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Cape Verde
Online Business Education. Economy. Politics. Culture. Religion. Media

Capital City: Praia

Internet Links

Governo de Cabo Verde

Assembleia Nacional de Cabo Verde

CaboVerde 24

Cape Verde

Cabo Verde Telecom

Instituto Nacional de Estatística de Cabo Verde


Cape Verde

Background:  The uninhabited islands were discovered and colonized by
the Portuguese in the 15th century; they subsequently became a trading
center for African slaves and later an important coaling and resupply
stop for whaling and transatlantic shipping. Most Cape Verdeans have both
African and Portuguese antecedents. Independence was achieved in 1975.

Geography Cape Verde

Location:  Western Africa, group of islands in the North Atlantic Ocean,
west of Senegal

Geographic coordinates:  16 00 N, 24 00 W

Map references:  Political Map of the World

Area:  total: 4,033 sq km water: 0 sq km land: 4,033 sq km

Area - comparative:  slightly larger than Rhode Island

Land boundaries:  0 km

Coastline:  965 km

Maritime claims:  measured from claimed archipelagic baselines territorial
sea: 12 NM exclusive economic zone: 200 NM contiguous zone: 24 NM

Climate:  temperate; warm, dry summer; precipitation meager and very

Terrain:  steep, rugged, rocky, volcanic

Elevation extremes:  lowest point: Atlantic Ocean 0 m highest point:
Mt. Fogo 2,829 m (a volcano on Fogo Island)

Natural resources:  salt, basalt rock, limestone, kaolin, fish

Land use:  arable land: 10% permanent crops: 0% other: 90% (1998 est.)

Irrigated land:  30 sq km (1998 est.)

Natural hazards:  prolonged droughts; seasonal harmattan wind produces
obscuring dust; volcanically and seismically active

Environment - current issues:  soil erosion; demand for wood used as
fuel has resulted in deforestation; desertification; environmental damage
has threatened several species of birds and reptiles; illegal beach sand
extraction; overfishing

Environment - international agreements:  party to: Biodiversity, Climate
Change, Desertification, Environmental Modification, Hazardous Wastes,
Law of the Sea, Marine Dumping, Ozone Layer Protection signed, but not
ratified: none of the selected agreements

Geography - note:  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

Population:  408,760 (July 2002 est.)

Age structure:  0-14 years: 41.9% (male 86,466; female 84,918) 15-64
years: 51.5% (male 100,684; female 109,841) 65 years and over: 6.6%
(male 10,363; female 16,488) (2002 est.)

Population growth rate:  0.85% (2002 est.)

Birth rate:  27.81 births/1,000 population (2002 est.)

Death rate:  7.01 deaths/1,000 population (2002 est.)

Net migration rate:  -12.26 migrant(s)/1,000 population (2002 est.)

Sex ratio:  at birth: 1.03 male(s)/female under 15 years: 1.02
male(s)/female 15-64 years: 0.92 male(s)/female 65 years and over:
0.63 male(s)/female total population: 0.94 male(s)/female (2002 est.)

Infant mortality rate:  51.86 deaths/1,000 live births (2002 est.)

Life expectancy at birth:   72.91 years (2002 est.)  male: Total fertility
rate:  3.91 children born/woman (2002 est.)

HIV/AIDS - adult prevalence rate:  0.04% (2001 est.)

HIV/AIDS - people living with HIV/AIDS:  775 (2001)

HIV/AIDS - deaths:  225 (as of 2001)

Nationality:  noun: Cape Verdean(s) adjective: Cape Verdean

Ethnic groups:  Creole (mulatto) 71%, African 28%, European 1%

Religions:  Roman Catholic (infused with indigenous beliefs); Protestant
(mostly Church of the Nazarene)

Languages:  Portuguese, Crioulo (a blend of Portuguese and West African

Literacy:  definition: age 15 and over can read and write total
population: 71.6% male: 81.4% female: 63.8% (1995 est.)

Government Cape Verde

Country name:   Republic of Cape Verde conventional short form:
Cabo Verde

Government type:  republic

Capital:  Praia

Administrative divisions:  17 districts (concelhos, singular - concelho);
Boa Vista, Brava, Calheta, Maio, Mosteiros, Paul, Praia, Porto Novo,
Ribeira Grande, Sal, Santa Catarina, Santa Cruz, Sao Domingos, Sao
Nicolau, Sao Filipe, Sao Vicente, Tarrafal

Independence:  5 July 1975 (from Portugal)

National holiday:  Independence Day, 5 July (1975)

Constitution:  new constitution came into force 25 September 1992;
underwent a major revision on 23 November 1995, substantially increasing
the powers of the president, and a further revision in 1999, to create
the position of national ombudsman (Provedor de Justica)

Legal system:  derived from the legal system of Portugal

Suffrage:  18 years of age; universal

Executive branch:  chief of state: President Pedro 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; election last held 11 and 25 February
2001 (next to be held NA February 2006); prime minister nominated by
the National Assembly and appointed by the president election results:
49.43%, Carlos VIEGA (MPD) 49.42%; note - the election was won by only
twelve votes

Legislative branch:  unicameral National Assembly or Assembleia Nacional
(72 seats; members are elected by popular vote to serve five-year terms)
elections: last held 14 January 2001 (next to be held NA December 2005)
election results:  seats by party - PAICV 40, MPD 30, ADM 2

Judicial branch:  Supreme Tribunal of Justice or Supremo Tribunal
de Justia

Political parties and leaders:  African Party for Independence of Cape
Verde or PAICV [Jose Maria Pereira NEVES, chairman]; Democratic Alliance
for Change or ADM [Dr. Eurico MONTEIRO] (a coalition of PCD, PTS, and
UCID); Democratic Christian Party or PDC [Manuel RODRIGUES, chairman];
Democratic Renovation Party or PRD [Jacinto SANTOS, president]; Movement
for Democracy or MPD [Agostinho LOPES, president]; Party for Democratic
Convergence or PCD [Dr. Eurico MONTEIRO, president]; Party of Work and
Solidarity or PTS [Anibal MEDINA, president]; Social Democratic Party
or PSD [Joao ALEM, president]

Political pressure groups and leaders:  NA

International organization participation:  ACCT, ACP, AfDB, CCC, ECA,
ILO, IMF, IMO, Interpol, IOC, IOM, IOM (observer), ITU, NAM, OAU,

Diplomatic representation in the US:  chief of mission: Ambassador Jose
BRITO consulate(s) general: Boston FAX: [1] (202) 965-1207 telephone:
[1] (202) 965-6820 chancery: 3415 Massachusetts Avenue NW, Washington,
DC 20007

Diplomatic representation from the US:  chief of mission: Ambassador
Michael D. METELITS embassy: Rua Abilio Macedo 81, Praia mailing address:
C. P. 201, Praia telephone: [238] 61 56 16 FAX: [238] 61 13 55

Flag description:  three horizontal bands of light blue (top, double
width), white (with a horizontal red stripe in the middle third), and
light blue; a circle of 10 yellow five-pointed stars is centered on
the hoist end of the red stripe and extends into the upper and lower
blue bands

Economy Cape Verde

Economy - overview:  Cape Verde 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,
and public services accounting for 70% of GDP. Although nearly 70% of
the population lives in rural areas, the share of agriculture in GDP
in 2001 was only 11%, of which fishing accounts for 1.5%. 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, launched by the new
democratic government in 1991, are aimed at developing the private sector
and attracting foreign investment to diversify the economy. Prospects
for 2002 depend heavily on the maintenance of aid flows, remittances,
and the momentum of the government's development program.

GDP:  purchasing power parity - $600 million (2001 est.)

GDP - real growth rate:  3% (2001 est.)

GDP - per capita:  purchasing power parity - $1,500 (2001 est.)

GDP - composition by sector:  agriculture: 11% industry: 17% services:
72% (2001)

Population below poverty line:  30% (2000)

Household income or consumption by percentage share:  lowest 10%: NA%
highest 10%: NA%

Inflation rate (consumer prices):  3% (2001)

Labor force:  NA

Unemployment rate:  21% (2000 est.)

Budget:  revenues: $112 million expenditures: $198 million, including
capital expenditures of $NA (2000)

Industries:  food and beverages, fish processing, shoes and garments,
salt mining, ship repair

Industrial production growth rate:  NA%

Electricity - production:  41 million kWh (2000)

Electricity - production by source:  fossil fuel: 100% hydro: 0% other: 0%
(2000) nuclear: 0%

Electricity - consumption:  38.13 million kWh (2000)

Electricity - exports:  0 kWh (2000)

Electricity - imports:  0 kWh (2000)

Agriculture - products:  bananas, corn, beans, sweet potatoes, sugarcane,
coffee, peanuts; fish

Exports:  $27.3 million (f.o.b., 2001 est.)

Exports - commodities:  fuel, shoes, garments, fish, hides

Exports - partners:  Portugal 45%, UK 20%, Germany 20%, Guinea-Bissau 5%

Imports:  $218 million (f.o.b., 2001 est.)

Imports - commodities:  foodstuffs, industrial products, transport
equipment, fuels

Imports - partners:  Portugal 52%, Germany 7%, France 4%, UK 3% (1999)

Debt - external:  $301 million (2000)

Economic aid - recipient:  $136 million (1999)

Currency:  Cape Verdean escudo (CVE)

Currency code:  CVE

Exchange rates:  Cape Verdean escudos per US dollar - 123.556 (January
2002), 115.877 (2000), 102.700 (1999), 98.158 (1998), 93.177 (1997)

Fiscal year:  calendar year

Communications Cape Verde

Telephones - main lines in use:  60,935 (2002)

Telephones - mobile cellular:  28,119 (2002)

Telephone system:  general assessment: effective system, being improved
domestic: interisland microwave radio relay system with both analog
and digital exchanges; work is in progress on a submarine fiber-optic
cable system which is scheduled for completion in 2003 international: 2
coaxial submarine cables; HF radiotelephone to Senegal and Guinea-Bissau;
satellite earth station - 1 Intelsat (Atlantic Ocean)

Radio broadcast stations:  AM 0, FM 11 (and 14 repeaters), shortwave 0

Radios:  100,000 (2002 est.)

Television broadcast stations:  3 (2002)

Televisions:  15,000 (2002 est.)

Internet country code:  .cv

Internet Service Providers (ISPs):  1 (2000)

Internet users:  8,000 (2001)

Transportation Cape Verde

Railways:  0 km

Highways:  total: 1,100 km paved: 858 km unpaved: 242 km (1996)

Waterways:  none

Ports and harbors:  Mindelo, Praia, Tarrafal

Merchant marine:  total: 4 ships (1,000 GRT or over) totaling 5,395
GRT/6,614 DWT ships by type: cargo 3, chemical tanker 1 note: includes
a foreign-owned ship registered here as a flag of convenience: United
Kingdom 1 (2002 est.)

Airports:  9 note: 3 airports are reported to be nonoperational (2001)

Airports - with paved runways:  total: 3 over 3,047 m: 1 914 to 1,523 m:
2 (2001)

Airports - with unpaved runways:  total: 3 914 to 1,523 m: 3 (2001)

Military Cape Verde

Military branches:  Army, Coast Guard

Military manpower - availability:  males age 15-49: 92,486 (2002 est.)

Military manpower - fit for military service:  males age 15-49: 52,215
(2002 est.)

Military expenditures - dollar figure:  $9.3 million (FY01)

Military expenditures - percent of GDP:  1.6% (FY01)

Transnational Issues Cape Verde

Disputes - international:  none

Illicit drugs:  used as a transshipment point for illicit drugs moving
from Latin America and Asia destined for Western Europe

This page was last updated on 1 January 2002




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