Republic of Cape Verde
República de Cabo Verde
CAPITAL : Praia
FLAG: The flag consists of two white horizontal stripes above and below a red horizontal stripe in the lower half of a blue field. A circle of ten gold stars (representing major islands) is centered around the red stripe on the hoist side.
ANTHEM: É Patria Amada (This Is Our Beloved Country).
MONETARY UNIT: The Cape Verde escudo ( CVE ) is a paper currency of 100 centavos. There are coins of 20 and 50 centavos and 1, 2 1 / 2 , 10, 20, and 50 Cape Verde escudos, and notes of 100, 500, and 1,000 Cape Verde escudos. CVE 1 = $0.00995 (or $1 = CVE 100.41) as of May 2003.
WEIGHTS AND MEASURES: The metric system is used.
HOLIDAYS: New Year's Day, 1 January; National Heroes' Day, 20 January; Women's Day, 8 March; Labor Day, 1 May; Children's Day, 1 June; Independence Day, 5 July; Assumption, 15 August; Day of the Nation, 12 September; All Saints' Day, 1 November; Immaculate Conception, 8 December; Christmas Day, 25 December.
TIME: 10 AM = noon GMT.
There are trees typical of both temperate and tropical climates, depending on elevation. The only native mammal is the longeared bat.
About 71% of the inhabitants of Cape Verde are Creole, mulatto descendants of Portuguese colonists and their African slaves, who came, most often, from what is today Guinea-Bissau. Another 28% of the inhabitants are entirely African. There is a small minority (1–2%) of Europeans on the islands.
Portuguese is the official language, but Crioulo, an archaic Portuguese dialect with a pronunciation that reveals African influences, is the spoken language of Cape Verde.
The islands are divided into 17 districts (conçelhos) and 31 freguesias, which are subdivisions of conçelhos. The conçelhos are: São Nicolau, Sal, Boa Vista, Maio, Brava, São Vicente, Praia, Tarrafal, Santa Cruz, Santa Catarina, Ribeira Grande, Porto Novo, Paúl, Calheta, Mosteiros, São Domingos, and São Filipe.
The active armed forces numbered approximately1,200 in 2002. Of these, 1,000 were in a two-battalion army. The coast guard, which numbered 100, had two patrol boats. The air force, which numbered less than 100, had no combat aircraft. The military budget totaled $9.3 million in 2001, or 1.6% GDP.
On 16 September 1975, the Republic of Cape Verde was admitted to the UN. It belongs to the ECA and all the nonregional specialized agencies except IAEA and IFC. It is also a member of the African Development Bank, ECOWAS, G-77, and the AU. Cape Verde is a member of the WTO and a signatory to the Law of the Sea.
Periodic droughts have significantly lowered the capacity of the islands to pasture livestock. In 2001 there were an estimated 200,000 pigs, 110,000 goats, 22,000 head of cattle, 14,000 asses, 9,000 sheep, and 3,000 mules. Total meat production in 2001 was 8,400 tons (up from 5,000 tons in 1996), with pork accounting for over 80%.
Forests on the island have been cut down for fuel, and the drought damaged many wooded areas. Large-scale reforestation is under way as part of a program of water-resource development. There are about 1,000 hectares (2,470 acres) of forest plantations. A total of 4.3 million trees were planted during 1978–83.
No information is available.
There are two insurance companies in Cape Verde.
There are substantial tax incentives for foreign investors in Cape Verde. There is a consumption tax on non-priority goods, ranging between 5% and 60% for hard liquor.
Reliable information on government-owned libraries is unavailable; however, the city of Praia is home to a privately maintained technical and scientific library of 10,000 volumes. There is also a historical museum in the city.
Cooperative organizations in agriculture, marketing, and labor have been formed. The Chamber of Commerce, Industry, and Services is located at Praia and the Chamber of Commerce, Industry, Agriculture, and Services of the Barlavento is located on Sao Vincente. Mass organizations for youth and women are generally tightly controlled by the government. Scouting organizations are available for youth.
The Republic of Cape Verde has no territories or colonies.
Bigman, Laura. History and Hunger in West Africa: Food Production and Entitlement in Guinea–Bissau and Cape Verde. Westport, Conn.: Greenwood Press, 1993.
Broecke, Pieter van den. Pieter van den Broecke's Journal of Voyages to Cape Verde, Guinea, and Angola, 1605–1612. London: Hakluyt Society, 2000.
Dun and Bradstreet's Export Guide to Cape Verde. Parsippany, N.J.: Dun and Bradstreet, 1999.
Lobban, Richard. Cape Verde: Crioulo Colony to Independent Nation. Boulder, Colo.: Westview Press, 1995.
——, and Marilyn Halter. Historical Dictionary of the Republic of Cape Verde. 3rd ed. Metuchen, N.J.: Scarecrow Press, 1995.
Shaw, Caroline S. Cape Verde. Oxford, England; Santa Barbara, Calif.: Clio Press, 1991.