Violet Flame's Home CAPE VERDE (CABO VERDE)
In The Macaronesia ecoregion of the North Atlantic Ocean,
off the western coast of Africa.  
Cape Verde  

Santo Antão | São Vicente | Santa Luzia | São Nicolau | Sal | Boa Vista | Maio | Santiago | Fogo | Brava

Cape Verde's flag

Cape Verde's Coat of Arms

Map of Cape Verde

Views of Santo Antao Island

Views of Sao Vicente Island

Views of São Nicolau Island

Views of Sal Island

Views of Boa Vista Island

Views of Maio Island

Views of Santiago Island

Views of Fogo Island

Views of Brava Island

Violet Flame
CaboVerde24 - Portal of Cabo Verde

An Arquipelago Nation 600 km west of Senegal Coast

Full Member of the Commonwealth of Portuguese Speaking Countries CPLP

Geography and Location

Area: 4,033 km2 (1,557 sq. mi.), slightly larger than Rhode Island.

Cities: Capital--Praia (pop. 106,052). Other city--Mindelo (pop. 67,844).

Terrain: Steep, rugged, rocky, volcanic.

The islands are divided into two groups: Barlavento in the north, composed of Santo Antão (754 km2 = 291 sq mi), Boa Vista (622 km2 =240 sq mi), São Nicolau (342 km2 = 132 sq mi), São Vicente (228 km2 = 88 sq mi), Sal (215 km2 = 83 sq mi), and Santa Luzia (34 km2 = 13 sq mi); and Sotavento in the south, consisting of São Tiago (992 km2 = 383 sq mi), Fogo (477 km2 = 184 sq mi), Maio (267 km2 = 103 sq mi), and Brava (65 km = 25 sq mi). The islands are mostly mountainous, with the land deeply scarred by erosion. There is an active volcano on Fogo.

The Cape Verde archipelago is located approximately 604 km (375 miles) off the coast of West Africa. It is composed of ten islands (of which nine are inhabited) and eight islets. The islands have a combined size of just over 4,033 km2 (square kilometres). 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). The largest island, both in size and population, is Santiago, where the capital of Praia is located..

All larger islands but Santa Luzia are inhabited.

Three islands--Sal, Boa Vista, and Maio--generally are level and very dry. Mountains higher than 1,280 meters (4,200 ft.) are found on Santiago, Fogo, Santo Antão, and São Nicolau.

Sand carried by high winds has created spectacular rock formations on all islands, especially the windward ones. Sheer, jagged cliffs rise from the sea on several of the mountainous islands. Natural vegetation is sparse in the uplands and coast, but interior valleys support denser growth.

Rainfall is irregular, and the archipelago suffers periodic droughts and consequent food shortages. The average precipitation per year in Praia is 24 centimeters (9.5 in.). During the winter, storms blowing from the Sahara sometimes cloud the sky, but sunny days are the norm year round.


Climate: Temperate; warm, dry summer; precipitation meager and erratic..

The tropical climate of Cape Verde is tempered by trade winds, temperatures remaining constant most of the year. The rainy season is during August, September and October, the amount being rather unpredictable.

All year warm weather for sailing and surfing

Lying in the Trade Winds belt, with a gentle Atlantic swell, Cape Verde conditions are perfect for sailing or surfing. Cape Verde winter winds are steady Force 4 to Force 5, but slacken in summer. National teams come to Sal, Cape Verdes for winter wind and kite surf training. Board surfing conditions in winter are excellent and Ponta Preta on Sal, Cape Verdes has one of the best breaks in the world. Sea temperatures are warm enough to make swimming a real pleasure. And you neither need to heat the swimming pool nor air-condition the villa, thanks to their clever architectural design which encourages airflow through the venturi effect.

Weather was pretty good - hot but with welcome cloud, a few spots of rain and welcome wind! We were apparently on the edge of that hurricane Debbie which was closer to the most southern of the islands so it could have been worse! Got to see my apartments and have signed up power of attorney for one of them which is now almost complete with furniture etc. Have decided to sell that one unused and fully furnished so if you hear of anyone?! It was great to see how well Santa Maria is coming along. I can't wait for my next visit! Thank you again for all your help and advice beforehand and hope to keep in touch! (

Cape Verdean Climate Portal


Type: Republic.
Independence: July 5, 1975.
Constitution: 1980; revised 1992, 1995, and 1999.

Branches: Executive--president (head of state), prime minister (head of government), Council of Ministers. Legislative--National Assembly. Judicial--Supreme Court, lower courts.
Administrative subdivisions: 17 administrative districts.
Political parties: African Party for Independence of Cape Verde
or PAICV [Jose Maria Pereira NEVES, chairman]; Democratic Alliance for Change or ADM [Eurico MONTEIRO] (a coalition of PCD, PTS, and UCID); Democratic Christian Party or PDC [Manuel RODRIGUES]; Democratic Renovation Party or PRD [Victor FIDALGO]; Democratic and Independent Cape Verdean Union or UCID [Antonio MONTEIRO]; Movement for Democracy or MPD [Agostinho LOPES]; Party for Democratic Convergence or PCD [Eurico MONTEIRO]; Party of Work and Solidarity or PTS [Isaias RODRIGUES]; Social Democratic Party or PSD [Joao ALEM].

Suffrage: Universal over 18.


(CVE) Cape Verdean Escudo (Shield), linked first to the Portuguese escudo and, in 1999, to the euro. On June 23, 2008 Cape Verde became the 153rd member of the WTO.


Nationality: Noun and adjective--Cape Verdean(s).

Population (2008): 499,796.

Annual growth rate (2008): 1.41%.

Ethnic groups: Creole (mixed African and Portuguese) 71%, African 28%, European 1%.

Religions: Roman Catholic, Protestant.

Languages: Portuguese (official); Crioulo (national).

Education: Literacy (2008)--77%.

Health: Infant mortality rate (2008)--24.8/1,000. Life expectancy (2008)--72.5 yrs.

The Cape Verde archipelago was uninhabited until the Portuguese discovered the islands in 1456. Enslaved Africans were brought to the islands to work on Portuguese plantations. They were joined by entrepreneurs and refugees fleeing religious persecution in Europe, leading to a rich cultural and ethnic mix. The influence of African culture is most pronounced on the island of Santiago, where half the population resides. Sparse rain and few natural resources historically have induced Cape Verdeans to emigrate. It is believed that of the more than 1 million individuals of Cape Verdean ancestry, fewer than half actually live on the islands. Some 500,000 people of Cape Verdean ancestry live in the United States, mainly in New England. Portugal, Netherlands, Italy, France, and Senegal also have large communities.

The official language is Portuguese, but most Cape Verdeans also speak a Creole dialect--Crioulo--which is based on archaic Portuguese but influenced by African and European languages. Cape Verde has a rich tradition of Crioulo literature and music.


There is no evidence of the islands having been inhabited prior to the arrival of the Portuguese, but it is thought that the Moors had visited Sal to collect salt supplies in previous centuries. The history of Cape Verde records dates back to 1460 when the Portuguese navigators Diogo Gomes and António de Noli sighted Maio and São Tiago. In 1462 the first settlers from Portugal landed on São Tiago, subsequently founding there the oldest European city in the tropics—Ribeira Grande (now Cidade Velha). Sugar was planted in an attempt to emulate the success of the earlier settlement of Madeira. Cape Verde's dry climate was less favourable for growing sugar but, with the development of the transatlantic slave trade, the importance and the wealth of the islands did increase. In 1532 the first bishop was consecrated. The prosperity of Ribeira Grande however, attracted pirates who attacked the city in 1541. The English later attacked it twice—in 1585 and 1592—the first time under the command of Sir Francis Drake. After a French attack in 1712, the city of Ribeira was abandoned. Portugal attempted to then administer its possessions and commerce on the African coast through the Cape Verde islands. Until the 19th century, trade was controlled through the crown-issued monopoly contracts. English, French, and Dutch activity in the area meant however that the crown was never really able to enforce its edicts. Smuggling was rife.

From the 17th to the 19th century, Cape Verde was famous for its woven cotton cloth (panos). Cotton grew easily, and indigo produced a rich blue dye. The skill of narrow-loom weaving had come with the slaves from the western African coast. The cloths were a valuable form of currency for the slave trade on the mainland.

With the decline of the slave trade (which was finally abolished in 1876) and with increasing drought, the prosperity of the islands slowly vanished. In the early 1800s, they experienced recurrent drought and famine as well as government corruption and maladministration. Conditions improved toward the end of the 1800s with the establishment at Mindelo (Capital of Sao Vicente). A coaling station and a submarine cable station was formed. After World War I, prosperity again declined as fewer ships visited Mindelo. The colonial administration encouraged emigration to the cocoa plantations of São Tomé and Princípe.

The Portuguese administration of Cape Verde was unified under a governor in 1587. The status of the islands was changed in 1951 from that of a colony to an overseas province. In 1961 all of the citizens were given full Portuguese citizenship.

During the war for independence from Portugal (1961–75) fought by its colonies in Africa, Cape Verde was used as a garrison by the Portuguese army. Some Cape Verdeans fled to Guinea-Bissau to join the African Party for the Independence of Guinea-Bissau and Cape Verde (PAIGC), under the leadership of Amílcar Cabral.

On July 5, 1975, Cape Verde was granted independence from Portugal. The secretary general of the PAIGC, Aristides Pereira became the first president of the new independent republic. Disapproval of the 1980 coup in Guinea-Bissau prompted the dissolution of the Cape Verde branch of PAIGC and resulted in the formation of the African Party for the Independence of Cape Verde (PAICV) in 1981. President Pereira was reelected in February of the same year. In 1990 a multiparty system was established, and Antonio Mascarenhas Monteiro of the Movement for Democracy (MpD) became president in 1991 elections. Cape Verde affirmed its nonaligned status and was able to seek foreign aid from several sources to salvage its economy and to fund development; the country also focused on economic expansion. To that end, the government enacted policies to privatize state-owned companies and attract foreign investors in the early 1990s.

Monteiro ran unopposed in 1996 and was duly re-elected. During his tenure, the country continued to experience economic struggles and both the MpD and the PAICV held the troubled economy to be their primary concern. During the legislative and presidential elections of 2001, the PAICV was returned to power, with Pedro Pires narrowly winning the presidential race. That same year, food shortages—a common predicament for the country—worsened considerably, and the government relied heavily on foreign aid and food imports to feed the country.

The poverty and high rates of unemployment that plagued Cape Verde in the 1990s continued into the 2000s, even as the government made strides in reaching economic goals. In the 21st century, the country continued to successfully pursue political and economic relationships around the globe, courting foreign investors and creating and maintaining diplomatic ties in the international community.

In recent years, many foreign investors have now been attracting into Cape Verde, mainly on the islands of Sao Vicente, Sal and Boa Vista where a growing infrastructure is being successfully achieved.

Here below is a historic article written by; *Partido Africano de Independencia de Cabo Verde.

' Cidade Velha or Ribeira Grande as it was then named reflects a fascinating history .. dating back to the Islands discovery in 1456. The uninhabited island of Santiago, founded in 1462 was colonised by the Portuguese, the first permanent settlement city in the tropics. Slaves were brought here from West Arica and by the 16th century Santiago was highly successful as the transatlantic slave trade flourished.

In 1675 the decline of the Islands became apparent when the Portuguese Crown agreed monopoly rights whereby slaves could be directly bought from the coast on New Guinea bypassing Cape Verde completely. In addition Cape Verde became increasingly vulnerable to attacks by rival countries as well as pirates. An attack in 1712 by the French led to the sacking of Santiago and robbed Ribeira Grande of its riches. The city declined in importance and in 1770 Praia became the capital.

Cape Verde suffered the first of many droughts in 1742. Despite their requests Portugal refused to plough money into the Islands for nothing in return. With goats overgrazing on the already limited vegetation and the severe lack of funds it was inevitable that famine was going to strike. As a result thousands of people died as the droughts and starvation took hold. It is thought that 44% of the population at that time died. The once lush islands were now dry and barren. Many Cape Verdeans fled the Islands and emigrated to America in the hope of a better life.

Cape Verde sufferd rapid economic decline as the slave trade was eventually abolished in 1876. As the 19th century approached changes started occuring, new steam ships were born as a result of the industrial revolution and needed somewhere to stop and reload with coal on their long journeys. Due to the Islands location, it was the ideal place for America-bound ships to stop here for ship repairs and supplies. The Brits soon set up coaling stations here and Mindelo, its capital grew exceptionally quick.

Until 1879, Cape Verde was part of the Portuguese Guinea (now Guinea-Bissau) separated from Guinea Bissau in 1980 and in 1951 the status of the Islands changed · from colony to overseas province. The affirmation ofthe Cape Verde an Nation happened on the 5th July 1975 (National Independence Day) when the oldest party PAICV* won . independence for the country and ruled for many years to come.


This nation has been plagued by drought causing widespread economical problems, emigration and the need to import a large percentage of their food. Despite this, Cape Verde now enjoys peace and stability and is free of conflict. With the rise of tourism there is hope once again for the Islands. '

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 harbor, Mindelo (on the island of São Vicente) became an important commercial center during the 19th century.

Portugal changed Cape Verde's status from a colony to an overseas province in 1951 in an attempt to blunt growing nationalism. Nevertheless, in 1956, Amilcar Cabral, a Cape Verdean, and a group of Cape Verdeans and Guinea-Bissauans organized (in Guinea-Bissau) the clandestine African Party for the Independence of Guinea-Bissau 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.

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.

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.

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 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 Mascarenhas 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.


The North Atlantic Islands *|* The Sourth Atlantic Islands

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