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Republic of Cape Verde
República de Cabo Verde
Flag National Emblem
AnthemCântico da Liberdade  (Portuguese)
Song of Freedom

(and largest city)
14°55′N 23°31′W / 14.917°N 23.517°W / 14.917; -23.517
Official language(s) Portuguese
Recognised regional languages Cape Verdean Creole
Demonym Cape Verdean
Government Republic
 -  President Pedro Pires
 -  Prime Minister José Maria Neves
 -  from Portugal July 5, 1975 
 -  Total 4,033 km2 (172nd)
1,557 sq mi 
 -  Water (%) negligible
 -  2010 estimate 516,733[1] (165th)
 -  2009 census 509,000[2] 
 -  Density 125.5/km2 (79th)
325.0/sq mi
GDP (PPP) 2008 estimate
 -  Total $1.749 billion[3] 
 -  Per capita $3,472[3] 
GDP (nominal) 2008 estimate
 -  Total $1.744 billion[3] 
 -  Per capita $3,464[3] 
HDI (2007) 0.708[4] (medium) (121nd)
Currency Cape Verdean escudo (CVE)
Time zone CVT (UTC-1)
 -  Summer (DST) not observed (UTC-1)
Drives on the right
Internet TLD .cv
Calling code +238

The Republic of Cape Verde (pronounced /ˌkeɪp ˈvɜrd/ ( listen); Portuguese: Cabo Verde, pronounced [ˈkabu ˈveɾdɨ]) is an island country, spanning an archipelago located in the Macaronesia ecoregion of the Central Atlantic Ocean, off the western coast of Africa, opposite Mauritania and Senegal.

It is slightly more than 4,000 square kilometres (1,500 sq mi) in area with an estimated population of over 500,000. The capital of Cape Verde is Praia. The previously uninhabited islands were discovered and colonised by the Portuguese in the 15th century, and attained independence from Portugal in 1975.

As of 2007, Cape Verde is classified as a developing country after being promoted from Least Developed Countries status. About 20% of the population lives on less than $1.25 (U.S.) a day.[5]



The Islands of Cape Verde archipelago were discovered by Italian and Portuguese navigators around 1460. According to Portuguese official records [6] the first discoveries were made by Genoese born Antonio de Noli, who was also first appointed governor of Cape Verde by Portuguese King Afonso V. Other navigators mentioned as contributing with discoveries in the Cape Verde archipelago are Diogo Gomes, Diogo Dias, Diogo Afonso and the Italian Alvise Cadamosto.

Before the arrival of Europeans, the Cape Verde Islands were uninhabited. In 1462, Portuguese settlers arrived at Santiago and founded a settlement they called Ribeira Grande (now called Cidade Velha, to avoid being confused with the town of Ribeira Grande on the Santo Antão island). Ribeira Grande was the first permanent European settlement in the tropics.[7]

The Portuguese named the islands Cabo Verde (from which the English Cape Verde derives), after the nearby Cap Vert on the Senegalese coast.[8] In the 16th century, the archipelago prospered from the transatlantic slave trade.[7] Pirates occasionally attacked the Portuguese settlements. Sir Francis Drake sacked Ribeira Grande in 1585.[7] After a French attack in 1712, the town declined in importance relative to nearby Praia, which became the capital in 1770.[7]

With the decline in the slave trade, Cape Verde's early prosperity slowly vanished. However, the islands' position astride mid-Atlantic shipping lanes made Cape Verde an ideal location for re-supplying ships. Because of its excellent harbour, Mindelo (on the island of São Vicente) became an important commercial center during the 19th century.[7]

In 1951, Portugal changed Cape Verde's status from a colony to an overseas province in an attempt to blunt growing nationalism. Nevertheless, in 1956, Amilcar Cabral, a Cape Verdean, and a group of Cape Verdeans and Guineans organized (in Portuguese Guinea) the clandestine African Party for the Independence of Guinea and Cape Verde (PAIGC), which demanded improvement in economic, social, and political conditions in Cape Verde and Portuguese Guinea and formed the basis of the two nations' independence movement. Moving its headquarters to Conakry, Guinea in 1960, the PAIGC began an armed rebellion against Portugal in 1961. Acts of sabotage eventually grew into a war in Portuguese Guinea that pitted 10,000 Soviet bloc-supported PAIGC soldiers against 35,000 Portuguese and African troops.[7]

By 1972, the PAIGC controlled much of Portuguese Guinea despite the presence of the Portuguese troops, but the organization did not attempt to disrupt Portuguese control in Cape Verde. Portuguese Guinea declared independence in 1973 and was granted de jure independence in 1974. Following the April 1974 revolution in Portugal, the PAIGC became an active political movement in Cape Verde. In December 1974, the PAIGC and Portugal signed an agreement providing for a transitional government composed of Portuguese and Cape Verdeans. On June 30, 1975, Cape Verdeans elected a National Assembly, which received the instruments of independence from Portugal on July 5, 1975.[7]

Immediately following the November 1980 coup in Guinea-Bissau, relations between Cape Verde and Guinea-Bissau became strained. Cape Verde abandoned its hope for unity with Guinea-Bissau and formed the African Party for the Independence of Cape Verde (PAICV). Problems have since been resolved, and relations between the countries are good. The PAICV and its predecessor established a one-party system and ruled Cape Verde from independence until 1990.[7]

Responding to growing pressure for pluralistic democracy, the PAICV called an emergency congress in February 1990 to discuss proposed constitutional changes to end one-party rule. Opposition groups came together to form the Movement for Democracy (MPD) in Praia in April 1990. Together, they campaigned for the right to contest the presidential election scheduled for December 1990.

The one-party state was abolished September 28, 1990, and the first multi-party elections were held in January 1991. The MPD won a majority of the seats in the National Assembly, and MPD presidential candidate António Mascarenhas Monteiro defeated the PAICV's candidate with 73.5% of the votes. Legislative elections in December 1995 increased the MPD majority in the National Assembly. The party won 50 of the National Assembly's 72 seats.

A February 1996 presidential election returned President Monteiro to office. Legislative elections in January 2001 returned power to the PAICV, with the PAICV holding 40 of the National Assembly seats, MPD 30, and Party for Democratic Convergence (PCD) and Party for Labor and Solidarity(PTS) 1 each. In February 2001, the PAICV-supported presidential candidate Pedro Pires defeated former MPD leader Carlos Veiga by only 13 votes.[7]


Current president of Cape Verde, Pedro Pires, meeting with Brazilian president Lula da Silva.

Cape Verde is a stable democracy. The Cape Verde constitution—adopted in 1980 and revised in 1992, 1995, and 1999—forms the basis of government. The president is head of state and is elected by popular vote for a 5-year term. The prime minister is head of government and proposes other ministers and secretaries of state. The prime minister is nominated by the National Assembly and appointed by the president. Members of the National Assembly are elected by popular vote for 5-year terms. Three parties now hold seats in the National Assembly—PAICV 40, MPD 30, and Cape Verdean Independent Democratic Union (UCID) 2.[7]

The judicial system consists of a Supreme Court of Justice — whose members are appointed by the president, the National Assembly, and the Board of the Judiciary — and regional courts. Separate courts hear civil, constitutional, and criminal cases. Appeal is to the Supreme Court.[7]

In 2009, Cape Verde placed 2nd out of 53 African countries (including North African countries) in the Ibrahim Index of African Governance, scoring very well in Safety and Security and Rule of Law, Transparency and Corruption. The Ibrahim Index is a comprehensive measure of African governance, based on a number of different variables which reflect the success with which governments deliver essential political goods to its citizens. [1]

Cape Verde follows a policy of nonalignment and seeks cooperative relations with all friendly states.[7] Angola, Brazil, the People's Republic of China, Cuba, France, Germany, Portugal, Spain, Senegal, Russia, and the United States maintain embassies in Praia.[7] Cape Verde is actively interested in foreign affairs, especially in Africa.[7] It has bilateral relations with some Lusophone nations and holds membership in a number of international organizations.[7] It also participates in most international conferences on economic and political issues.[7] Cape Verde has a Special Partnership status [9] with the EU and might apply for membership.[10]

The military of Cape Verde consists of a coast guard and an army; 0.7% of the country's GDP was spent on the military in 2005.

Geography and climate

The Cape Verde archipelago is located approximately 604 kilometres (375 mi) off the coast of West Africa. It is composed of ten islands (of which nine are inhabited) and eight islets.[11] The islands have a combined size of just over 4,000 square kilometers.[11] The islands are divided into the Barlavento (windward) islands (Santo Antão, São Vicente, Santa Luzia, São Nicolau, Sal, and Boa Vista) and the Sotavento (leeward) islands (Maio, Santiago, Fogo, and Brava).[11] The largest island, both in size and population, is Santiago, where the capital of Praia is located.[11]

Climate chart (explanation)
average max. and min. temperatures in °C
precipitation totals in mm

Though Cape Verde's islands are all volcanic in origin, they vary widely in terrain.[11] A still-active volcano on the island of Fogo is the highest point on the archipelago (elevation 2,829 meters).[11] Extensive salt flats are found on Sal and Maio.[11] On Santiago, Santo Antão, and São Nicolau, arid slopes give way in places to sugarcane fields or banana plantations spread along the base of towering mountains.[11]

Cape Verde’s climate is milder than that of the African mainland; because the island is surrounded by the sea, temperatures are generally moderate.[11] Average daily high temperatures range from 25 °C (77 °F) in January to 29 °C (84 °F) in September.[12] Cape Verde is part of the Sahelian arid belt, with nothing like the rainfall levels of nearby West Africa.[11] It does rain irregularly between August and October, with frequent brief-but-heavy downpours.[11] A desert is usually defined as terrain which receives less than 250 mm of annual rainfall.[13] Cape Verde's total (261 mm) is slightly above this criterion, which makes the area climate semi-desert.

Cape Verde's isolation has resulted in the islands having a number of endemic species, particularly bird and reptiles, many of which are endangered by human development. Endemic birds include Alexander's Swift (Apus alexandri), Bourne's Heron (Ardea purpurea bournei), the Raso Lark (Alauda razae), the Cape Verde Warbler (Acrocephalus brevipennis), and the Iago Sparrow (Passer iagoensis).[14] The islands are also an important breeding area for seabirds including the Cape Verde Shearwater. Reptiles include the Cape Verde Giant Gecko (Tarentola gigas).

The islands are geologically principally composed of igneous rocks, with basic volcanics and pyroclastics comprising the majority of the total volume. The volcanic and plutonic rocks are distinctly basic in character. The archipelago is an example of a soda-alkaline petrographic province, with a petrologic succession which is similar to that found in other Mid Atlantic islands. Mount Fogo is an active volcano which most recently erupted in 1995. Fogo’s caldera is 8 km in diameter, the rim is at an elevation of 1600 m with an interior cone rising to 2830 m from the crater's floor level. Calderas probably result from the subsidence, following the partial evacuation of the magma chamber, of a cylindrical block into the supplying magma chamber, in this case lying at a depth of some 8 km. The archipelago has been dated at approximately 180 million years old.[15]

Hurricanes that form near the Cape Verde Islands are sometimes referred to as Cape Verde-type hurricanes. These hurricanes can become very intense as they cross warm Atlantic waters.

Administrative divisions

Cape Verde is divided into 22 municipalities (concelhos) and subdivided into 32 parishes (freguesias):


Municipal market in S. Vicente.

Cape Verde has few natural resources and suffers from scant rainfall and limited fresh water. Only 4 of the 10 main islands (Santiago, Santo Antão, Fogo, and Brava) normally support significant agricultural production, and over 90% of all food consumed in Cape Verde is imported. Mineral resources include salt, pozzolana (a volcanic rock used in cement production), and limestone.[7]

The economy of Cape Verde is service-oriented, with commerce, transport, and public services accounting for more than 70% of GDP. Although nearly 70% of the population lives in rural areas, agriculture and fishing contribute only about 9% of GDP. Light manufacturing accounts for most of the remainder. Fish and shellfish are plentiful, and small quantities are exported. Cape Verde has cold storage and freezing facilities and fish processing plants in Mindelo, Praia, and on Sal. Expatriate Cape Verdeans contribute an amount estimated at about 20% of GDP to the domestic economy through remittances.[7]

Since 1991, the government has pursued market-oriented economic policies, including an open welcome to foreign investors and a far-reaching privatization programme. It established as top development priorities the promotion of a market economy and of the private sector; the development of tourism, light manufacturing industries, and fisheries; and the development of transport, communications, and energy facilities. From 1994 to 2000 about $407 million in foreign investments were made or planned, of which 58% were in tourism, 17% in industry, 4% in infrastructure, and 21% in fisheries and services.[7]

Cape Verde's strategic location at the crossroads of mid-Atlantic air and sea lanes has been enhanced by significant improvements at Mindelo's harbor (Porto Grande) and at Sal's and Praia's international airports. A new international airport was opened in Boa Vista in December 2007. Ship repair facilities at Mindelo were opened in 1983. The major ports are Mindelo and Praia, but all other islands have smaller port facilities. In addition to the international airport on Sal, airports have been built on all of the inhabited islands. All but the airport on Brava enjoy scheduled air service. The archipelago has 3,050 km (1,895 mi) of roads, of which 1,010 km (628 mi) are paved, most using cobblestone.[7]

The country's future economic prospects depend heavily on the maintenance of aid flows, the encouragement of tourism, remittances, outsourcing labor to neighboring African countries, and the momentum of the government's development program.[7]

Tourism is taking off. Large hotels have been built across the country. In particular, on the islands of Boa Vista (Club Hotel Riu Karamboa (750 rooms)), and Sal (Club Hotel Riu Funana/Garopa (1000 rooms)--the largest hotel in all of West Africa). The Cape Verde islands has a relatively low crime rate and beautiful beaches, as well as engaging people. Tourists and leisure seekers from across Europe and elsewhere are flocking to the country.

Cape Verde has significant cooperation with Portugal at every level of the economy, which has led it to link its currency first to the Portuguese escudo and, in 1999, to the euro. On June 23, 2008 Cape Verde became the 153rd member of the WTO.[16]


Local people from Santiago island
Population pyramid, 2005

Around 95 percent of the population is Creole of mixed black African and Portuguese descent. The remainder of the population is mostly black Africans, with a small number of whites. The European men who colonized Cape Verde did not usually bring wives or families with them. As female African slaves were brought to the islands inter-marriages occurred.[11]

More than 85 percent of the population is nominally Roman Catholic,[17] though for a minority of the population Catholicism is syncretized with African influences.[2] The largest Protestant denomination is the Church of the Nazarene; other groups include the Seventh-day Adventist Church, the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, the Assemblies of God, the Universal Church of the Kingdom of God, and various other Pentecostal and evangelical groups.[17] There are small Baha'i communities and a small Muslim community.[17] The number of atheists is estimated at less than 1 percent of the population.[17]

Cape Verde's official language is Portuguese. It is the language of instruction and government. However, the Cape Verdean Creole is used colloquially and is the mother tongue of virtually all Cape Verdeans. Cape Verdean Creole or Kriolu is a dialect continuum of a Portuguese-based creole, which varies from island to island. There is a substantial body of literature in Creole, especially in the Santiago Creole and the São Vicente Creole. Creole has been gaining prestige since the nation's independence from Portugal. However, the differences between the varied forms of the language within the islands have been a major obstacle in the way of standardization of the language. Some people have advocated the development of two standards: a North (Barlavento) standard, centered on the São Vicente Creole, and a South (Sotavento) standard, centered on the Santiago Creole. Manuel Veiga, PhD, a linguist by training, and Minister of Culture of Cape Verde, is the premier proponent of Kriolu's officialization and standardization. On the Demographics of Cape Verde page the demographic statistics site ESA says Cape Verde is now populated with 567,000 in 2010

Cape Verdean diaspora

Today, more Cape Verdeans live abroad than in Cape Verde itself, with significant emigrant Cape Verdean communities in the United States (500,000 Cape Verdeans, with a major concentration on the New England coast from Providence, Rhode Island, to New Bedford, Massachusetts). There are also significant Cape Verde populations in São Tomé and Príncipe, Portugal (80,000), Angola (45,000), Senegal (25,000), the Netherlands (20,000, of which 15,000 are concentrated in Rotterdam), France (25,000), Scandinavia (7,000) and Italy (10,000). There is also a Cape Verdean community in Argentina numbering 8,000.

In the USA, the children and grandchildren of the first immigrant waves became involved in the Civil Rights movement of the 1960s. This led them to make links with other US black groups. Cape Verdeans moved to places all over the world, from Macau to Haiti to Argentina to northern Europe.[18]


A group playing morna.

Cape Verdean social and cultural patterns are similar to those of rural Portugal and Africa.[11] Football games and church activities are typical sources of social interaction and entertainment.[11] The traditional walk around the praça (town square) to meet friends is practiced regularly in Cape Verde towns.[11] In towns with electricity, television is available on two channels (Cape Verdean and Portuguese).[11]

Cape Verde music incorporates Portuguese, Caribbean, African, and Brazilian influences.[19] Cape Verde's quintessential national music is the morna, a melancholy and lyrical song form typically sung in Cape Verdean Creole. The most popular music genre after morna is the coladeira followed by funaná and batuque music. Amongst the most worldwide known Cape Verdean singers, is the singer Cesaria Evora, whose songs became a hallmark of the country and its culture. There are also well known artist born to Cape Verdean parents who excelled themselves. Amongst these artists are jazz pianist Horace Silver, Duke Ellington’s saxophonist Paul Gonsalves and singer Lura.

Dance forms include the soft dance morna, the extreme sensuality of coladeira including the modernized version called passada (zouk), the Funaná (a sensual mixed Portuguese and African dance), and the Batuque dance.

Cape Verdean literature is one of the richest of Lusophone Africa. Famous poets include Paulino Vieira, Manuel de Novas, Sergio Frusoni, Eugénio Tavares, and B. Léza, and famous authors include Baltasar Lopes da Silva, António Aurélio Gonçalves, Manuel Lopes, Orlanda Amarílis, Henrique Teixeira de Sousa, and Germano Almeida.

The Cape Verde diet is mostly based on fish and staple foods like corn and rice. Vegetables available during most of the year are potatoes, onions, tomatoes, manioc, cabbage, kale, and dried beans. Fruits like banana and papayas are available year-round, while others like mangos and avocados are seasonal.[11] A popular dish served in Cape Verde is Cachupa.

Health, education, and development

The infant mortality rate in Cape Verde is 24 per 1,000 live births according to the world bank. The literacy rate is 83.8%, and 97.9% among Cape Verdean youth. Life expectancy in Cape Verde is 69 years for males and 75 years for females. [20] Cape Verde has been steadily developing[21] since its independence, and besides having been promoted to the group of "medium development" countries in 2007, leaving the Least Developed Countries category (which is only the second time it has happened to a country[22]), is currently the 9th best ranked country in Africa in terms of Human Development Index.

The European Commission's total allocation for the period of 2008–2013 foreseen for Cape Verde to address "poverty reduction, in particular in rural and periurban areas where women are heading the households, as well as good governance" amounts to €54.1 million European Commission.


Primary school education in Cape Verde is mandatory between the ages of 6 and 14 years and free for children ages 6 to 12.[23] In 1997, the gross primary enrollment rate was 148.8 percent.[23] While enrollment rates indicate a level of commitment to education, they do not always reflect children’s participation in school.[23] Textbooks have been made available to 90 percent of school children, and 83 percent of the teachers have attended in-service teacher training.[23] Although most children have access to education, some problems remain.[23] For example, many students and some teachers speak Creole at home and have a poor command of Portuguese (the language of instruction); there is insufficient spending on school materials, lunches, and books; and there is a high repetition rate for certain grades.[23]


Cape Verde national football team represents the nation of Cape Verde. Luis Nani the Manchester United Footballer was born in Praia, Cape Verde, however he plays for Portugal. Also the retired Henrik Larsson's father came from Cape Verde although Henrik played for Sweden.

See also


  1. ^ World Gazetteer Population Figures
  2. ^ a b Background Note: Cape Verde
  3. ^ a b c d "Cape Verde". International Monetary Fund. Retrieved 2009-10-01. 
  4. ^ "Human Development Report 2009. Human development index trends: Table G". The United Nations. Retrieved 2009-10-10. 
  5. ^
  6. ^ Carta regia (royal letter) of 19th September 1462
  7. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m n o p q r s t u Cape Verde background note. U.S. Department of State (July 2008).
  8. ^ Lobban, p. 4.
  9. ^ Percival, Debra, "Cape Verde-EU ‘Special Partnership’ takes shape", "The Courier", Commission of the European Communities publication, May 25, 2008
  10. ^ Cape Verde could seek EU membership this year
  11. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m n o p q The Peace Corps Welcomes You to Cape Verde. Peace Corps (April 2006). This article incorporates text from this source, which is in the public domain.
  12. ^ a b BBC
  13. ^ Desert
  14. ^ Endemic Bird Areas: Cape Verde Islands
  15. ^ Mitchell-Thomé, Raoul C. "Outline of the geology of the Cape Verde Archipelago" Geologische Rundschau, Volume 61, Issue 3, pp.1087–1109
  16. ^ "Cape Verde to join WTO on 23 July 2008". WTO News. 
  17. ^ a b c d
  18. ^
  19. ^ Manuel, p. 95-97.
  20. ^
  21. ^ Cape Verde HDI Trend from the 2007 Human Development Report country fact sheet
  22. ^ "UN advocate salutes Cape Verde’s graduation from category of poorest States", UN News Centre, 14 June 2007.
  23. ^ a b c d e f "Cape Verde". Findings on the Worst Forms of Child Labor (2001). Bureau of International Labor Affairs, U.S. Department of Labor (2002). This article incorporates text from this source, which is in the public domain.

External links

General information

Travel guide

Up to date as of January 14, 2010

From Wikitravel

Africa : West Africa : Cape Verde
Quick Facts
Capital Praia
Government republic
Currency Cape Verdean escudo (CVE)
Area 4,033 sq km
Population 420,979 (July 2006 est.)
Language Portuguese, Crioulo
Religion Roman Catholic (infused with indigenous beliefs); Protestant (mostly Church of the Nazarene)
Electricity 220V/50Hz (European plug)
Calling Code +238
Internet TLD .cv
Time Zone UTC -1

Cape Verde (Portuguese: Cabo Verde) is a country in West Africa. It comprises a group of islands of the Atlantic Ocean, west of Senegal. It is part of the region of Islands collectively known as Macaronesia.


Cape Verde (pop. 480,000) is located 500 km from the west coast of Africa. The once 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 re-supply stop for whaling and transatlantic shipping. Independence was achieved in 1975.

Most Cape Verdeans have both African and Portuguese antecedents.


Cape Verde’s climate is temperate, with a warm, dry summer. Precipitation is meager and very erratic.


The national holiday is the 5th of July, Independence Day.


Cape Verde is formed by 10 main islands and about 8 islets. The main islands are (clockwise from northwest):

Santo Antão
Great hiking.
São Vicente
With the cultural capital of Mindelo.
Santa Luzia
Santa Luzia is uninhabited but can be visited as a day trip from São Vincente.
São Nicolau
Has great beaches, water sports and resorts aplenty. But little else.
Boa Vista
Even nicer beaches.
Santiago Island
The first island settled in Cape Verde. It holds the current capital Praia, the original capital Cidade Velha, and the bulk of the nation's population.
A spectacular volcano island which erupted as recently as 1995.
A small island only accessible by boat and is a great place to get away from it all.
  • Praia – the capital, on Santiago Island
  • Mindelo – port city on São Vicente, probably the country's liveliest
  • Cidade Velha (Ribeira Grande) – A historic town on Santiago
  • Espargos is the capital of Sal where the airport is and Santa Maria is the main tourist area at the south of the island
  • The Island of Fogo volcano - The country's highest point (2,829 m)

Get in


If you are arriving from a country with a Cape Verde embassy, you will be required to purchase a Visa in advance. Otherwise a visa can be purchased on arrival.

The Cape Verde Bureau (Cape Verde Consul) in Liverpool, England provides travel visas for travellers from the UK and Ireland.

Cape Verde has an embassy in Brussels, Belgium.

Cape Verde has an embassy in Geneva, Switzerland.

Cape Verde has a consulate in Rotterdam[1], The Netherlands.

Cape Verde has an embassy in Washington, D.C., USA [2]

Cape Verde has a consulate in Moscow, Russia. [3]

By plane

Cape Verde has international airports on the islands of Sal, Santiago, Boa Vista. The airport on São Vicente will accept international flights in 2009. Connections to Europe, Africa and the Americas.

Not all the connections are visible to travel booking websites, it is usually worth checking with a travel agent.

From Europe

There are regular flights from Amsterdam, Lisbon (daily), Madrid, Milan, Munich and Oporto operated by TACV [4].

TAP Portugal [5] fly from Lisbon.

You can fly direct to Santa Maria on Sal from London Gatwick and Manchester on Astraeus and also with Thomson Holidays.

From the Americas

There are regular flights from Boston (weekly), Fortaleza (Brazil) (weekly).

Delta Air Lines will link Atlanta and Sal directly beginning June, 2009. They also will link Sal with Monrovia, Liberia. Both flights will operate once a week, and will offer connections to all major South American, Latin American, North American, and Caribbean cities.

From Africa

Cape Verde is also serviced by Air Senegal (from Dakar).

By boat

There are only infrequent, expensive connections to the mainland.

Get around

Timetables in Cape Verde are not to be taken too seriously - don't be too surprised if that boat departs ahead of schedule or if that flight suddenly gets postponed until tomorrow. This is important to consider if you decide to do some island-hopping. Due to weather and other conditions flights may be delayed or canceled. Carry your toothbrush with you and build in some buffer time to your planning especially if you need to meet an international connection.

By plane

TACV Cabo Verde [6] airlines has regular flights between the majority of the islands.

If you can afford to wait until you arrive, domestic tickets are cheaper if purchased in Cape Verde.

If your international flights are booked with TACV, you can purchase a Cabo Verde Air Pass for flights within 21 day period. Price start at €110 for two coupons and €60 for every extra coupon.

TACV flights can be rebooked for 2,000$.

Halcyonair [7] have also started servicing some of the major internal routes.

  • TACV Cabo Verde Islands [8]
  • TACV Air Pass [9]
  • TACV (German Site) [10]
  • Halcyonair [11]

By boat

There are ferry services between the islands. Depending on the distance between the islands you are going from and to, flying can be significantly shorter but also significantly more expensive.

By taxi

Nice, new taxis are available in the major cities and are metered. Aluguers, which are usually either open back pickup trucks with bench seats or 15 passenger Toyota vans, tend to travel between more rural destinations, particularly on Santa Antão.

See also: Portuguese phrasebook

The official language is Portuguese. Crioulo (a blend of Portuguese and West African words) is widely spoken. English is well understood by some, although French is the main third-language.

If you don't speak Portuguese or French, you will want to bring a Portuguese phrasebook.

  • Game fishing



The official currency of Cape Verde is the escudo, abbreviated CVE and indicated with a dollar symbol after the amount. The currency is fixed against the euro at 110$ per euro.

In the resort islands of Sal and Boa Vista, euros are commonly accepted, although you might receive change in escudos.

Money can be changed from all major currencies at the international airports at Sal and Praia. Bank branches at larger towns will also change money. Larger towns also have ATMs that will take Visa, MasterCard and Maestro.

High end hotels will accept credit cards. Other hotels will expect cash although many mid-range ones will accept euros at a reasonably exchange rate (slightly worse than the banks). For everything else, expect to pay in escudos.


Cape Verde has fantastic fresh seafood. Tuna is common, as is Wahoo - a white fleshed fish with similar texture.

  • Lagostada – a lobster dish
  • Cachupa - the national dish made with maize and potato. Fish or chicken commonly added for flavor.
  • Tosta mista - common toasted ham and cheese sandwich.

European food is common on all the islands. Italian is especially popular on Sal. Vegetarians can ask for omelets or salads.

Stay safe

Crime rates are relatively low. The emergency number is 132.

Stay healthy

In the resorts, the tap water is usually desalinated and safe to drink. In other areas, bottled water is cheap and commonly available.


The telephone system is effective and improving. There is mobile phone coverage in all cities and most towns. Check with your provider as to the roaming costs.

The country also has one Internet service provider.

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Study guide

Up to date as of January 14, 2010

From Wikiversity

Scale of justice 2 new.jpeg Subject classification: this is a law resource .

Part of the Comparative law and justice Wikiversity Project


Basic Information

The Republic of Cape Verde is an island country, spanning an archipelago located in the Macaronesia ecoregion of the North

Cape Verde.gif

Atlantic Ocean, off the western coast of Africa, opposite Mauritania and Senegal.The previously uninhabited islands were discovered and colonized by the Portuguese in the 15th century, and attained independence from Portugal in 1975. The Cape Verde archipelago is located approximately 604 kilometres (375 mi) off the coast of West Africa. It is composed of ten islands (of which nine are inhabited) and eight islets.[1] The islands have a combined size of just over 4,000 square kilometers.[2] The islands are divided into the Barlavento (windward) islands (Santo Antão, São Vicente, Santa Luzia, São Nicolau, Sal, and Boa Vista) and the Sotavento (leeward) islands (Maio, Santiago, Fogo, and Brava).[3] The largest island, both in size and population, is Santiago, where the capital of Praia is located.[4] Though Cape Verde's islands are all volcanic in origin, they vary widely in terrain.[5] A still-active volcano on the island of Fogo is the highest point on the archipelago (elevation 2,829 meters).[6] Extensive salt flats are found on Sal and Maio.[7] On Santiago, Santo Antão, and São Nicolau, arid slopes give way in places to sugarcane fields or banana plantations spread along the base of towering mountains.[8]

Cape Verde’s climate is milder than that of the African mainland; because the island is surrounded by the sea, temperatures are generally moderate. [9] Average daily high temperatures range from 25 °C (77 °F) in January to 29 °C (84 °F) in September. Cape Verde is part of the Sahelian arid belt, with nothing like the rainfall levels of nearby West Africa.[10] It does rain irregularly between August and October, with frequent brief-but-heavy downpours.[11] A desert is usually defined as terrain which receives less than 250 mm of annual rainfall.[12] Cape Verde's total (261 mm) is slightly above this criterion, which makes the area's climate

semi-desert. Cape Verde's isolation has resulted in the islands having a number of endemic species, particularly bird and reptiles, many of which are endangered by human development. Endemic birds include Alexander's Swift (Apus alexandri), the Raso Lark (Alauda razae), the Cape Verde Warbler (Acrocephalus brevipennis), and the Iago Sparrow (Passer iagoensis).[14] The islands are also an important breeding area for seabirds including the Cape Verde Shearwater. Reptiles include the Cape Verde Giant Gecko (Tarentola gigas). Hurricanes that form near the Cape Verde Islands are sometimes referred to as Cape Verde-type hurricanes. These hurricanes can become very intense as they cross warm Atlantic waters.[15]

As of 2007, Cape Verde is classified as a developing country after being promoted from Least Developed Countries status.[16] About 20% of the population lives on less than $1.25 (U.S.) a day.[17]

Economic Development

The development plan adopted in 1991 sought to transform Cape Verde into an open-market style economy. The development priorities include the promotion of the service-sector industries such as tourism, fishing, maritime services, and transshipping. In 1994, the government announced a five-year plan to develop the fishing industry, focusing mostly on lobster and tuna. A free-trade port was projected, and offshore banking was planned. In 1997, the government adopted a four-year development plan that focused on debt management and sustainable development. Cape Verde entered into an $11 million three-year Poverty Reduction and Growth Facility (PRGF) Arrangement with the International Monetary Fund (IMF) in April 2002. Economic growth and international reserves increased in 2002, and inflation fell. The fiscal deficit was lower than expected, the balance of payments was stronger, and investment increased. The government that came into office in 2001 focused on implementing tight monetary policies and improving the social and economic infrastructure. A new tax package was scheduled to be implemented in 2003.[18]


This island economy 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, tourism, and public services accounting for about three-fourths of GDP. Although nearly 70% of the population lives in rural areas, the share of food production in GDP is low. About 82% of food must be imported. The fishing potential, mostly lobster and tuna, is not fully exploited. Cape Verde

The market place in Cape Verde, where fresh fruit and vegetables are sold.

annually runs a high trade deficit, financed by foreign aid and remittances from emigrants; remittances supplement GDP by more than 20%. Economic reforms are aimed at developing the private sector and attracting foreign investment to diversify the economy. Future prospects depend heavily on the maintenance of aid flows, the encouragement of tourism, remittances, and the momentum of the government's development program. Cape Verde became a member of the WTO in July 2008.[19]


Medical facilities in Cape Verde are limited, and some medicines are in short supply or unavailable. There are hospitals in Praia and Mindelo, with smaller medical facilities in other places. The islands of Brava and Santo Antão no longer have functioning airports so air evacuation in the event of a medical emergency is nearly impossible from these two islands. Brava also has limited inter-island ferry service. Malaria exists in Cape Verde, although not to the extent found in mainland Africa. The risk of contracting malaria is mainly limited to the island of Santiago, with a higher risk from July to December.[20] Infant mortality rate: total: 41.35 deaths/1,000 live births male: 47.39 deaths/1,000 live births female: 35.12 deaths/1,000 live births (2009 est.)[21]


According to Ministry of Health estimates, since the beginning of the pandemic through December 2004, 1,489 Cape Verdeans have been infected with HIV, translating to a relatively low HIV prevalence rate. Of these identified cases, 800 (53.7 percent) contracted AIDS and 53 of those died from complications related to HIV/AIDS. At the end of 2004 there were 1,063 people living with HIV, and 374 of these with full-blown AIDS. In 2004 alone, 260 people became newly infected with HIV, and 123 of these people are living with AIDS. According to 2004 fi gures from the national HIV/AIDS Commission, 50 percent of HIV cases are between 25 and 49 years old; and among teens, girls accounted for more than half of new HIV-positive infections reported].[22]


In the pre-independence period, education in the country followed the Portuguese system. Education under the independent government has been patterned after the program of popular education carried out in the liberated areas of Guinea-Bissau. The program stresses universal literacy and primary skills, with advanced education geared toward agricultural and technical skills for production. In 1998, primary schools had 91,177 students and 3,219 teachers, with a student to teacher ratio of 29 to 1. Secondary schools had 31,602 students and 1,372 teachers in the same year. As of 1999, 99% of primary-school-age children were enrolled in school, while 48% of those eligible attended secondary school. Primary education is compulsory and

A class room in a small town in Cape Verde

lasts for six years. Projected adult illiteracy rates for the year 2000 stand at 26.5% (males, 15.7%; females, 34.7%). As of 1999, public expenditure on education was estimated at 4.4% of GDP.[23]According to official policy, compulsory primary education begins at age six or seven and lasts for six years. It is followed by secondary schooling, which is divided into two phases of three and two years, respectively. Universities located in Cape Verde include the Jean Piaget University of Cape Verde (2001) and the University of Cape Verde (2006). There are also institutes for teaching and nurse training and for engineering and maritime technology.[24]

Brief History

Uninhabited on their discovery in 1456, the Cape Verde islands became part of the Portuguese empire in 1495. A majority of today's inhabitants are of mixed Portuguese and African ancestry. Positioned on the great trade routes between Africa, Europe, and the New World, the islands became a prosperous center for the slave trade but suffered economic decline after the slave trade was abolished in 1876. In the 20th century, Cape Verde served as a shipping port. In 1951, Cape Verde's status changed from a Portuguese colony to an overseas province, and in 1961 the inhabitants became full Portuguese citizens. An independence movement led by the African Party for the Independence of Guinea-Bissau (another former Portuguese colony) and Cape Verde (PAIGC) was founded in 1956. Following the 1974 coup in Portugal, after which Portugal began abandoning its colonial empire, the islands became independent (July 5, 1975). On Jan. 13, 1991, the first multiparty elections since independence resulted in the ruling African Party for the Independence of Cape Verde (PAICV) losing its majority to the Movement for Democracy Party (MPD). The MPD candidate, Antonio Monteiro, won the subsequent presidential election, and was easily reelected in 1996. In 2001, Pedro Pires became president.[25]


In an effort to take advantage of its proximity to cross-Atlantic sea and air lanes, the government has embarked on a major expansion of its port and airport capacities. It is also modernizing its fish processing industry. These projects are being partly paid for by the EU and the World Bank, making Cape Verde one of the largest per-capita aid recipients in the world. Disenchantment with the government's privatization program, continued high unemployment, and widespread poverty helped defeat the MPD in elections held in Jan. 2001. The PAICV swept back into power and José Maria Neves became prime minister. In 2006, incumbent Pedro Pires was reelected president. [26]


By Birth: Birth within the territory of Cape Verde does not automatically confer citizenship. The exception is a child born to unknown parents. By Descent: Child, at least one of whose parents is a citizen of Cape Verde, is granted citizenship regardless of the country of birth. By Naturalization: Cape Verdean citizenship may be acquired upon fulfillment of the following conditions: Person must have resided in the country for at least five years. Person who makes a sizeable investment in Cape Verde may be granted citizenship without the residency requirement. Marriage: Person who marries a citizen of Cape Verde is automatically eligible for citizenship upon request.[27]

Political conditions

Following independence in 1975, the African Party for the Independence of Guinea and Cape Verde (PAIGC) established a one party political system. This became the African Party for the Independence of Cape Verde (PAICV) in 1980, as Cape Verde sought to distance itself from Guinea-Bissau, following unrest in that country.

In 1991, following growing pressure for a more pluralistic society, multi-party elections were held for the first time. The opposition party, the Movement for Democracy (Cape Verde)Movement for Democracy (MpD), won the legislative elections, and formed the government. The MpD candidate also defeated the PAICV candidate in the presidential elections. In the 1996 elections, the MpD increased their majority, but in the 2001 the PAICV returned to power, winning both the Legislative and the Presidential elections.

Generally, Cape Verde enjoys a stable democratic system. The elections have been considered free and fair, there is a free press, and the rule of law is respected by the State. In acknowledgment of this, Freedom House granted Cape Verde two 1s in its annual Freedom in the World report, a perfect score. It is the only African country to receive this score.[28]

Executive branch

The Prime Minister is the head of the government and as such proposes other ministers and secretaries of state. The Prime Minister is nominated by the National Assembly and appointed by the President. The President is the head of state and is elected by popular vote for a five-year term; the most recent elections were held in



Legislative branch

The National Assembly of Cape Verde National Assembly (Asembleia Nacional) has 72 members, elected for a five year term by proportional representation.[30]

Courts and Criminal Law

The judicial system is composed of the Supreme Court and the regional courts. Of the five Supreme Court judges, one is appointed by the President, one by the National Assembly, and three by the Superior Judiciary Council. This council consists of the President of the Supreme Court, the Attorney General, eight private citizens, two judges, two prosecutors, the senior legal inspector of the Attorney General's office, and a representative of the Ministry of Justice. Judges are independent and may not belong to a political party. In October 2000, a female judge who was known for taking strict legal measures in cases of domestic violence was transferred from the capital to the countryside. Separate courts hear civil, constitutional and criminal cases. Appeal is to the Supreme Court. Reforms to strengthen an overburdened judiciary were implemented in 1998. Free legal counsel is provided to indigents, defendants are presumed innocent until proven guilty, and trials are public. Judges must lay charges within 24 hours of arrests.. The Constitution provides for an independent judiciary, and the Government generally respects this provision in practice. The Constitution provides for the right to a fair trial and due process, and an independent judiciary usually enforces this right. Unlike in the previous year, there were no reports of politicization and biased judgement in the judiciary. Cases involving former public office holders still are under investigation. For example, the investigations continued in the case of the former prime minister accused of embezzlement in the privatization of ENACOL (a parastatal oil supply firm) in which he allegedly embezzled approximately $16,250 (2 million Cape Verdean escudos) from the buyers of the parastatal. The case of four persons accused of church desecration in 1996 also was under investigation. These individuals filed a complaint with the Attorney General against the judiciary police for alleged fabrication of evidence.[31]

The Constitution provides for the right to a fair trial. Defendants are presumed to be innocent; they have the right to a public, nonjury trial; to counsel; to present witnesses; and to appeal verdicts. Free counsel is provided for the indigent. Regional courts adjudicate minor disputes on the local level in rural areas. The Ministry of Justice does not have judicial powers; such powers lie with the courts.[32]

The judiciary generally provides due process rights; however, the right to an expeditious trial is constrained by a seriously overburdened and understaffed judicial system. A backlog of cases routinely leads to trial delays of 6 months or more; more than 10,780 cases were pending at year's end. In addition the right of victims to compensation and recovery for pain and mental suffering are overlooked, due both to the low damage assessments imposed and ineffective enforcement of court sentences.[33]

Correction Facilities

There are only about 600 inmates in Cape Verde's prisons, with a rate of about 150 per 100,000 population. Prison conditions are poor, and they are severely overcrowded. The former President's July 2000 amnesty did not reduce the overcrowding. Sanitation and medical assistance is poor; a doctor and a nurse were available and prisoners were taken to the public hospitals for serious problems. Psychological problems were common. Although women and men are held separately, juveniles are not held separately from adults, and pretrial detainees are not held separately from convicted prisoners. According to a 2000 study by the Ze Moniz Association (AZM), there were reports that guards abused female prisoners.[34]

Abuse Against Women

Domestic violence against women, including wife beating, remains common. The Government and civil society encourage women to report criminal offenses such as rape and spousal abuse to the police; however, longstanding social and cultural values inhibit victims from doing so, and according to the media, such reports remain rare. Nevertheless reporting of such crimes to police continue to increase and the media continue to report their occurrence. Violence against women has been the subject of extensive public service media coverage in both government- and opposition-controlled media. While mechanisms to deal with spousal abuse exist in theory, in practice these mechanisms neither ensure the punishment of all those responsible nor effectively prevent future violence. Women's organizations continue to seek legislation to establish a special family court to address crimes of domestic violence and abuse; however, they made no progress in achieving such legislation. In 1998 the Parliament revised the Penal Code, widening the definition of sexual abuse and strengthening penalties against abusers. The law protects certain rights of the victims; however, does not ensure the right of compensation.[35]

Child Abuse

Child abuse and mistreatment, sexual violence against children, and juvenile prostitution are problems, exacerbated by chronic poverty, large unplanned families, and traditionally high levels of emigration of adult men. The media have reported cases of sexual abuse against children and adolescents. The inefficiencies of the judicial system made it difficult for government institutions to address the problem.[36]

Trafficing in People

The law does not prohibit trafficking in persons, and illegal trafficking in economic emigrants to various points in Europe is believed to be a thriving business. Visa and related fraud are involved in the trafficking of economic emigrants who are smuggled into Europe; however, there are no reports that these persons are trafficked into forced labor or debt bondage. The country is a transit point for traffickers, and trafficking has become a concern for local authorities. Several press reports noted that the police have arrested some persons, traffickers as well as victims. In 2000 such cases involved fewer than 30 persons. The Government was cooperating with European authorities, neighboring governments, and foreign embassies to deal with the problem.[37]

Drug Trafficing

Detailed information on drug trafficking for Cape Verde has not yet been located; however, according to the CIA Factbook, Cape Verde is used as a transshipment point for illicit drugs moving from Latin America and Africa destined for Western Europe. [38]


Cape Verde has no Capital Punishment and there are no prison sentences over 25 years.The last execution was performed in 1835, when the islands were part of the Portuguese Empire.[39]

Law Enforcement

The police, which were controlled by the military in Cape Verde until 1994, are now separate and answerable to civilian authority. Detailed information on Cape Verde's police and police organization has not been obtained; however, the police in Cape Verde have been discussed in the 2001 Human Rights Report. According to the Human Rights Report, the Government controls the police, which has primary responsibility for maintenance of law and order. Some members of the police and prison guards have committed human rights abuses. The Constitution prohibits such practices; however, despite government efforts to control beatings by police, there have been credible reports that police continue to beat persons in custody and in detention. While mechanisms for investigating citizen complaints of police brutality exist in theory, in practice these mechanisms neither ensure the punishment of those responsible nor prevent future violations. In addition in some instances of violence against women, the police did not protect the victims effectively. There were reports that immigration authorities harassed Nigerian

Military training for law enforcement.

citizens. Following its January 2001 election, the Government began investigating allegations of human rights abuses by police; however, no subsequent action was taken. The law prohibits arbitrary arrest and detention, and the Government generally observes these prohibitions. The law stipulates that a suspect must be charged before a judge within 48 hours of arrest. Police may not make arrests without a court order unless a person is caught in the act of committing a felony. The courts have jurisdiction over state security cases, and there is a functioning system of bail.[40]

Crime Rates and Public Opinion

Rates of Key Crimes in
Theft(Robbery) [41]

Urban areas: 3% Rural ares: .1%


Urban areas: 5.6% Rural areas: .7%

Crimes against property[43]

Urban areas: 5.4% Rural areas: 1.2%


Family Law


Adoption Agencies: Cape Verde does not have a local adoption agency, nor does the U.S. Embassy in Praia know of an international adoption agency that works with Cape Verde at this time. There are, however, orphanages in Cape Verde that can release a child for adoption. Should prospective adoptive parents wish to hire a Cape Verdean attorney to assist with the adoption, a list of attorneys may be obtained from the U.S. Embassy in Praia.[44]If an American prospective adoptive family is interested in a child who has living biological parents, Cape Verdean law requires the biological parents to legitimate the child in order to relinquish their parental rights. (A sizeable percentage of Cape Verdean children are born out of wedlock.) Even if this step to comply with Cape Verdean law is undertaken, however, the child may still not qualify as an “orphan” under U.S. immigration law, which is extremely difficult when there are two living birth parents. [45] Eligibility Requirements for adoptive parents: Must be between 25 and 60 years old; Must be able to exercise full civil and political rights in their home country; Must possess good morals and economic means to ensure the complete development of the child; Must have apparent good health and reasonable education; The difference in age between the prospective parents and child must be more than 16 years and no more than 40 years. [46]After an adoption has been granted, an adoption decree (Certidao de Adopcao) may be requested from the District Court for Families and Minors (Tribunal de Familia e Menores da Comarca) in Santiago (Praia) or Sao Vicente (Mindelo) or from the District Court (Tribunal da Comarca) on all other islands and in areas outside Praia, Santiago, and Mindelo, Sao Vicente. Adoption decrees must be requested from the court where the adoption was granted. [47]


Legal and church weddings are uncommon in Cape Verde. More often than not, a woman will simply sai di casa (leave her family's house) to move in with her boyfriend. This is often occasioned by the woman becoming pregnant. After four years of cohabitation, a relationship acquires the status of common-law marriage. While polygamy is not legal, it is customary for men (married or not) to be sleeping with several women at once.[48]


Alot of times divorce is not allowed by the woman so divorce is not common in Cape Verde.[49] Divorce Certificates (Certidao do Divorcio) are issued by the Conservatoria dos Registos on the island where the divorce was decreed. [50]

Human Rights

The Republic of Cape Verde recognizes the citizens' equality of all before the law, without distinction of social origin or economic situation, race, sex, religion, political or ideological convictions and social condition and it assures the full exercise for all the citizens of the fundamental freedoms. The Republic of Cape Verde stands in the popular will and has as fundamental objective the achievement of the economic, political, social and cultural democracy and the construction of a free, fair and jointly responsible society. The Republic of Cape Verde will create progressively the indispensable conditions to the removal of all of the obstacles that can impede the human person's full development and to limit the citizens' equality and the effective participation of these in the political, economical, social and cultural organization of the State and of the cape-verdean society. [51]

Cape Verde Constitution on Human Rights:

TITLE II -- RIGHTS, LIBERTIES AND GUARANTEES CHAPTER I -- INDIVIDUAL RIGHTS, LIBERTIES AND GUARANTEES Article 26 (The right to life and to physical and moral integrity) 1. Human life and the physical and moral integrity of the human person shall be inviolable. 2. No one shall be submitted to torture, cruel, degrading or inhumane penalties and treatment and, in no circumstances, shall there be death penalty. Article 27 (The right to freedom) 1. The right to freedom shall be inviolable. 2. Freedom of thought, of expression, of association, of religion, of cult, of intellectual, artistic and cultural creation, of demonstration and the remaining freedoms established in the Constitution, by law and in general or conventional international law, received in the internal legal order, shall be guaranteed. 3. No one shall be obliged to declare his ideology, religion or cult, political or trade union affiliation. Article 28 (Right to freedom and security of person) 1. Anyone shall have the right to freedom and security. No one shall be deprived, in part or in whole, of his freedom, save in case of a condemnatory judicial sentence for the commission of acts punishable by law with imprisonment penalty or by judicial imposition of security measures. 2. The preceding paragraph shall not apply to the deprivation of freedom for the time strictly necessary to the attainment of the objectives set, in accordance with the conditions established by law, in one of the following cases: a) Imprisonment "in flagrante delicto"; b) Strong evidence of the commission of voluntary crime punishable with imprisonment penalty, whose maximum limit is more than two years and insufficiency or inappropriateness of measures of provisional liberty; c) Non-compliance with the condition imposed on the indicted person under the regime of provisional liberty; d) Detention or imprisonment to secure the obedience to judicial decision or the presence before the judicial authority competent for the practice of or compliance with a judicial act; e) Subjection to security measures, assistance and protection of minors or of senior persons who by law shall enjoy the same status as the former; f) Imprisonment or detention of persons against whom extradition or expulsion proceedings is underway; g) Disciplinary imprisonment imposed on military and police agents with a guarantee of appeal to the competent court in accordance with the law, after exhausting all the hierarchical means. 3. Any detained or imprisoned person shall be immediately informed, in an unequivocal and understandable manner, of the reasons for his detention or his imprisonment and about his constitutional and legal rights and he shall be authorized to contact counsel directly or through his family or person of his confidence. 4. The detained or imprisoned person shall not be obliged to make statements. 5. The detained or imprisoned person has the right to the disclosure of the identification of those responsible for his detention or imprisonment or for his interrogation. 6. The detention or imprisonment of any person and the precise place where he is found shall be conveyed immediately to the family of the detained or imprisoned person or to the person he indicates, with a summary description of the reasons which led to his detention or imprisonment.[52]

Works Cited



Up to date as of January 15, 2010

Definition from Wiktionary, a free dictionary



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Proper noun

Cape Verde


Cape Verde

  1. Country in Western Africa. Official name: Republic of Cape Verde.


See also

Simple English

[[File:|thumb|right|Map showing Cape Verde]] Cape Verde is a country in Africa. It is a group of islands and its official language is Portuguese. During the 1970's and 1980's, other African countries would not let South African airplanes fly over their territory except Cape Verde. The country became an important stop where airplanes filled up their fuel tanks. As of 2008 the number of people living in Cape Verde was 426,998. [1]

Verde means green in Portuguese.


Geography and climate

Cape Verde is an island State located 375 miles (600 kilometres) away from the coast of Senegal and it comprises ten islands of volcanic origin, nine of which are inhabited. The combined area of all the islands is 4,033 square kilometres.

The islands vary in geographical characteristics. Sal, Boavista, Maio, and São Vicente are flat, with stretches of sand dunes. Santiago, Santo Antão, Fogo, and São Nicolau are more mountainous and arable, although all the islands have a long history of drought. Fogo, the only volcano still active, last erupted in 1995. The capital, Praia, is on the island of Santiago which is the largest in terms of area and population and the first one to be settled, in 1462.

The climate of Cape Verde is influenced by the Sahara desert, but is tempered by the action of the ocean and trade winds. Cape Verde has only two seasons: The dry season, from October to June, and the rainy season, from July to September. The average temperature throughout the year is around 24 degree Celsius.


The first Europeans to arrive in Cape Verde were the Portuguese navigators Diogo Gomes and Antonio da Noli in 1460. The islands were uninhabited, and the first settlement was founded in 1462 on the island of Santiago (the main Island) which was divided into two “capitanias”, Alcatrazes and Ribeira Grande. The first one failed and the main activity in Ribeira Grande was the exploitation of cotton farms. Ribeira Grande served also as a slave trade post and as post of slave Christianization before they were sent to the New World.

The city suffered several pirate raids and for this reason in 1712, after a French attack, the authorities were forced to move the capital to Praia, where it is located until now. Cape Verde had the status of Portuguese colony until 1951 when Portugal changed its status to Overseas Province and in 1961 Portugal gave full citizenship to all Cape Verdeans.

Cape Verde has been independent from Portugal since 5th July 1975. The fight for independence was led by the African Party for the Independence of Guinea and Cape Verde (PAIGC) and headed by Amilcar Cabral, the national hero of both countries, Cape Verde and Guinea Bissau.


After independence, Cape Verde was ruled by the PAIGC along with Guinea Bissau until 1980. Aristides Pereira was the president of both countries. Following a coup d’état in Guinea Bissau in 1980 the project of unification of the two countries was abandoned and the party changed its name to PAICV which ruled Cape Verde until 1991, under a single party regime.

In 1990 a multi-party regime was established and in 1991 the first multi-party election took place. It was won by the Movement for Democracy (MPD), a party founded in 1990. The MPD also won the elections in 1996 and the PAICV returned to power in 2001 and won a second five-year term in 2006. Cape Verde has a semi-presidential political system – the President of the Republic is the head of State and the Prime Minister is the head of Government. The President of the Republic is elected directly for a five-year term. The National Assembly, composed of 72 representatives, is elected for a five-year term. Currently the three principal parties have seats in the National Assembly. The Prime Minister is appointed by the National Assembly and nominated by the President of the Republic.


The economic resources of Cape Verde are largely dependant on agriculture and fishing. Agriculture frequently suffers the effects of droughts. The most important crops are coffee, bananas, sugar cane, tropical fruits, corn, beans, sweet potato and cassava. The industrial sector is incipient but is based on the production of “aguardente” (spirits from sugar cane), clothing and footwear, paints and varnishes, tourism, fishing and canned fish, and salt extraction. Banana, canned fish, frozen fish, lobsters, salt, and clothes are the main exports. The national currency is the Cape Verdean escudo. Remittances from emigration are another important source of resources for the State of Cape Verde.


In Cape Verde, the annual rate of population growth and mortality are low, compared to average rates of other middle income countries. The average life expectancy is 66 years and 71 years respectively for men and women. The resident population in the country is estimated at 500,000 inhabitants. There are an estimated additional one million Cape Verdeans living abroad, mainly in the United States, Western Europe, and Africa. Cape Verde has a young population with an average age of 23 years.


Cape Verdean culture is a unique mixture of European and African elements. Corn is the staple food of Cape Verde. The national or traditional dish is cachupa, which is a stew of hominy, beans, and whatever meat or vegetables may be available. Other common foods include rice, beans, fish, potatoes and manioc. A traditional breakfast is cuscus, a steamed cornbread, eaten with honey and milk or coffee. Grogue, or sugar cane liquor, is manufactured on the islands and is a popular drink, particularly among the men. Cape Verdean music incorporates Portuguese, Caribbean, African, and Brazilian influences. Popular genres include morna, funaná, batuque, coladeira, and cola san jon.


In Cape Verde, other than private clinics, the government guarantees a public health system which comprises several healthcare centers and three central hospitals (Hospital Agostinho Neto, in Praia, Hospital Baptista de Sousa, in São Vicente, and Hospital Regional de Santiago Norte, in Assomada). The cost of public health is supported by the government, but users must pay a fee which varies in accordance with the capacity of the user to afford it.


After independence the different governments of Cape Verde invested massively in education and illiteracy has been reduced drastically. Today almost one hundred percent of school-age children attend school. Attendance to primary schooling, which comprises 6 years, is compulsory and free from any charge. Education is guaranteed by a network of public schools that span from nursery school to university. There are also several private schools in all levels of education.


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