishing is available mainly from Sal, São Vicente, São Nicolau and Boavista. It is also important to emphasize the purity and constant water temperature (25°C) and the presence of coral and an incredible wealth of flora and fauna that populate the underwater archipelago.
Nature Tourism: Activities for those who are looking to stay in touch with nature, such as hiking circuits, climbing, walking, riding or cycling and ecological observation - fauna and flora.
Circuit Tour: It is a perfect way to discover places through itineraries structured with short stops.
Cultural Tourism: The Cape Verde culture is vast and diverse and combines African and European influences expressed in architectural achievements, such as the Old Town and the World Heritage Site, the cradle of Cape Verdean nationality. Other examples of its historical and cultural heritage - as well its contact with other people - are habits and customs, expressed through traditional festivals, Carnival, music, gastronomy, literature, as well as arts and crafts.
Cape Verde – Future
The strategic vision of the country for the upcoming years focuses on developing partnerships for the competitiveness of Cape Verde, through inclusive and innovative business dynamics with a strong and competitive private sector. Some of these commitments are facing challenges, such as domestic demand, job creation and reducing asymmetries in relation to regional economic growth, and increasing national social and economic development.
The awareness and environmental education to more sustainable consumption can bring huge benefits, particularly in the fields of basic sanitation and biodiversity conservation.