IAS Gyan

Daily News Analysis


13th January, 2024 Geography

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  • The World Health Organization (WHO) has certified Cabo Verde (also known as Cape Verde) as a malaria-free country, becoming the third country to acquire the status in the global health organisation’s African region.
  • The country has now joined Mauritius and Algeria, who were certified in 1973 and 2019, respectively.

About Cape Verde

  • Cape Verde officially the Republic of Cabo Verde, is an archipelago and island country of West Africa in the central Atlantic Ocean, consisting of ten volcanic islands with a combined land area of about 4,033 square kilometres (1,557 sq mi).
  • These islands lie between 600 and 850 kilometres (320 and 460 nautical miles) west of Cap-Vert, the westernmost point of continental Africa.
  • The Cape Verde islands form part of the Macaronesia ecoregion, along with the Azores, the Canary Islands, Madeira, and the Savage Isles.
  • The Cape Verde archipelago, initially uninhabited, was discovered and colonized by Portuguese explorers in the 15th century, marking the first European settlement in the tropics. Due to its strategic location in the Atlantic slave trade, Cape Verde prospered economically in the 16th and 17th centuries, attracting merchants, privateers, and pirates.
  • History: The archipelago of modern-day Cape Verde was formed approximately 40–50 million years ago during the Eocene era.
  • Polity:Cape Verde is a stable semi-presidential representative democratic republic.
  • In 2020 it was the most democratic nation in Africa, ranking 2023 as 45th in the world, according to the electoral democracy score of the V-Dem Democracy indices.
  • Judiciary: The judicial system consists of a Supreme Court of Justice whose members are appointed by the president, the National Assembly, and the Board of the Judiciary and regional courts.
  • Separate courts hear civil, constitutional, and criminal cases. Appeals are to the Supreme Court.
  • Foreign relations: Cape Verde follows a policy of nonalignment and seeks cooperative relations with all friendly states.

  • Angola, Brazil, China, Libya, Cuba, France, Guinea-Bissau, Germany, Italy, Portugal, Spain, São Tomé and Príncipe, Senegal, Russia, Luxembourg, and the United States maintain embassies in Praia.
  • Cape Verde maintains a vigorously active foreign policy, especially in Africa.
  • Geography: The Cape Verde archipelago is in the Atlantic Ocean, approximately 570 kilometres (350 mi) off the western coast of the African continent, near Senegal, The Gambia, and Mauritania as well as part of the Macaronesia ecoregion.
  • It lies between latitudes 14° and 18°N, and longitudes 22° and 26°W.
  • The country is a horseshoe-shaped cluster of ten islands (nine inhabited) and eight islets, that constitute an area of 4033 km2 (1557 sq mi).
  • Climate: Cape Verde's climate is milder than that of the African mainland because the surrounding sea moderates temperatures on the islands and cold Atlantic currents produce an arid atmosphere around the archipelago.
  • Biodiversity: Cape Verde's isolation has resulted in the islands having several endemic species, particularly birds and reptiles, many of which are endangered by human development.
  • Endemic birds include Alexander's swift (Apus alexandri), Bourne's heron (Ardea purpurea bournei), the Raso lark (Alauda razae), the Cape Verde warbler (Acrocephalus brevipennis), and the Iago sparrow (Passer iagoensis).
  • The islands are also an important breeding area for seabirds including the Cape Verde shearwater. Reptiles include the Cape Verde giant gecko (Tarentola gigas).

                                                                    PRACTICE QUESTION

  1. Examine the geopolitical significance of Cabo Verde (Cape Verde) in the context of contemporary international relations. Discuss the challenges and opportunities it faces as an island nation, and analyze its diplomatic initiatives to address regional and global issues.