Country information about Cape Verde
Natural Resources: salt, basalt rock, limestone, kaolin, fish, clay, gypsum.
Capre Verde is a nation of islands 600 km off the western shore of Africa (Mauritania and Senegal) in the Atlantic Ocean. The islands are divided among the Barlavento ("windward") islands (Santo Antão, São Vicente, Santa Luzia, São Nicolau, Sal, and Boa Vista) and the Sotavento ("leeward") islands (Maio, Santiago, Fogo, and Brava).
Cape Verde's major environmental issues include: 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; and overfishing. It is susceptible to prolonged droughts; seasonal harmattan wind produces obscuring dust; and volcanic and seismic activity.
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.
This island economy suffers from a poor natural resource base, including serious water shortages exacerbated by cycles of long-term drought. The economy is service-oriented, with commerce, transport, tourism, and public services accounting for about three-fourths of GDP. Although nearly 70% of the population lives in rural areas, the share of food production in GDP is low. About 82% of food must be imported. The fishing potential, mostly lobster and tuna, is not fully exploited. Cape Verde annually runs a high trade deficit, financed by foreign aid and remittances from emigrants; remittances supplement GDP by more than 20%. Economic reforms are aimed at developing the private sector and attracting foreign investment to diversify the economy. Future prospects depend heavily on the maintenance of aid flows, the encouragement of tourism, remittances, and the momentum of the government's development program.
GDP (Purchasing Power Parity): $1.603 billion (2007 est.)
GDP (Official Exchange Rate): $1.428 billion (2007 est.)
GDP-real growth rate: 6.9% (2007 est.)
GDP-per capita (PPP): $3,200 (2007 est.)
GDP-composition by sector:
services: 74% (2007 est.)
services: 74% (2007 est.)
Population Below Poverty Line: 30% (2000)
Industries: food and beverages, fish processing, shoes and garments, salt mining, ship repair
Exports: fuel, shoes, garments, fish, hides
Export Partners: Spain 36.1%, Portugal 28.5%, Morocco 6.8%, UK 6.7%, US 6.4% (2006)
Imports: foodstuffs, industrial products, transport equipment, fuels
Import Partners: Portugal 40.3%, Netherlands 10.9%, France 6.5%, Spain 5.6%, Cote d'Ivoire 4.9%, Italy 4.7%, Brazil 4.5% (2006)
Economic Aid Recipients: $160.6 million (2005)
Currency: Cape Verdean escudo (CVE)
Ports and Terminals: Porto Grande
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