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Cape Verde



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Introduction

Background: The uninhabited islands were discovered and colonized by the Portuguese in the 15th century; they subsequently became a trading center for African slaves. Most Cape Verdeans descend from both groups. Independence was achieved in 1975.

Geography

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

Geographic coordinates: 16 00 N, 24 00 W

Map references: World

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

Area - comparative: slightly larger than Rhode Island

Land boundaries: 0 km

Coastline: 965 km

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

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

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, pozzuolana (a siliceous volcanic ash used to produce hydraulic cement), limestone, kaolin, fish

Land use
  arable land: 11%
  permanent crops: 0%
  permanent pastures: 6%
  forests and woodland: 0%
  other: 83% (1993 est.)

Irrigated land: 30 sq km (1993 est.)

Natural hazards: prolonged droughts; harmattan wind can obscure visibility; volcanically and seismically active

Environment - current issues: overgrazing of livestock and improper land use such as the cultivation of crops on steep slopes has led to soil erosion; demand for wood used as fuel has resulted in deforestation; desertification; environmental damage has threatened several species of birds and reptiles; overfishing

Environment - international agreements
  party to: Biodiversity, Climate Change, Desertification, Environmental Modification, Hazardous Wastes, Law of the Sea, Marine Dumping, Nuclear Test Ban
  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

Population: 401,343 (July 2000 est.)

Age structure
  0-14 years: 44% (male 88,202; female 86,630)
  15-64 years: 50% (male 95,079; female 105,928)
  65 years and over: 6% (male 10,043; female 15,461) (2000 est.)

Population growth rate: 0.98% (2000 est.)

Birth rate: 29.67 births/1,000 population (2000 est.)

Death rate: 7.38 deaths/1,000 population (2000 est.)

Net migration rate: -12.49 migrant(s)/1,000 population (2000 est.)

Sex ratio
  at birth: 1.03 male(s)/female
  under 15 years: 1.02 male(s)/female
  15-64 years: 0.9 male(s)/female
  65 years and over: 0.65 male(s)/female
  total population: 0.93 male(s)/female (2000 est.)

Infant mortality rate: 54.58 deaths/1,000 live births (2000 est.)

Life expectancy at birth
  total population: 68.91 years
  male: 65.63 years
  female: 72.29 years (2000 est.)

Total fertility rate: 4.19 children born/woman (2000 est.)

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 words)

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

Government

Country name
  conventional long form: Republic of Cape Verde
  conventional short form: Cape Verde
  local long form: Republica de Cabo Verde
  local short form: Cabo Verde

Data code: CV

Government type: republic

Capital: Praia

Administrative divisions: 14 districts (concelhos, singular - concelho); Boa Vista, Brava, Fogo, Maio, Paul, Praia, Porto Novo, Ribeira Grande, Sal, Santa Catarina, Santa Cruz, Sao Nicolau, Sao Vicente, Tarrafal (Note: there may be a new administrative structure of 16 districts (Boa Vista, Brava, 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

Legal system: derived from the legal system of Portugal

Suffrage: 18 years of age; universal

Executive branch
  chief of state: President Antonio MASCARENHAS Monteiro (since 22 March 1991)
  head of government: Prime Minister Carlos Alberto Wahnon de Carvalho VEIGA (since 13 January 1991)
  cabinet: Council of Ministers appointed by the president on the recommendation of the prime minister from among the members of the National Assembly
  elections: president elected by popular vote for a five-year term; election last held 18 February 1996 (next to be held NA February 2001); prime minister nominated by the National Assembly and appointed by the president
  election results: Antonio MASCARENHAS Monteiro reelected president; percent of vote - Antonio MASCARENHAS Monteiro (independent) 80.1%

Legislative branch: unicameral National Assembly or Assembleia Nacional (72 seats; members are elected by popular vote to serve five-year terms)
  elections: last held 17 December 1995 (next to be held NA December 2000)
  election results: percent of vote by party - MPD 61.3%, PAICV 29.8%, PCD 6.7%, other 2.2%; seats by party - MPD 50, PAICV 21, PCD 1

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

Political parties and leaders: African Party for Independence of Cape Verde or PAICV [Pedro Verona Rodrigues PIRES, chairman]; Movement for Democracy or MPD [Prime Minister Carlos VEIGA, founder and president]; Party for Democratic Convergence or PCD [Dr. Eurico MONTEIRO, president]; Party of Work and Solidarity or PTS [Dr. Oresimo SILVEIRA, president]

International organization participation: ACCT, ACP, AfDB, CCC, ECA, ECOWAS, FAO, G-77, IBRD, ICAO, ICFTU, ICRM, IDA, IFAD, IFC, IFRCS, ILO, IMF, IMO, Intelsat, Interpol, IOC, IOM (observer), ITU, NAM, OAU, OPCW, UN, UNCTAD, UNESCO, UNIDO, UPU, WCL, WHO, WIPO, WMO, WTrO (applicant)

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

Diplomatic representation from the US
  chief of mission: Ambassador Lawrence Neal BENEDICT
  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

Economy - overview: Cape Verde's low per capita GDP reflects 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 almost 70% of GDP. Although nearly 70% of the population lives in rural areas, the share of agriculture in GDP in 1998 was only 13%, of which fishing accounts for 1.5%. About 90% 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 constitute a supplement to GDP of 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 2000 depend heavily on the maintenance of aid flows, remittances, and the momentum of the government's development program.

GDP: purchasing power parity - $618 million (1999 est.)

GDP - real growth rate: 5% (1999 est.)

GDP - per capita: purchasing power parity - $1,500 (1999 est.)

GDP - composition by sector
  agriculture: 13%
  industry: 19%
  services: 68% (1998)

Population below poverty line: NA%

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

Inflation rate (consumer prices): 5% (1999)

Labor force: NA

Unemployment rate: NA%

Budget
  revenues: $188 million
  expenditures: $228 million, including capital expenditures of $116 million (1996)

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

Industrial production growth rate: NA%

Electricity - production: 40 million kWh (1998)

Electricity - production by source
  fossil fuel: 100%
  hydro: 0%
  nuclear: 0%
  other: 0% (1998)

Electricity - consumption: 37 million kWh (1998)

Electricity - exports: 0 kWh (1998)

Electricity - imports: 0 kWh (1998)

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

Exports: $38 million (f.o.b., 1999 est.)

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

Exports - partners: Portugal, Germany, Spain, France, UK, Malaysia

Imports: $225 million (f.o.b., 1999 est.)

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

Imports - partners: Portugal, Netherlands, France, UK, Spain, US

Debt - external: $220 million (1998)

Economic aid - recipient: $111.3 million (1995)

Currency: 1 Cape Verdean escudo (CVEsc) = 100 centavos

Exchange rates: Cape Verdean escudos (CVEsc) per US$1 - 107.280 (December 1999), 102.700 (1999), 98.158 (1998), 93.177 (1997), 82.591 (1996), 76.853 (1995)

Fiscal year: calendar year

Communications

Telephones - main lines in use: 22,000 (1995)

Telephones - mobile cellular: 0 (1995)

Telephone system
  domestic: interisland microwave radio relay system with both analog and digital exchanges; work is in progress on a submarine fiber-optic cable system which was scheduled for completion in 1998
  international: 2 coaxial submarine cables; HF radiotelephone to Senegal and Guinea-Bissau; satellite earth station - 1 Intelsat (Atlantic Ocean)

Radio broadcast stations: AM 1, FM 6, shortwave 0 (1998)

Radios: 73,000 (1997)

Television broadcast stations: 1 (1997)

Televisions: 2,000 (1997)

Internet Service Providers (ISPs): NA

Transportation

Railways: 0 km

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

Ports and harbors: Mindelo, Praia, Tarrafal

Merchant marine
  total: 5 ships (1,000 GRT or over) totaling 9,523 GRT/11,795 DWT
  ships by type: cargo 4, chemical tanker 1 (1999 est.)

Airports: 6 (1999 est.)

Airports - with paved runways
  total: 6
  over 3,047 m: 1
  914 to 1,523 m: 5 (1999 est.)

Military

Military branches: single branch that includes both ground and naval elements

Military manpower - availability
  males age 15-49: 86,675 (2000 est.)

Military manpower - fit for military service
  males age 15-49: 49,069 (2000 est.)

Military expenditures - dollar figure: $4 million (FY96)

Military expenditures - percent of GDP: 1.8% (FY96)

Transnational Issues

Disputes - international: none

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

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Site Version 1.75 - Last updated December 20, 2006

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