Cape Verde

Cape Verde (Portuguese: Cabo Verde) is a republic located on an archipelago of the North Atlantic Ocean, off the western coast of Africa. The previously-uninhabited islands were discovered and colonized by the Portuguese in the 15th century; they subsequently became a trading centre for African slaves. Most Cape Verdeans descend from both groups.

"Cape Verde" is named for Cap-Vert, now in Senegal, the westernmost point of Africa.

República de Cabo Verde
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(In Detail) (Full size)
National motto: Unity, Work, Progress
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Official language Portuguese (official) and nine Portuguese creoles
Capital and Largest City Praia
President Pedro Pires
Prime Minister José Maria Neves
 - Total
 - % water
Ranked 146th
4,033 km²

 - Total (2001)
 - Density

Ranked 164th



 - Total
 - GDP/head

600 millions $

1,400 $

Currency CV Escudo
Time zone UTC -1

 - Recognized

(from Portugal)

July 5, 1975

National anthem Cântico da Liberdade
Internet TLD .cv
Calling Code 238


Main article: History of Cape Verde

Cape Verde was uninhabited when the Portuguese arrived in 1456, and the islands were thus made part of the Portuguese empire. Due to its location off the coast of Africa, Cape Verde became an important port, and was a major center of the slave trade.

In 1975, the islands achieved independence, partially due to the efforts of the African Party for the Independence of Guinea-Bissau and Cape Verde (PAIGC). After independence, the PAIGC attempted to unite Cape Verde and Guinea-Bissau into one nation, the PAIGC controlling both governments, but a coup in the latter nation in 1980 ended these plans. In Cape Verde itself the PAICV (affiliated with the PAIGC) governed until elections were held in 1991 that resulted in a change of government. The PAICV was re-elected in 2001.

Dr Marcel Gomes Balla of Boston University has written a short history of these islands, Antonio's Island ISBN 1898030480, covering The 'official' discovery of Cabo Verde, The Treaty of Tordesilhas- the complete text-in English, The Cape Verdean navigator who made an extraordinary impact on America, Africa, Europe and Asia, The involvement of the church with slavery, The historical ties between Cabo Verde and Columbus, Cabo Verde Vasco da Gama and Cabral, The creation of Brazil, The historical ties with Italy and other countries, The first non-Europeans to cross the Atlantic with a regular sailing schedule and a lot more useful information such as: Portraits of Cape Verdean navigators published for the first time for the public (Africans , mestizos, Europeans, but always Cape Verdeans). Still other famous Cape Verdeans in science, politics etc. Maps confirming the discovery of the islands and the importance of Cape Verdeans and Cabo Verde in world history.


Main article: Politics of Cape Verde

The government of Cape Verde is based on a Constitution that was established in 1980. Elections are held for both the Prime Minister and President, who both govern for 5-year terms. Members of the General Assembly are elected as well, and they appoint the Supreme Court along with the President and Prime Minister.

See also: President of Cape Verde, National symbols


Main article: Geography of Cape Verde

Cape Verde is an archipelago off the coast of Africa. It is formed by 10 main islands and about 8 islets. The main islands are:

Of these, only Santa Luzia is uninhabited. Presently it is a Natural Reserve. All islands are volcanic, but an active volcano exists on one of the islands, Fogo. See Mount Fogo.

The islets are Branco, Razo.


An aerial view of Cape Verde
An aerial view of Cape Verde
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Porto Grande - the harbour of Mindelo, Sao Vicente Island
An aerial view of the capital Praia
An aerial view of the capital Praia

Cape Verde is divided into 17 municipalities (concelhos, singular - concelho):


Main article: Economy of Cape Verde

Cape Verde is a small nation that lacks resources and has experienced severe droughts as well as water shortages. Agriculture is somewhat stymied by lack of rain, and is restricted to only four islands for most of the year. Most of the nation's GDP is from the services industry. Cape Verde's economy has largely grown since the late 1990s, and is now considered a country of average human development. Cape Verde has a large cooperation with Portugal in every level of the economy, leading it to make its currency fixed, through the Portuguese escudo, to the Euro since 1999.

Former Portuguese prime minister José Manuel Durão Barroso, now (second semester 2004) president of the European Commission, has promised to help integrate Cape Verde within the European Union influence packed with a greater cooperation with Portugal. In March 2005, former Portuguese president Mário Soares launched a petition urging the European Union to start membership talks with Cape Verde.


Main article: Demographics of Cape Verde

Most inhabitants of Cape Verde are descendants of the white Portuguese settlers and black African slaves. More Cape Verdians live abroad than in Cape Verde, with significant emigrant Cape Verdian communities in the United States (264,900 Cape Verdians), Portugal (80,000) and Angola (45,000). There are also significant number of Cape Verdians in São Tomé and Príncipe, Senegal, France and the Netherlands.


Main article: Culture of Cape Verde

The culture of Cape Verde reflects its mixed Portuguese and African roots. It is well known for its diverse forms of music (such as Morna, Capeverdian Fado) and dance (such as Funana, mixed Portuguese and African dance), that are reflective of the diverse origins of Cape Verde's residents. Indigenously, the term "Cabo" is used to refer to residents as well as the culture of Cape Verde.

Capeverdean Literature

The capeverdean literature is one of the most richest of lusitanian Africa.

  • Poets: Frusoni Sergio (, Tavares Eugénio (, B.Léza, João Cleofas Martins, Romano Luís de Madeira Melo, Ovídio Martins, Barbosa Jorge, Fortes Corsino António, Baltasar Lopes (Oswaldo Alcântara), João Vário, Oswaldo Osório, Arménio Vieira, Vadinho Velhinho, José Luís Tavares, etc.
  • Authors: Manuel Lopes - Movimento Claridade (, Almeida Germano, Luís Romano de Madeira Melo (, Germano de Almeida, Orlanda Amarilis, Jorge Vera Cruz Barbosa, Pedro Cardoso, Mário José Domingues, Daniel Filipe, Mário Alberto Fonseca de Almeida, Corsino António Fortes, Arnaldo Carlos de Vasconcelos França, António Aurélio Gonçalves, Aguinaldo Brito Fonseca, Ovídio de Sousa Martins , Osvaldo Osório, Dulce Almada Duarte, Manuel Veiga
  • Compositor: Manuel de Novas (, Vasco Martins
  • Famous tales: Ti Lobo and Chibinho (


Cape Verde's official language is Portuguese, but Portuguese Creoles (Crioulo, Criol, Krioulo, Caboverdiano) are widely used. Each of the 9 inhabited islands of Cape Verde has its own creole. We can distinguish between two main groups:

  • Sotavento Creoles: Creole of Santiago (Badiu (, Maio, Fogo and Brava (
  • Barlavento Creoles: Creole of São Vicente (Criol d'Soncente, Criol d' Saocente (, São Nicolau (, Sal, Boavista and Santo Antão (

The greatest differences in the different capeverdean creole languages are between the creole of Santiago and the creole of Santo Antão.

There exist no complete bible translation. Sergio Frusoni translated however Bartolomeo Rossetti's version of the New Testament from the Roman dialect (ER VANGELO SECONNO NOANTRI) into the Capeverdean creole of São Vicente under the title: Vangêle contód d'nôs móda.

The crioulo language was promoted for example by following poets or authors:

  • Crioulo of Brava: Tavares Eugénio, Deirdre Meintel
  • Crioulo of Santiago: António de Paula Brito, Carlos Barbosa, Tomé Varela da Silva, Daniel Spínola
  • Crioulo of São Nicolau: Eduaro Augusto Cardoso, Baltasar Lopes da Silva
  • Crioulo of Santo Antão: Romano Luís de Madeira Melo
  • Crioulo of São Vicente: Frusoni Sergio, Ovídio Martins
  • Sotavento Creoles: Armando Napoleão Rodrigues Fernandes, Veiga Manuel, Marlyse Baptista, Nicolas Quint
  • Barlavento Creoles: Armando Napoleão Rodrigues Fernandes, Maria Dulce de Oliveira Almada

Capeverdian Creole (Crioulo) links



  • A Semana (Praia,1991-), Expresso das Ilhas, Journal O Cidadao (São Vicente) , Jornal Horizonte (Praia, 1988-), Terra Nova (S.Vicente, 1975-), Artiletra (S.Vicente, 1991-)

Newspapers Online:

  • A Semana (, Infopress (, O Cidadao (, Paralelo 14 (, Voz di Povo (

Miscellaneous topics


  • Much of the material in these articles comes from the CIA World Factbook 2000 and the 2003 U.S. Department of State website.

External links

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Dependencies: Canary Islands | Ceuta and Melilla | Madeira Islands | Mayotte | Réunion | Saint Helena and dependencies
ar:الرأس الأخضر

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