Portal:Cape Verde

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Cape Verde

Flag of Cape Verde
Coat of arms of Cape Verde
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Cape Verde (/ˌkp ˈvɜːrd/) or Cabo Verde (/ˌkɑːb ˈvɜːrd/, /ˌkæb-/) (Portuguese: Cabo Verde, pronounced [ˈkabu ˈveɾdɨ]), officially the Republic of Cabo Verde, is an island country spanning an archipelago of 10 volcanic islands in the central Atlantic Ocean. It forms part of the Macaronesia ecoregion, along with the Azores, Canary Islands, Madeira, and the Savage Isles. In ancient times these islands were referred to as "the Islands of the Blessed" or the "Fortunate Isles". Located 570 kilometres (350 mi) west of the Cape Verde Peninsula in West Africa, the islands cover a combined area of slightly over 4,000 square kilometres (1,500 sq mi).

The Cape Verde archipelago was uninhabited until the 15th century, when Portuguese explorers discovered and colonized the islands, establishing the first European settlement in the tropics. Ideally located for the Atlantic slave trade, the islands grew prosperous throughout the 16th and 17th centuries, attracting merchants, privateers, and pirates. The end of slavery in the 19th century led to economic decline and emigration. Cape Verde gradually recovered as an important commercial center and stopover for shipping routes. Incorporated as an overseas department of Portugal in 1951, the islands continued to campaign for independence, which was peacefully achieved in 1975.

Since the early 1990s, Cape Verde has been a stable representative democracy, and remains 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. Its population of around 540,000 is mostly of mixed European, Moorish, Arab and African heritage, and predominantly Roman Catholic, reflecting the legacy of Portuguese rule. A sizeable diaspora community exists across the world, slightly outnumbering inhabitants on the islands.

Historically, the name "Cape Verde" has been used in English for the archipelago and, since independence in 1975, for the country. In 2013, the Cape Verdean government determined that the Portuguese designation Cabo Verde would henceforth be used for official purposes, such as at the United Nations, even in English contexts. Cape Verde is a member of the African Union.

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View of the steep coast near Forminguinhas on the island of Santo Antão, Cape Verde
The island of Santo Antão in the archipelago of Cape Verde off the west coast of Africa.

Selected article

Raso Lark

The Raso Lark (Alauda razae) is a small passerine bird with a highly restricted range, being found only on Raso islet in the Cape Verde Islands. This critically endangered member of the Alaudidae lives in highly arid terrain, and is considered one of the least known birds in the western Palaearctic region, due to its remoteness and the lack of much ornithological study on the archipelago as a whole.

The Raso Lark is restricted to one small island in the Cape Verde group, although historically it is believed to have ranged over two other islands, Branco and Sao Vicente Island; all three of these islands were joined in the last Ice Age. Branco island itself has no permanent water and has never been inhabited by people, a fact that has probably saved the lark from extinction until now.

Selected Island

The Cape Verdean Island of Santiago
The island of Santiago, Cape Verde

Santiago (Portuguese for “Saint James”), or Santiagu in Cape Verdean Creole, is the largest island of Cape Verde, its most important agricultural centre and home to half the nation’s population.

Santiago is located between the islands of Maio (40 km west) and Fogo (50 km east) and is one of the Sotavento. It was the first of the islands to be settled, the town of Cidade Velha being founded as Riberia Grande in 1462. It is also home to the nation's capital city of Praia and to one of the islands’ two international airports, Praia International Airport, 3 km from the capital (IATA airport code: RAI, Praia).

Santiago is the largest island of Cape Verde, with an area of 991 km². The island is mountainous, although slightly flatter in the southeast. The wetter climate of the interior and the eastern coast contrasts with the dryer one in the south/southwest coast. Praia, located in the southeast coast, is the largest city of the island, and also the largest city and capital of the country. Other towns on the island include Cidade Velha, 15 km west of Praia, Cape Verde's first capital, Assomada, 60 km north and Tarrafal in the northern part of the island 75 km from the capital.

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Pedro Verona Rodrigues Pires

Pedro Verona Rodrigues Pires (Portuguese pronunciation: [ˈpedɾu vɨˈɾonɐ ʁuˈdɾiɡɨʃ ˈpiɾɨʃ]; born 29 April 1934) has been the President of Cape Verde since March 2001. Before becoming President he was Prime Minister from 1975 to 1991.

After the ruling African Party for the Independence of Cape Verde (PAICV) decided to institute multiparty democracy in February 1990, Pires replaced President Aristides Pereira as General Secretary of PAICV in August 1990. The PAICV lost the multiparty parliamentary and presidential elections held in early 1991 and was left in opposition. At a party congress in August 1993, Pires was replaced as General Secretary by Aristides Lima and was instead elected as President of PAICV.[1] As a candidate for the party presidency at PAICV's September 1997 congress, he faced José Maria Neves[2] and prevailed with 68% of the vote.[3] He stepped down as PAICV President in 2000 in preparation for a presidential bid in the next year's election[4] and he was succeeded by Neves.[1] He announced his candidacy for the Presidency of Cape Verde on September 5, 2000.[5]

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  1. ^ a b Political Parties of the World (6th edition, 2005), ed. Bogdan Szajkowski, page 113.
  2. ^ "Cape Verde: Opposition party congress opens", Radio Renascenca, Lisbon (nl.newsbank.com), September 19, 1997.
  3. ^ "Cape Verde: Former PM elected leader of main opposition PAICV party", Radio Renascenca, Lisbon (nl.newsbank.com), September 22, 1997.
  4. ^ "Cape Verde: Town council leader to run for PAIGC party leadership", RDP Africa web site (nl.newsbank.com), May 29, 2000.
  5. ^ "Cape Verde: Former prime minister Pires to run for president in 2001 poll", RDP Africa web site (nl.newsbank.com), September 6, 2000.
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