Cape Verde is an island country spanning an archipelago of 10 volcanic islands in the central Atlantic Ocean. Cape Verde is located within 570 kilometers off the coast of Western Africa; the islands cover a combined area of slightly over 4,000 square kilometers.
The country covers an area of 4,033 km2 with a population of 512,096 and it got its independence on 5 July 1975
Cape Verde’s population is mostly Creole; its capital city Praia accounts for a quarter of the country’s estimated 500,000 citizens. Over 65% of the population in the archipelago lives in urban centers and the literacy rate is around 87% according to the 2013 Cape Verdean census.
Historically, the name “Cape Verde” has been used in English for the archipelago and since independence 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.
Portuguese explorers discovered and colonized the previously uninhabited islands in the 15th century. Ideally located for the Atlantic slave trade, the islands grew prosperous and often attracted privateers and pirates, among them Sir Francis Drake, a corsair privateering under a Letter of marque granted by the English crown, who twice sacked the capital Ribeira Grande in the 1580s. The islands were also visited by Charles Darwin’s expedition in 1832.
Politically, the country is a very stable democracy. Its notable economic growth and improvement in living conditions despite a lack of natural resources has garnered international recognition, with other countries and international organizations often providing development aid. Since 2007, Cape Verde has been classified as a developing nation.
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 produces an arid atmosphere around the archipelago.
For more reading