Geographic and Governmental Profile of Cape Verde

Background
The uninhabited islands were discovered and colonized by the Portuguese in the 15th century; Cape Verde subsequently became a trading center for African slaves and later an important coaling and resupply stop for whaling and transatlantic shipping. Following independence in 1975, and a tentative interest in unification with Guinea-Bissau, a one-party system was established and maintained until multi-party elections were held in 1990. Cape Verde continues to exhibit one of Africa's most stable democratic governments. Repeated droughts during the second half of the 20th century caused significant hardship and prompted heavy emigration. As a result, Cape Verde's expatriate population is greater than its domestic one. Most Cape Verdeans have both African and Portuguese antecedents.
Location
Western Africa, group of islands in the North Atlantic Ocean, west of Senegal
Geographic coordinates
16 00 N, 24 00 W
Continent / Subcontinent
Africa
Area
total:
4,033 sq km
rank:
176
land:
4,033 sq km
water:
0 sq km
Area - comparative
slightly larger than Rhode Island
Land boundaries
0 km
Coastline
965 km
Maritime claims
measured from claimed archipelagic baselines
territorial sea:
12 nm
contiguous zone:
24 nm
exclusive economic zone:
200 nm
Climate
temperate; warm, dry summer; precipitation meager and erratic
Terrain
steep, rugged, rocky, volcanic
Elevation extremes
lowest point:
Atlantic Ocean 0 m
highest point:
Mt. Fogo 2,829 m (a volcano on Fogo Island)
Natural resources
salt, basalt rock, limestone, kaolin, fish, clay, gypsum
Land use
arable land:
11.41%
permanent crops:
0.74%
other:
87.85% (2005)
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Irrigated land
30 sq km (2003)
Total renewable water resources
0.3 cu km (1990)
Freshwater withdrawal (domestic/industrial/agricultural)
total:
0.02 cu km/yr (7%/2%/91%)
per capita:
39 cu m/yr (2000)
Natural hazards
prolonged droughts; seasonal harmattan wind produces obscuring dust; volcanically and seismically active
volcanism:
Fogo (elev. 2,829 m), which last erupted in 1995, is Cape Verde's only active volcano
Environment - current issues
soil erosion; deforestation due to demand for wood used as fuel; water shortages; desertification; environmental damage has threatened several species of birds and reptiles; illegal beach sand extraction; overfishing
Environment - international agreements
party to:
Biodiversity, Climate Change, Climate Change-Kyoto Protocol, Desertification, Endangered Species, Environmental Modification, Hazardous Wastes, Law of the Sea, Marine Dumping, Ozone Layer Protection, Ship Pollution, Wetlands
signed, but not ratified:
none of the selected agreements
Geography - note
strategic location 500 km from west coast of Africa near major north-south sea routes; important communications station; important sea and air refueling site
Country name
conventional long form:
Republic of Cape Verde
conventional short form:
Cape Verde
local long form:
Republica de Cabo Verde
local short form:
Cabo Verde
Government type
republic
Capital
name:
Praia
geographic coordinates:
14 55 N, 23 31 W
time difference:
UTC-1 (4 hours ahead of Washington, DC during Standard Time)
Administrative divisions
17 municipalities (concelhos, singular - concelho); Boa Vista, Brava, Maio, Mosteiros, Paul, Porto Novo, Praia, Ribeira Brava, Ribeira Grande, Ribeira Grande de Santiago, Sal, Santa Catarina, Santa Catarina do Fogo, Santa Cruz, Sao Domingos, Sao Filipe, Sao Lourenco dos Orgaos, Sao Miguel, Sao Salvador do Mundo, Sao Vicente, Tarrafal, Tarrafal de Sao Nicolau
Independence
5 July 1975 (from Portugal)
Constitution
25 September 1992; a major revision on 23 November 1995 substantially increased the powers of the president; a 1999 revision created the position of national ombudsman (Provedor de Justica)
Legal system
civil law system of Portugal
International law organization participation
has not submitted an ICJ jurisdiction declaration; non-party state to the ICCt
Suffrage
18 years of age; universal
Executive branch
chief of state:
President Jorge Carlos FONSECA (since 9 September 2011)
head of government:
Prime Minister Jose Maria Pereira NEVES (since 1 February 2001)
cabinet:
Council of Ministers appointed by the president on the recommendation of the prime minister
elections:
president elected by popular vote for a five-year term (eligible for a second term); election last held on 7 August 2011 with a second round runoff on 21 August 2011; prime minister nominated by the National Assembly and appointed by the president
election results:
percent of vote (second round) - Jorge Carlos FONSECA 53.4%, Manuel Inocencio SOUSA 46.6%
Legislative branch
unicameral National Assembly or Assembleia Nacional (72 seats; members elected by popular vote to serve five-year terms)
elections:
last held on 6 February 2011 (next to be held by 2016)
election results:
percent of vote by party - NA; seats by party - PAICV 38, MPD 32, UCID 2
Judicial branch
Supreme Tribunal of Justice or Supremo Tribunal de Justia; Court of Audit; Military Courts; Fiscal and Customs Courts
Political parties and leaders
African Party for Independence of Cape Verde or PAICV [Jose Maria Pereira NEVES, chairman]; Democratic and Independent Cape Verdean Union or UCID [Antonio MONTEIRO]; Democratic Christian Party or PDC [Manuel RODRIGUES]; Democratic Renovation Party or PRD [Victor FIDALGO]; Movement for Democracy or MPD [Jorge SANTOS]; Party for Democratic Convergence or PCD [Dr. Eurico MONTEIRO]; Party of Work and Solidarity or PTS [Isaias RODRIGUES]; Social Democratic Party or PSD [Joao ALEM]
Political pressure groups and leaders
other:
environmentalists; political pressure groups
International organization participation
ACP, AfDB, AOSIS, AU, CD, CPLP, ECOWAS, FAO, G-77, IAEA, IBRD, ICAO, ICRM, IDA, IFAD, IFC, IFRCS, ILO, IMF, IMO, Interpol, IOC, IOM, IPU, ITSO, ITU, ITUC, MIGA, NAM, OIF, OPCW, UN, UNCTAD, UNESCO, UNIDO, Union Latina, UNWTO, UPU, WCO, WHO, WIPO, WMO, WTO
Diplomatic representation in the US
chief of mission:
Ambassador Fatima Lima VEIGA
chancery:
3415 Massachusetts Avenue NW, Washington, DC 20008
telephone:
[1] (202) 965-6820
FAX:
[1] (202) 965-1207
consulate(s) general:
Boston
Diplomatic representation from the US
chief of mission:
Ambassador Adrienne O'NEAL
embassy:
Rua Abilio Macedo n6, Praia
mailing address:
C. P. 201, Praia
telephone:
[238] 2-60-89-00
FAX:
[238] 2-61-13-55
Flag description
five unequal horizontal bands; the top-most band of blue - equal to one half the width of the flag - is followed by three bands of white, red, and white, each equal to 1/12 of the width, and a bottom stripe of blue equal to one quarter of the flag width; a circle of 10, yellow, five-pointed stars is centered on the red stripe and positioned 3/8 of the length of the flag from the hoist side; blue stands for the sea and the sky, the circle of stars represents the 10 major islands united into a nation, the stripes symbolize the road to formation of the country through peace (white) and effort (red)
National anthem
name:
"Cantico da Liberdade" (Song of Freedom)
lyrics/music:
Amilcar Spencer LOPES/Adalberto Higino Tavares SILVA
adopted 1996
Data source 1: All Above textual data, maps and flags were extracted from The World Factbook which was prepared by the Central Intelligence Agency and made available on the following link: The World Factbook. Lebanese Economy Forum is not sponsered or affiliated, in any way, by the US Central Intelligence Agency
Data source 2: Plots and Charts are constructed using the world bank public data catalog which can be viewed by visiting the following link: World Bank Data Catalog. Lebanese Economy Forum is not sponsored or affiliated, in any way, by the worldbank

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