An overview of Cape Verde

09 May 2011

Cape Verde in West Africa is a group of islands in the North Atlantic Ocean, which was discovered and colonized by the Portuguese in the 15th century, and later became an important trading centre. It achieved independence in 1975 and since then has become one of the most stable and democratic governments in Africa.

The country was subjected to extreme droughts during the second half of the 20th-century which caused significant emigration. Cape Verde has the distinction of having a higher expatriate population than a domestic population. The population is currently estimated to be just over 500,000, and is quite young.

The country doesn't have many natural resources, and the economy relies largely on tourism, public services, transport and commerce. About 80% of the food is imported and as yet the fishing potential of the islands hasn't been fully explored. In spite of this the country has been well managed and income has steadily improved, helped by reforms aimed at attracting foreign investors and developing the private sector.

Cape Verde GDP growth in 2010 was 4.5%, up from 1.8% in 2009. Cape Verde has good infrastructure, and is well placed to develop its tourism industry.

While property here is still relatively inexpensive it is widely expected that the country will experience a property boom. This is partly due to the improved flight connections, the Cape Verdean government's encouragement of foreign investment, and the fact that it has everything necessary to make it a real tropical hotspot. Its close proximity to Europe means it's ideally located for people wishing to rent out their holiday Cape Verde property to earn income from their investment.

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