Cape Verde is an independent island republic which lies in the Atlantic Sea off the bulge of Africa and forms part of the Atlantic Ocean islands region of Africa .
The capital city is Cidade de Praia. Other major towns are Mindelo and Sao Filipe and the port of Porto Novo.
The official language is Portuguese but Crioulo is the everyday language. The local currency is the Cape Verde Escudo. (US$ / CV Esc – current exchange rate).
The Cape Verde oil and mining industries are key sub-sectors in the economy of the country. Electricity is provided by the parastatal utility Electra.
Cape Verde has poor natural resources and experiences severe water shortages. The economy is service based with commerce, transport and public services contributing the major portion of the GDP. Most of the population lives in the rural parts of the country and most of the food requirements are imported.
The fishing industry is growing and contributes to a large portion of the country’s exports. However, Cape Verde has fishing potential yet to be fully exploited.
The Agricultural sector has been severely affected by drought, erosion and the continuance of antiquated farming methods. Only a small portion of the land is arable and the Sal, Maio and Bua Vista islands can only sustain cattle herding.
Economic reforms on the part of the government aim to develop the private sector, attract foreign investment and diversify the economy. However, the country is dependent on aid flows, remittances and the development program.
The international time zone for Cape Verde is GMT -2 and the international dialling code is +238. Air Portugal and South African Airways and other regional airlines are the principal airlines that fly to Ilha do Sal, the international airport of Cape Verde. All nationals except those of West African countries require visas in order to visit Cape Verde.
The state of health, the current immunisation status, location and the local disease lead to the risk of contraction of cholera, hepatitis A, malaria, tuberculosis, and typhoid fever in Cape Verde. An individual risk assessment is recommended prior to arrival in the country. Medical and other insurance should also be taken care of before departure.
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International banking transactions can be carried out through the Banco de Cabo Verde. Consulting and accounting services can be provided by Ernst & Young (through their Lisbon office); they should also be able to advise on appropriate local legal and other service providers.
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