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The African continent is comprised of 54 nations, each with their own independent governments and sovereignty, GNP, culture, natural resources, language(s), military, and religion. The treasure trove of mineral and raw material wealth has scarcely been touched, and the continent's largely untapped fertile lands could feed the world. Herewith is Jewel of Africa, an interactive adventure in the cradle of mankind, an exploration of nations from A-Z in alphabetical order.

 Jewel of

Cape Verde: Archipelago paradise in the Atlantic

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Cape Verde, officially the Republic of Capo Verde, is an archipelago and island country located in the central Atlantic Ocean, comprised of 10 volcanic islands with a combined land area of approximately 1,557 square miles. These islands lie between 320-460 nautical miles west of Cap-Vert situated at the westernmost point of the African continent. The Cape Verde islands form part of the Macaronesia ecoregion, along with the Azores, the Canary IslandsMadeira, and the Savage Isles.

The country is named after the Cap-Vert peninsula, on the Senegalese coast. The name Cap-Vert, in turn, comes from the Portuguese language Cabo Verde, which means “green cape,” the name Portuguese explorers gave the cape in 1444, before discovery of the islands. The Cape Verde archipelago was uninhabited until the 15th century, when Portuguese explorers

discovered and colonized the islands, thus establishing the first European settlement in the tropics. Because the Cape Verde islands were located in a convenient location to play a role in the Atlantic slave trade, Cape Verde became economically prosperous during the 16th and 17th centuries, attracting merchants, privateers, and pirates.

It declined economically in the 19th century due to the suppression of the Atlantic slave trade, and many of its inhabitants emigrated during that period. However, Cape Verde gradually recovered economically by becoming an important commercial center and useful stopover point along major shipping routes. In 1951, Cape Verde was incorporated as an overseas department of Portugal, but its inhabitants continued to campaign for independence, which they achieved in 1975. Since the early 1990s, Cape Verde has been a stable representative democracy, and has remained one of the most developed and democratic countries in Africa. Lacking natural resources, its developing economy is mostly service-oriented, with a growing focus on tourism and foreign investment.


Cape Verde is a stable semi-presidential representative democratic republic. It is among the most democratic nations in Africa, ranking 26th in the world, according to the 2018 Democracy Index. The constitution was adopted in 1980 and revised in 1992, 1995 and 1999. It defines the basic principles of government. The president is the head of state and is elected by popular vote for a 5-year term. The president proposes other ministers and secretaries of state. 

The prime minister, nominated by the National Assembly and appointed by the president, is the head of government. Members of the National Assembly are elected by popular vote for 5-year terms. In 2016, three parties held seats in the National Assembly — the Movement for Democracy (MpD), the Party for the Independence of Cape Verde (PAICV), and the Cape Verdean Independent Democratic Union (CIDU). The main political parties are MpD and PAICV.


International relations


Cape Verde is praised as an example among African nations for its stability and developmental growth despite its lack of natural resources. In 2013 then President Barack Obama said Cape Verde is “a real success story.” A member of the African Union, Cape Verde maintains an active foreign policy following a policy of nonalignment and seeks cooperative relations with friendly states. The US, Angola, Brazil, China, Libya, Cuba, France, Germany, Portugal, Spain, Senegal, Russia, and Luxembourg maintain embassies in Praia, Cape Verde.

Cape Verde is a founding member state of the Community of Portuguese Language Countries (CPLC), also known as the Lusophone Commonwealth — an international organization and political association of Lusophone nations across four continents where Portuguese is officially spoken. Cape Verde has bilateral relations with some Lusophone nations and holds member- ship in a number of international organizations. It also participates in most international confer- ences on economic and political issues. Since 2007, Cape Verde has a special partnership status with the European Union under the Cotonou Agreement.

The Cape Verdean escudo, the nation's currency is indexed to the euro. In 2011 Cape Verde ratified the Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court and in 2017, signed the UN treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons.


The judicial system is comprised of a Supreme Court of Justice, whose members are appointed by the president; the National Assembly, Board of the Judiciary, and regional courts. Separate courts hear civil, constitutional, criminal cases and appeals are heard by the Supreme Court.

Armed forces, police

The Cape Verdean military is comprised of the National Guard and the Coast Guard. Having fought their only battles in the war for independence against Portugal in 1974 and 1975, the Caboverdean Armed Forces has focused its energy to fighting international drug trafficking. In 2007, together with the Cape Verdean Police, they carried out Operation Flying Launch, a successful operation to put an end to a drug trafficking group which smuggled cocaine from Colombia to the Netherlands, and Germany using the country as a reorder point. The operation concluded in a little over three years, ending in 2010.


Cape Verde is divided into 22 municipalities and subdivided into 32 parishes. The nation has achieved notable economic growth, despite a lack of natural resources has garnered international recognition. Since 2007, the UN has classified Cape Verde as a developing nation. The economy of Cape Verde is service-oriented, with commerce, transport, and public services accounting for more than 70 percent of GDP. 





Burkina Faso


Cape Verde



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Sierra Leone


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Cape Verde is a tropical archipelago, an array of 10 major islands situated in the Atlantic Ocean off the coast of Africa. It is numbered among the 54 African nations. Cape Verde is one of the most beautiful places on Earth combining a mix of turquoise seas,  quaint cities and towns, splendid beaches and harbors.


Cape Verde is much more than an alluring collection of ocean beach fronts that rival any tropic locale on Earth, but cities like Praia, the capital on the island of Santiago, give way to arable land conducive to Cape Verde's rich agricultural industry, which accounts primarily for the nation's Gross Domestic Product.


The human element is one of Cape Verde's most valuable resources. Although nearly 35 percent of the population totaling 555,988, live in rural areas, agriculture and fishing contribute about 9 percent of the GDP. Light manufacturing accounts for most of the remainder. Fish and shellfish are plentiful, and small quantities are exported. Cold/freezer storage facilities and fish processing plants are located on the islands of Mindelo, Praia, and Sal within the archipelago.

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Cape Verde cuisine heavily reflects the nation's agriculture. The diet is mostly based on fish and staples like corn, beans, peas, and rice. Also popular are fried potatoes, cassava, and vegetables such as carrots, kale, squash, fish and meat such as tuna, sawfish, lobster, chicken, grilled pork, and eggs. Vegetables available during most of the year are potatoes, onions, tomatoes, manioc, cabbage, kale, and dried beans. Fruits such as bananas and papayas are available year-round, while others like mangoes and avocados are seasonal.

   A popular comfort food dish served in Cape Verde is cachiuma(above), a slow-cooked stew of corn (hominy), beans and fish or meat. A common appetizer is the pastel or empanada, a pastry shell filled with fish or meat, then fried.


While Cape Verde may not boast the Big Five of African wildlife in the lion, elephant, rhinoceros, cape buffalo, and leopard, the archipelago boats many others like hundreds of avian species,  baboons, tortoise, turtles, a wide variety of lizards, Komodo dragons, dolphins, whales, and numerous other creatures of the Atlantic Ocean.


Although nearly 35 percent of the population totaling 555,988, live in rural areas, agriculture and fishing contribute only about 9 percent of the GDP. Light manufacturing accounts for most of the remainder. Fish and shellfish are plentiful, and small quantities are exported. Cold/freezer storage facilities and fish processing plants are located on the islands of Mindelo, Praia, and Sal within the archipelago.

Expatriate Cape Verdeans contribute an amount estimated at about 20 percent of GDP to the domestic economy through remittances. In spite of having few natural resources and having a semi-arid geology, the country boasts the highest living standards in the region, and has attracted thousands of immigrants of different nationalities. Since 1991, the government has pursued market-oriented economic policies, including an open welcome to foreign investors and a far- reaching privatization program. It established as top development priorities the promotion of a market economy and of the private sector; the development of tourism, light manufacturing industries, fisheries, and the development of transportcommunications, and energy facilities.

From 1994 to 2000 about $407 million in foreign investments were made, of which 58 percent were from tourism, followed by industry, 17 percent; infrastructure, 4 percent; and fisheries, 21 percent. Cape Verde has few mineral resources—salt, pozzolana (a volcanic rock used in cement production), and limestone. Only five of the 10 main islands—Santiago, Santo Antão, São Nicolau, Fogo, and Brava, support significant agricultural production. More than 90 percent of food consumed in Cape Verde is imported.

Cape Verde operates a small number of wineries making Portuguese-style wines and have traditionally focused on the domestic market that have recently received international acclaim.

In 2011 wind farms was constructed on four islands supplying 30 percent of Cape Verde’s electricity needs. As host to the ECOWAS Regional Center for Renewable Energy and Energy Efficiency, inaugurated in 2010, Cabo Verde plans to lead by example by becoming entirely reliant on renewable energy sources by 2025. This policy is consistent with documents adopted in 2015 paving the way to more sustainable development, including Cabo Verde's Transformational Agenda to 2030, its National Renewable Energy Plan and its Low Carbon and Climate-resilient Development Strategy.

Between 2000 and 2009, real GDP increased on average seven per cent a year, well above the average for sub-Saharan nations and faster than most small island economies in the region. Strong economic performance was bolstered by one of the fastest growing tourism industries in the world and substantial capital infusions that allowed Cape Verde to build up national currency reserves to the current 3.5 months of imports.

Unemployment has declined rapidly, and the country is on track to achieve most of the UN Millennium Development Goals — including decreasing its 1990 poverty level 50 percent. In 2007, Cape Verde became the 153rd member of the the World Trade Organization (WTO), and in 2008 graduated from Least Developed Country (LDC) to Middle Income Country (MIC) status. 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. In early January 2018, the government announced an increase in minimum monthly earnings to $140 (US), and 130 (EUR).

Development, transport

There are four international ports in Cape Verde at Mindelo, Praia, Palmeira and Sal Mindelo on São Vicente is the main port for cruise liners and the terminus for the ferry service to Santo Antão. Praia on Santiago is a main hub for local ferry services to other islands. Palmeira on Sal Rai supplies fuel for the main airport on the island, Amílcar Cabral International Airport, and is important for the hotel construction taking place on the island. Porto Novo on Santo Antão is the only source for imports and exports of produce from the island as well as passenger traffic since the closure of the airstrip at Ponta do SolThere are smaller harbors, essentially single jetties at Tarrafal on São Nicolau, Sal Rei on Boa Vista, Vila do Maio (Porto Inglês) on Maio, São Filipe on Fogo and Furna on Brava. The harbors serve as terminals for the inter-island ferry services, which carry both freight and passengers. The pier at Santa Maria on Sal Rai used by both fishing and dive boats has been rehabilitated.

Geography and geology

The Cape Verde archipelago is in the Atlantic Ocean, approximately 350 miles off the western coast of the African continent near Senegal, The Gambia, and Mauritania. The nation is a part of the Macaronesia eco-region. The country is a horseshoe-shaped cluster of 10 islands, of which nine are inhabited, and eight islets, that constitute a total area of 1,557 miles. The islands are spatially divided into two groups: The Barlavento IslandsSanto AntãoSão VicenteSanta LuziaSão NicolauSalBoa Vista; and the Sotavento IslandsMaioSantiagoFogo, and BravaThe largest island in circumference and population is Santiago, home to the nation's capital, Praia, the main urban hub in the archipelago.

Three of the Cape Verde islands, Sal, Boa Vista, and Maio, are flat, sandy, and dry; the others are generally rockier with more vegetation. The islands are principally composed of igneous rocks, with volcanic structures and pyroclastic debris comprising the majority of the archipelago's total volume. The volcanic and plutonic rocks are distinctly basic; the archipelago is a soda-alkaline petrographic province, with a petrologic succession similar to that found in other Macaronesian islands.

Magnetic anomalies identified in the vicinity of the archipelago indicate that the structures forming the islands date back 125-150 million years. The islands themselves date from 8 million (in the west) to 20 million years (in the east). The oldest exposed geologic formations occurred on Maio and northern peninsula of Santiago and are 128-131 million years old. The first stage of volcanism in the islands began in the early Miocene, and reached its peak at the end of this period, when the islands reached their maximum sizes. Historical volcanism has been relegated to the island of Fogo. The islands lie on a bathymetric swell known as the Cape Verde Rise, one of the largest protuberances in the world's oceans, rising 1.4 miles in a semi-circular region. Pico do Fogo, the largest active volcano in the region, erupted in 2014. Its caldera is 5 miles in diameter, with a rim of 5,249 feet altitude and an interior cone that rises 9,281 feet above sea level. Extensive salt flats are found on Sal and Maio. On Santiago, Santo Antão, and São Nicolau, arid slopes give way to sugarcane fields and banana plantations spread along the base of towering mountains.

Climate in the archipelago

Cape Verde's climate is milder than that of the African mainland, because the surrounding sea moderates temperatures on the islands and cold Atlantic currents produce an arid atmosphere around the archipelago. Conversely, the islands do not receive the cold upwellings that affect the West African coast, therefore the air temperature is cooler than in Senegal, but the sea is warmer.

Due to the relief of some islands, such as Santiago with its steep mountains, the islands may have orographi- cally induced precipitation, allowing rich woods and luxuriant vegetation to grow where the humid air condenses soaking the plants, rocks, soil, logs, moss, etc. On the higher islands and somewhat wetter islands, exclusively in mountainous areas, like Santo Antão island, the climate is suitable for the development of dry monsoon forests, and laurel forests. Average temperatures range from 72 degrees Fahrenheit in February to 80.6 degrees in September. Cape Verde is part of the Sahelian arid belt, with nothing like the rainfall levels of nearby West Africa. It rains irregularly between August and October, with brief heavy downpours. 

The archipelago can be divided into four broad ecological zones — arid, semiarid, sub-humid, and humid, accord- ing to altitude and average annual rainfall ranging from less than 3.9 inches in the arid areas of the coast, 2.6 inches in Sal Rei, to more than 39 inches in the mountains. Most rainfall is due to condensation of the ocean mist.

In some islands, like Santiago, the wetter climate of the interior and the eastern coast contrasts with the drier one in the south/southwest coast. Because of their proximity to the Sahara, most of the Cape Verde islands are dry, but on islands with high mountains and farther away from the coast, by orography, the humidity is much higher, providing a rainforest habitat, although much affected by the human presence.


Northeastern slopes of high mountains often receive a lot of rain while southwest slopes do not. These umbria areas are identified with cool and moisture. Western hemisphere-bound hurricanes often have their genesis near the Cape Verde Islands. They can be very intense as they cross warm Atlantic waters away from Cape Verde. The average hurricane season has about two hurricanes, which are usually the largest and most intense storms of the season because they often have plenty of warm open ocean over which to develop before encountering land. The five largest Atlantic tropical cyclones on record have been Cape Verde-generated hurricanes. Most of the longest-lived tropical cyclones in the Atlantic basin are Cape Verde hurricanes. As of 2015, the islands themselves have only been struck by hurricanes twice since 1851; once in 1892, and again in 2015 by Hurricane Fred, the easternmost hurricane ever to form in the Atlantic.

Cape Verde's isolation has resulted in the islands' lack of endemic species, particularly birds and reptiles, many of which are endangered due to development. Birds endemic to the islands include Alexander's swiftBourne's heronRaso lark, Cape Verde warbler, and the Iago sparrow. The archipelago is also an important breeding area for seabirds including the Cape Verde shearwater. Reptiles include the Cape Verde giant gecko.


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. There were seven operational airports as of 2014; four international and three domestic. Due to its geographical location, Cape Verde is often flown over by transatlantic airliners. It is part of the conventional air traffic route from Europe to South America, which extends from southern Portugal via the Canary Islands and Cape Verde to northern Brazil. Cape Verde’s international airports Amílcar Cabral International, Sal Island; Nelson Mandela International, Santiago Island; Aristides Pereira International, Boa Vista Island; and Cesária Évora International, São Vicente Island.

The country's future economic prospects depend heavily on economic aid, tourism, outsourcing labor to neighboring African countries, and the momentum of government's development.


A large number of Cape Verdeans l—roughly 236,000—live on the main island of Santiago. As of the 2021 Census, the population of Cape Verde is 483,628, mostly of mixed African and European heritage, and predominantly Roman Catholic. A sizeable Cape Verdean diaspora  exists across the world, especially in the US and Portugal, considerably outnumbering the inhabitants of the islands.

The Cape Verde archipelago was uninhabited when the Portuguese discovered it in 1456. The modern population of Cape Verde descends from the mixture of European settlers and African slaves who were brought to the islands to work on Portuguese plantations. Most Cape Verdeans are therefore mestiços, to use the Portuguese term. Another term is creole, meaning those of mixed native-born African and native-born European descent.

European input included Spaniards and Italian seamen who were granted land by the Portuguese Empire, followed by Portuguese settlers and exiles, as well as Portuguese Muslims (ethnic Moors) and Portuguese Jews (ethnic Sephardim). Other immigrants came from places such as the Netherlands, France, Britain, the Arab countries, especially Lebanon and Morocco; China, from Macau; India, Indonesia, South America, and North America, including people of Portuguese and African descent, who have blended into the mestiço population.

Cape Verde's population in the 21st century is mostly creole; the capital city Praia accounts for a quarter of the country's population.


More than 65 percent of the population in the archipelago live in urban centers, and the literacy rate is 89 percent according to the 2017 National Statistics Bureau data. Many Cape Verdeans have since emigrated, mainly to the US and Europe. A genetic study revealed that the ancestry of the population in Cape Verde is predominantly European in the male line and West African in the female line; counted together the percentage is 56 percent African and 44 percent European.

Languages and religion

Cape Verde's official language is Portuguese. It is the language of instruction and government. It is also used in newspapers, television, and radio.  Creole or Kriolu, is a Portuguese-based dialect used colloquially throughout Cape Verde and is the main tongue of virtually all Cape Verdeans. The national constitution calls for measures to give it parity with Portuguese. There is a substantial body of literature in Creole, especially in the Santiago Creole and the São Vicente Creole. Kriolu has been gaining prestige since the nation's independence from Portugal. The differences between the 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  Barlavento standard, centered in São Vicente Creole, and a Sotavento standard, centered in Santiago Creole. 


The vast majority of Cape Verdeans are Christian; reflecting centuries of Portuguese rule, Roman Catholics make up the single largest religious community at just under 80 percent, as of 2010 (slightly down from 85 percent of the population in 2007). Most other religious groups are Protestant, with the evangelical Church of the Nazarene form- ing the second largest community. Other sizeable denominations are Seventh-day Adventists, Assemblies of God, and Universal Church of the Kingdom of God.


Islam is the largest minority religion.  Many Cape Verdeans sync Christianity with indigenous African beliefs and customs.

Emigration and immigration

Nearly one million Cape Verdeans live abroad than in the country itself. The islands have a long history of emigration and Cape Verdeans are highly dispersed worldwide, from Macau to Haiti and Argentina to Sweden. The diaspora may be much larger than official statistics indicate, as until independence in 1975, Cape Verdean immigrants had Portuguese passports.

The majority of Cape Verdeans live in the US and Western Europe, with the former hosting the largest overseas population at 500,000. Most Cape Verdeans in the US are concentrated in New England, particularly the cities of Providence, New Bedford, and Boston. Brockton. Mass. has the largest community of any American city with a population of 18,832). Cape Verdean immigrants have a long history of enlistment in the US military, with a presence in every major conflict from the Revolutionary War to the war in Afghanistan.

Due to centuries of colonial ties, the second largest number of Cape Verdeans—150,000—live in Portugal with sizeable communities in the former Portuguese colonies of Angola, 45,000; and São Tomé and Príncipe, 25,000. Major populations exist in countries with cultural and linguistic similarities, such as Spain, 65,500; France, 25,000; Senegal, 25,000; and Italy, 20,000. Other large communities live in the UK, 35,500, The Netherlands, 20,000, of which 15,000 are concentrated in Rotterdam; and Luxembourg and Scandinavia, 7,000. Outside the US and Europe, the biggest Cape Verdean influx is in Mexico and Argentina, 5,000 and 8,000, respectively.

Over the years, Cape Verde has increasingly become a net recipient of migrants, due to its relatively high per capita income, political and social stability, and civil freedom. Chinese make up a sizeable and important segment of the foreign population, while nearby West African countries account for most immigration. In the 21st century, a few thousand Europeans and Latin Americans have settled in the country, mostly professionals, entrepreneurs, and retirees. Over 22,000 foreign-born residents are naturalized, hailing from over 90 countries.


The infant mortality rate among Cape Verdean children between 0 and 5 years old is 15 per 1,000 live births according to the latest data from the National Statistics Bureau, while the maternal mortality rate is 42 deaths per 100,000 live births. The HIV-AIDS prevalence rate among Cape Verdeans between 15 and 49 years old is 0.8 percent. According to the latest data from the National Statistics Bureau, life expectancy at birth in Cape Verde is 76.2 years — 72 years for males and 80 for females.


There are six hospitals in the Cape Verde archipelago: two central hospitals (one in the capital city of Praia and one in Mindelo, São Vicente; and four regional hospitals (one in Santa Catarina (northern Santiago region), one on São Antão, one on Fogo, and one on Sal). In addition, there are 28 health centers, 35 sanitation centers and a variety of private clinics located throughout the archipelago. Cape Verde's population is among the healthiest in Africa. Since its independence, it has greatly improved its health indicators. In 2007, Cape Verde was elevated to the group of "medium development" countries, leaving a category of lesser developed nations. As of 2020, Cape Verde was the 11th ranked country in Africa in its Human Development Index.


Although the Cape Verdean educational system is similar to the Portuguese system, over the years the local universities have been increasingly adopting the American educational system; for instance, all 10 existing universities in the country offer four-year bachelor's degree programs as opposed to five-year bachelor's degree programs that existed before 2010. Cape Verde has the second best educational system in Africa, after South Africa. Primary school education in Cape Verde is mandatory and free for children 6-14.

In 2011, the net enrolment ratio for primary school was 85 percent. Approximately 90 percent of the total population over the age of 15 years is literate. Roughly 25 percent of the population earned a college degree, and a significant number of college graduates hold doctorate degrees in different academic fields. Textbooks have been made available to 90 percent of school children, and 98 per cent of the teachers have attended in-service teacher training. Although most children have access to education, some problems remain, such as insufficient spending on school materials, lunches, and books. As of October 2016, there were 69 secondary schools throughout the archipelago—including 19 private secondary schools, and at least 10 universities in the country based in the two islands,  Santiago and São Vicente.

In 2015, 23 percent of the Cape Verdean population had either attended or graduated from secondary schools. When it came to higher education, 9 percent of Cape Verdean men and 8 percent of Cape Verdean women held a bachelor's degree or had attended universities. The overall college education rate (i.e., college graduates and undergraduate students) in Cape Verde is about 24 percent, in relation to the local college-age population. The total expenditure on education was 5.6 percent of GDP in 2010.

These trends held in 2017. Cabo Verde stands out in West Africa for the quality and inclusiveness of its higher education system. As of 2017, one in four young people attended university and one-third of students opted for fields on science, technology, engineering, and mathematics. Women made up one-third of students but two-thirds of graduates in 2018.

Science and technology

In 2011, Cape Verde devoted just 0.07 percent of its GDP to research and development, among the lowest rates in West Africa. The Ministry of Higher Education, Science and Culture plans to strengthen the research and academic sectors by placing emphasis on greater mobility, through exchange programs and international co-operation agreements.

Cape Verde counted 25 researchers in 2011, a researcher density of 51 per million inhabitants. The world average was 1,083 per million in 2013. All 25 researchers were working in the government sector in 2011 and one in three were women (36%). There was no research being conducted in either medical or agricultural sciences. Of the eight engineers involved in research and development, one was a woman. Three of the five researchers working in natural sciences were women, as were three of the six social scientists and two of the five researchers from the humanities.

As for the Cape Verdean people, in 2017 about 19 percent owned a cellular phone, 70 percent had Internet access, 11 percent owned a landline telephone, and 2 percent subscribed to local cable TV.

Culture, music, dance, literature

The culture of Cape Verde is characterized by a mixture of European and African elements. This is not a sum of two cultures living side by side, but a new culture resulting from an exchange that began in the 15th century. The Cape

Verdean case may be situated in the common context of African nations, in which elites, who questioned European racial and cultural superiority and who in some cases undertook a long armed struggle against European imperialism and for national liberation, use the rule of Western codes as the main instrument of internal domination.

Cape Verdean social and cultural patterns are similar to those of rural Portugal. Football games and church activities are typical sources of social interaction and entertainment. The traditional walk around the praça (town square) to meet friends is practiced regularly in Cape Verde towns.

The Cape Verdean people are known for their musicality, well expressed by popular manifestations such as the Carnival of Mindelo. Cape Verde music incorporates "African, Portuguese and Brazilian influences." 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. Dance 

forms include the soft dance morna, the coladeira, the Cape Verdean version of the zouk from Guadeloupe called Cabo love, the funaná (a sensual mixed Portuguese and African dance), the batuque dance, and the Cabo Zouk.


The Cape Verde diet is mostly based on fish and staples like corn and rice. Vegetables available during most of the year are potatoes, onions, tomatoes, manioc, cabbage, kale, and dried beans. Fruits such as bananas and and papayas are available year-round, while others like mangoes and avocados are seasonal. A popular dish served in Cape Verde is cachupa, a slow-cooked stew of corn (hominy), beans, and fish or meat. A common appetizer is the pastel, a pastry shell filled with fish or meat which is then fried.


The country's most successful sports team is the Cape Verde national basketball team, which won the bronze medal at the 2007 FIBA African Championship, defeating Egypt in the finals.

Cape Verde is famous for wave sailing — a type of windsurfing and kiteboarding. Cape Verde is a popular windsurfing destination. Mitu Monteiro, a local kite surfer, was the 2008 Kite Surfing World Champion in the wave discipline.

The Cape Verde national soccer team is nicknamed the Tubarões Azuis. They are regulated by the Cape Verdean Football Federation. The team played at two Africa Cup of Nations in 2013 and 2015.

The nation has competed at every Summer Olympics since 1996. In 2016, Track and Field athlete Gracelino Barbosa became the first Cape Verdean to win a medal—a bronze in the 400 meters at the Paralympic Games.

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