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Thursday 13th June
Cape Verde Information - Page 2
The islands of Cape Verde were uninhabited when they were discovered by the Portuguese in 1456. By the end of the century Cape Verde was a possession of the Portuguese Crown.

The status of the islands changed from colony to overseas province in 1951. Cape Verde achieved independence in 1975.

Cape Verde suffers a shortage of water supplies, aggravated by cycles of drought. At the beginning of the century it was necessary for the government to seek international food aid.

The majority of people live in rural areas but agriculture contributes the smallest percentage to the Gross Domestic Product (GDP). Agricultural products are bananas, beans, maize, sweet potatoes, sugarcane, coffee and peanuts (groundnuts). Small quantities of fish and shellfish are exported.

Industries include ship repair, construction, salt mining, clothing, shoes, fish processing, food and beverages.

The majority of the GDP is earned from the services sector. Tourism is a potential area for growth.

Money remitted from Cape Verdeans working abroad is an important source of foreign exchange. (2011)

Cape Verdean music evolved from Portuguese and African music.

The singer Cesaria Evora, born on Sao Vicente, has done much to bring the music of Cape Verde to the attention of an international audience.

Cultural institutions in Cape Verde include The Performing Arts Center, also known as the National Auditorium.

Football is a very popular sport in Cape Verde. Other team sports played are basketball and volleyball.

Water sports available are snorkelling, scuba diving and windsurfing. Big game fish are marlin, sailfish and shark.

All religious festivals and saints' days are celebrated. Independence Day is 5 July (1975 - from Portugal).

National Heroes' Day on 20 January commemorates freedom fighters like Amilcar Cabral (1924-1973).

News from Cape Verde is available from Newslink.

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