Cruising to Cape Verde
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
Measured from claimed archipelagic baselines
Temperate; warm, dry summer; precipitation meager and very erratic
Steep, rugged, rocky, volcanic
Lowest point: Atlantic Ocean 0 m
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 66% of GDP. Although nearly 70% of the population lives in rural areas, the share of agriculture in GDP in 2004 was only 12%, of which fishing accounted for 1.5%. 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.
Total: 6 ships (1000 GRT or over) 10,719 GRT/7,482 DWT
Sailing Specifics: Ports and terminals
Mindelo, Praia, Tarrafal
Other Sailing Destinations in the Region