|Currency||Cape Verdean escudo (CVE)|
|Area||total: 4,033 sq km |
water: 0 sq km
land: 4,033 sq km
|Population||408,760 (July 2002 est.)|
|Religion||Roman Catholic (infused with indigenous beliefs); Protestant (mostly Church of the Nazarene)|
Cape Verde (Portuguese Cabo Verde) is a country in West Africa. It comprises a group of islands in the Senegal.
- World Heritage Site
- The Island of Fogo volcano - The country's highest point (2,829 m)
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.
International flights land at the island of Sal, 70km (110 miles) northeast of the capital.
There are regular flights from Amsterdam, Boston (weekly), Fortaleza (Brazil) (weekly), Lisbon (daily), Madrid, Milan, Munich and Oporto operated by Dakar), SAA (from South Africa) and TAP airlines.
There are only infrequent, expensive connections to the mainland.
The official language is Portuguese. Crioulo (a blend of Portuguese and West African words) is widely spoken.
- Lagostada � a lobster dish
Crime rates are relatively low. The emergency number is 132.
The telephone system is effective and improving. There is mobile phone coverage. The country also has one internet service provider.
- 965 km
- steep, rugged, rocky, volcanic
- 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
- 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
- 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)
- Ethnic groups
- Creole (mulatto) 71%, African 28%, European 1%
- 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
- Diplomatic representation in the US
- chief of mission: Ambassador Jose BRITO
consulate(s) general: Boston
FAX:  (202) 965-1207
telephone:  (202) 965-6820
chancery: 3415 Massachusetts Avenue NW, Washington, DC 20007
- Diplomatic representation from the US
- chief of mission: Ambassador Donald C. JOHNSON
embassy: Rua Abilio m. Macedo 81, Praia
mailing address: C. P. 201, Praia
telephone:  61 56 16, 61 56 17
FAX:  61 13 55
- 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.
- 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%
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)
- Unemployment rate
- 21% (2000 est.)
- revenues: $112 million
expenditures: $198 million, including capital expenditures of $NA (2000)
- food and beverages, fish processing, shoes and garments, salt mining, ship repair
- Agriculture - products
- bananas, corn, beans, sweet potatoes, sugarcane, coffee, peanuts; fish
- $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% (1999)
- $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)
- Exchange rates
- Cape Verdean escudos per US dollar - 123.556 (January 2002), 115.877 (2000), 102.700 (1999), 98.158 (1998), 93.177 (1997)
- total: 1,100 km
paved: 858 km
unpaved: 242 km (1996)
- Ports and harbors
- Mindelo, Praia, Tarrafal
note: 3 airports are reported to be nonoperational (2001)