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Countries > Cape Verde (Republic of) Cape Verde (Republic of) Flag
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Capital: Praia
Population: 392,000
Description: The official language is Portuguese . Most of the population speaks a form of Portuguese Creole which varies considerably from island to island.The official language is Portuguese . Most of the population speaks a form of Portuguese Creole which varies considerably from island to island.
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Cape Verde (Republic of) Map


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

total: 4,030 sq km
land: 4,030 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
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 : Pico 2,829 m

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, 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


Population:408,760 (July 2002 est.)

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

Population growth rate: 0.85% (2002 est.)

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

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

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

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

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

Life expectancy at birth:
total population : 69.52 years
male:66.23 years
female: 72.91 years (2002 est.)

Total fertility rate: 3.91 children born/woman (2002 est.)

noun: Cape Verdean(s)
adjective: Cape Verdean

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

Religions: Roman Catholicism fused with indigenous beliefs

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

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


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

National 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

Independence: 5 July 1975 (from Portugal)

National holiday: Independence Day, 5 July (1975)

Constitution: new constitution came into force 25 September 1992

Legal system: NA

Suffrage: 18 years of age; universal

Executive branch:
chief of state: President Pedro PIRES (since 22 March 2001)
head of government :Prime Minister Jose Maria Pereira NEVES (since 1 February 2001)
cabinet: Council of Ministers appointed by the prime minister from among the members of the People's National Assembly
elections: president elected by popular vote for a five-year term; election last held 11 and 25 February 2001 (next to be held NA February 2006); prime minister nominated by the National Assembly and appointed by the president
election results:Pedro PIRES elected president; percent of vote - Pedro PIRES (PAICV) 49.43%, Carlos VIEGA (MPD) 49.42%; note - the election was won by only twelve votes

Legislative branch: unicameral People's National Assembly or Assembleia Nacional Popular (72 seats; members are elected by popular vote to serve five-year terms)
elections: last held 14 January 2001 (next to be held NA December 2005)
election results : percent of vote by party - PAICV 47.3%, MPD 39.8%, ADM 6%, other 6.9%; seats by party - PAICV 40, MPD 30, ADM 2

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

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

International organization participation: 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, UN, UNCTAD, UNESCO, UNIDO, UPU, WCL, WHO, WMO, TrO (applicant)

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

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


Economy - overview: Cape Verde's low per capita GDP reflects a poor natural resource base, serious water shortages exacerbated by cycles of long-term drought, and a high birthrate. 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 GNP is only 14%, of which fishing accounts for 4%. 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 remittances from emigrants and foreign aid, which form important supplements to GDP. 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 1997 depend heavily on the maintenance of aid flows, remittances, and the momentum of the government's development program.

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

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

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

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

Inflation rate - consumer price index: 3% (2001)

Labor force: NA

Unemployment rate:21% (2000 est.)

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

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

Industrial production growth rate: NA%

Electricity - capacity: 17,000 kW

Electricity - production:41 million kWh (2000)

Electricity - consumption per capita: 38.13 million kWh (2000)

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

total value: $27.3 million (f.o.b., 2001 est.)
commodities: fish, bananas, fuels, basic manufactures
partners:Portugal 45%, UK 20%, Germany 20%, Guinea-Bissau 5% (1999)

total value : $218 million (f.o.b., 2001 est.)
commodities: foodstuffs, consumer goods, industrial products, transport equipment, fuels
partners :Portugal 52%, Germany 7%, France 4%, UK 3% (1999)

Debt - external: $301 million (2000)

Economic aid:
recipient:$136 million (1999)

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

Exchange rates: Cape Verdean escudos (CVEsc) per US$1 - 84.770 (December 1996), 82.591 (1996), 76.853 (1995), 81.891 (1994), 80.427 (1993), 68.018 (1992)

Fiscal year: calendar year


Telephones: 60,935 (2002)

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

Radio broadcast stations: AM 0, FM 11 (and 14 repeaters), shortwave 0 (1998)

Radios: 100,000 (2002 est.)

Television broadcast stations: 3 (2002)

Televisions: 15,000 (2002 est.)


Railways: 0 km

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

Ports and harbors: Mindelo, Praia, Tarrafal

Merchant marine:
total: 4 ships (1,000 GRT or over) totaling 5,395 GRT/6,614 DWT
ships by type: cargo 3, chemical tanker 1

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

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


Military branches: People's Revolutionary Armed Forces (FARP; includes Army and Navy), Security Service

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

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

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

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

Transnational Issues

Disputes - international: none

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

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