Hunger in Cabo Verde
Cape Verde, commonly referred to as Cabo Verde, is a country consisting of 10 islands off the west coast of Africa. The country has a small population of 525,000 people — about one-sixteenth of the population of New York City alone — dispersed among the nine inhabited islands. Due to the country’s isolated location, volcanic origin and limited resources, poverty and hunger in Cabo Verde are significant issues. Here are five facts about hunger in Cabo Verde.

5 Facts About Hunger in Cabo Verde

  1. As of 2017, 12.6% of the population of Cabo Verde was unable to meet their daily food needs. Hunger in Cabo Verde has been decreasing since 2010 but at a rate of no more than 0.6% per year. In recent years, this rate has decreased to about 0.1%, marking little change in the total population that remains hungry. When comparing rates of hunger to the country’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP), hunger decreased at the highest rates during the years the GDP increased at the highest rates. Since 2017, the GDP has been increasing at a much slower rate, and the smaller monetary value of goods and services in Cabo Verde leads to fewer resources in battling nationwide hunger. This is a small amount of progress, and this progress may diminish if the economy does not continue to grow.
  2. Cabo Verde has limited access to water. One of Cabo Verde’s most limited resources is clean water. Ever since a nearly two-decade-long drought beginning in the 1970s, citizens must pay for buckets of filtered water for delivery to their homes. Recurring drought and the allocation of clean water to drinking and hygiene have led to frequent failures in agriculture. Crops that rely on irrigation are not sustainable, and this can lead to a lack of crops that could feed many people on islands where importing crops is difficult.
  3. Trade is successful, but not in terms of food. Cabo Verde’s highest exports are fish products, and its highest imports are petroleum and automobiles. Due to the republic’s lack of resources such as natural gas, imports like the aforementioned are necessary and common. However, the closest coast to Cabo Verde is roughly 350 miles away, so transporting any fresh food is difficult due to expiration periods. As a result, international trade cannot make fresh food more accessible, exacerbating the problem of hunger in Cabo Verde.
  4. The soil is volcanic and rocky. The islands of Cabo Verde are the creation of multiple volcanic eruptions. In fact, a quarter of the land is volcanic rock and the country’s soil is rough and unrefined. The land is ideal for grazing, which allows for livestock throughout the country. However, poor soil contributes to the country’s inability to rely on agriculture as a food source. Any available water cannot irrigate the tough soil, and wind erosion has led to a loss of valuable soil.
  5. Absolute poverty is a factor in hunger in Cabo Verde. As of 2015, 35% of the population lived in poverty. Limited resources across the country have systematically led to low rates of education and high rates of unemployment. Rates of higher education dropouts are high and no universities exist. Reform in education systems and growth across more industries beyond the exportation of goods can help close the poverty gap. An economy that values diverse industries and expanding resources will result from improved education, more job opportunities and the ability for citizens to complete degrees in other parts of the world. With expanded industrial areas comes more opportunities for residents to earn money and combat the effects of hunger that low-income households often face. Essentially, better primary education leads to strength in higher education, and the need for higher education is evident in a nation with an economy of limited industries.

Solutions to the Hunger Issue

Fortunately, some have taken steps to address hunger in Cabo Verde. In 2016, the country hosted the Center of Excellence Against Hunger’s Global Nutrition Forum, a panel of 40 government leaders that discuss solutions to hunger. At this event, the Cape Verdean School Social Action Foundation emerged to increase the number of nutrition programs in public schools. With the support of this panel and its creations, the U.N.’s Hunger Map has removed countries like Brazil. With continued support and brainstorming of creative solutions to battle hunger, Cabo Verde can move towards poverty reduction and solve its hunger crisis.

Hope for Cabo Verde

Even though poverty and hunger are a concern in Cabo Verde, the nation remains relatively economically free and has maximized its trading efforts in spite of limited resources. As a country far from the coast, it typically has the responsibility of remaining self-sufficient in terms of its economy and the way in which it handles poverty- and hunger-reduction. However, it is possible to continue lowering rates of poverty and hunger. Recognizing this country’s impact on the trade market is a step that other nearby countries can take, as this is the way that Cabo Verde stimulates its economy. If more countries create strong trade relations with this nation, it is likely that Cabo Verde will receive more imports of valuable resources, and it will also likely pave the way for the creation of more jobs in the trade industry. Despite its economic stability, the problem of hunger is still significant in Cabo Verde. However, it is possible to take more steps to eradicate hunger in the country.

Evan Coleman
Photo: Flickr

Girls’ Education in Cabo Verde
Cabo Verde is comprised of a group of 10 main islands off of Africa’s northwest coast, separated into the northern Barlavento group and the Sotavento group in the south. Compared with low to middle-income countries, Cabo Verde ranks in the 61st percentile in learning, despite ranking in the 85th percentile in providing access to education. These statistics, however, do not preclude girls’ education in Cabo Verde from further developing its policies to provide young girls with more opportunities than they are given now.    

Girls’ Education in Cabo Verde Plagued by a Gender Gap

Although Cabo Verde benefits from a relatively high rate of youth literacy at 98 percent, there is a gender divide in longer-term education opportunities that is apparent in more specific statistics. Even though the female youth literacy rate is at 98 percent, the female adult literacy rate drops to 86 percent. In 2015, the male population aged 15 years and older had a literacy rate of 91.69 percent, while the female population had a rate of only 82.04 percent.

The policies of the island nation widen the gender gap in education. The gross enrollment ratio for primary education for males in 2015 was at 101 percent while for females it was at 94 percent; of all females that qualify for primary education, only 94 percent enroll. Beyond the low minimum education requirements, many girls have been suspended for pregnancy and cannot resume schooling until after birth. 

As only primary education is free and compulsory for students aged 7 to 13, enrollment rates in secondary schools and higher education drop due to a lack of financial and emotional resources. It is not uncommon for young girls to take on menial jobs, as these are the only jobs they are qualified for since they have not completed their education. Moreover, the shameful stigma of teen pregnancy is often a large enough barrier to keep girls from staying in school or trying to continue.

Progress in Policies Helps Girls Finish School

“Tens of thousands of pregnant girls and adolescent mothers are banned or discouraged from attending school across Africa,” reported Human Rights Watch on June 16, 2018. Only recently has this policy been revised, giving hope for a change in these rates. The report “Leave No Girl Behind in Africa: Discrimination in Education Against Pregnant Students and Adolescent Mothers” has urged governments to ensure that pregnant girls have the ability to stay in school or at least be able to return to their studies after childbirth.

Twenty-six African countries have proceeded with the report’s advice in protecting these girls’ education. Cabo Verde has revoked all disciplinary actions against pregnant schoolgirls and replaced them with ones that support their re-entry. There are also special accommodations for teen mothers in school, such as permitting time for breastfeeding and health clinic appointments. These new policies do not guarantee that girls actually return to school, as they are not carefully overseen.

Since 2013, all countries associated with the African Union have adopted Agenda 2063, which focuses on the economic and social development of the continent. With a clear strategy, Africa aims to invest more in education, including “elimination of gender disparities at all levels of education,” according to the official Agenda 2063 document. Additionally, governments are working towards ending child marriage and increasing sexual and reproductive health education, which is the largest factor inhibiting the development of girls’ education in Cabo Verde.

Given Cabo Verde’s high statistics regarding some aspects of its educational system, there is reason to believe that it values progress in this sector and will continue to address the current issues, particularly the gender gap in education. “More than half the population of Cabo Verde is under 22 years of age. There is no way not to prioritize the youth,” Susan Delgado, head of the Cabo Verdean delegation and specialist in the Ministry of Education of Cabo Verde, told UNESCO. Recognizing that girls’ education in Cabo Verde deserves reconstruction, much of the island nation’s development will rely on providing equal opportunities for its youth.

– Alice Lieu
Photo: Flickr

humanitarian aid to Cabo Verde

Around 500 kilometers off the west coast of Africa lies the former Portuguese colony of Cabo Verde, a volcanic archipelago republic made up of ten islands and five islets in the central Atlantic Ocean. The country not only lacks in natural resources but also possesses a tiny portion of arable land and is prone to drought.

Despite these prevalent difficulties, Cabo Verde won an international reputation for maintaining economic and political stability, due largely in part to the humanitarian aid sent to the country.


Cabo Verde

Cabo Verde is a stable multi-party parliamentary democracy with a high trade deficit, most of which is offset by foreign aid and economic remittances sent by emigrants back to the country. The U.S. State Department praises the country as a “model of democratic governance,” noting the country’s high literacy rates and high per capita income among “the best development indicators of any country in the region.”

Cabo Verde received the notable distinction of becoming the first African state to complete its first Millennium Challenge Corporation (MCC) Compact in late 2010. The MCC is an independent foreign aid agency established by Congress that works with partner countries around the world to alleviate global poverty.


Compact Stipulations

Following this successful $110 million MCC initiative that strengthened the country’s infrastructure and boosted agricultural production, the Cabo Verde government signed a five-year compact in 2012 to institute further water, sanitation and land management reforms. This second compact builds upon the first to establish transparency and accountability to achieve actionable results.

Last year, the government celebrated the end of its second compact and became the first one in the world to benefit from such a remarkable success of humanitarian aid to Cabo Verde.

“We are proud of the partnership between MCC and Cabo Verde that has built a solid foundation aimed at reducing poverty and improving the lives of individuals, families, and communities across the country,” MCC Vice President Robert Blau said at a closeout ceremony held on November 30, 2017. “We are also heartened by the Government of Cabo Verde’s commitment to continuing these programs and reforms in order to guarantee sustainability of the investments.”

Essentiality of Humanitarian Aid

The success of humanitarian aid to Cabo Verde is possible thanks to the united efforts of numerous countries and international aid organizations across the globe. The Cabo Verde government has also managed and administered the aid funds responsibly, entrusting state-owned companies and religious institutions with the implementation of developmental projects.


The United Nations

The United Nations (U.N.) has actively worked within the country through many conventions and projects. For instance, in early December, the U.N. held a seminar on social security, economic growth and development in the country. A month earlier, the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) worked with the National Directorate of Health and National Sexual Health Program to develop a national strategic plan for improving sexual and reproductive health in the country.

Specialized programs and agencies of the United Nations, such as the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO), the World Health Organization and the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF), have also advised the government on the best ways to make efficient use of humanitarian aid to Cabo Verde.


The Success Story

The African Development Bank has highlighted the success story of humanitarian aid to Cabo Verde in a detailed research project report, affirming that the very small island economy has “managed to defy the odds and transform itself from an extremely poor country into one of the better performing economies in Africa in just over two decades,” and thus managed to overcome “severe geographic, economic, and social challenges to become an African success story.”

– Mohammed Khalid

Photo: Flickr

Cabo Verde

Cabo Verde is a chain of islands off the coast of Senegal, West Africa. Despite having only 10 percent arable land, limited mineral resources, mountainous terrain and an arid climate, Cabo Verde has been developing rapidly. This is mainly due to the booming tourism industry and development projects in Cabo Verde.

Being a small island nation, there are a few challenges with development. The money spent on transportation between the nine inhabited islands is quite high. Several infrastructure constraints exist which make the delivery of public services and energy in need of improvement. Due to Cabo Verde‘s climate, the agriculture industry is not able to reach its full potential. Lastly, being an island in the Atlantic Ocean, it is susceptible to climate change, rising sea levels and natural disasters.

In light of these challenges, five development projects in Cabo Verde have been created to boost the economy, increase tourism and ensure the well-being of the residents on the islands.

  1. The Competitiveness for Tourism Development project recognizes tourism as the economy’s main source of growth, with the public sector as the key force. This project backs the implementation of Cabo Verde’s vision for this industry. The project began in April 2016 and will cost approximately $3.7 million.
  2. The Transport Sector Reform Project consists of four components. The first is road preservation with routine maintenance. The second component is the development and operationalization of a road and bridge management system. The third is a road safety action plan which puts an accident database and monitoring and evaluation system in place. Finally, there will be an inter-island transport strategy to improve the quality of services and the management of ports and airports.
  3. Another one of the five development projects in Cabo Verde is the Water Supply Development Project of Santiago Island. It is a $220 million project aiming to strengthen the bulk of the water supply on Santiago Island. There will be construction on two water treatment plants with reverse osmosis technology, 12 water reservoirs, 14 pumping stations and about 100 miles of water mains.
  4. The Cabeólica Wind Project was created to develop the use of wind power as a more sustainable alternative to imported fossil fuels. This project will help achieve Cabo Verde’s goal of using 100 percent renewable energy sources by 2020. On four of Cabo Verde’s islands, a 25.5-megawatt facility is meeting about 25 percent of the nation’s energy demands.
  5. The final of the five development projects in Cabo Verde is the Watershed Management and Agriculture Support Project. It was created to increase productivity in agriculture by supporting the conversion of dry farmland to higher-value horticultural production. This was done by improving natural resource management, including the sustainable use of soil and water resources. The project also improves the capacity to support the development and implementation of community-based watershed management plans.

As a middle-income country with a relatively low poverty rate, Cabo Verde is able to design projects like these to continue promoting growth and achieve goals. These development goals will boost the economy, increase tourism and ensure the well being of the residents and visitors on the islands and keep the poverty rate low.

– Lorial Roballo

Photo: Flickr

Hunger in Cabo Verde
Cabo Verde is no stranger to the widespread hardships of famine. Ever since its establishment, hunger in Cabo Verde has been one of many trials and tribulations the country has faced.

Cabo Verde’s ongoing history with droughts, the first recorded in 1747, is one of the main causes of its hunger problem. During the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries, there were three major droughts that resulted in the deaths of at least 100,000 people. It was not always that way. When Cabo Vervde was first discovered by the Portuguese in 1456, it was lush in vegetation. It even got its name from the green landscape it had upon discovery.

Portugal’s failure to assist those in Cabo Verde during these droughts only added to the problem. While being part of the Portuguese empire starting in 1495 and remaining one of its territories up until 1975, Cabo Verde had received little help during its droughts. The droughts and lack of government assistance continued into the twentieth century, where thousands more died of starvation.

Drought still plagues Cabo Verde to this day. There was a 65 percent decrease in rainfall in 2013 and 2014, which caused the loss of crops for 30,000 people. This drought led to the lowest corn production on record for 2014. However, there has been much greater initiative currently than there was in the past to find solutions to the issue of hunger in Cabo Verde. From the years 1991 to 2015, the total percentage of hunger in Cabo Verde decreased from 16 percent to 9 percent.

In an effort to address the problems caused by the 2013-2014 drought, the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) supplied 7,015 households with a 17-kilogram kit containing bean, corn and cowpea seeds. The FAO also supplied 554 households with tomato, cabbage and onion seeds along with drip-irrigation kits in response to Cabo Verde’s lack of reliable water resources.

Cabo Verde has taken it into its own hands to ensure the proper nourishment of its citizens. The country was chosen to share its story in successfully feeding its young children to the 2015 Global Child Nutrition Forum. Proper nutrition is highly valued and is considered to be correlated to the strong development of a country, according to minister of education and sport Fernanda Marques.

The U.N. declared that the nation had met the Millennium Development Goal with 98.7 percent of its children enrolled in school, meaning that the majority of kids received the benefits of this program. These benefits include meals based on what the population likes to eat like the cachupa, which is a traditional dish made with vegetables, meat, fish and corn.

“My philosophy is that the purpose of foreign assistance must be to end the need of its existence – that we not only have to minister to immediate needs, but we have to help people take care of themselves,” USAID administrator Mark Green said in his speech at the World Food Program USA’s McGovern-Dole Leadership Award Ceremony.

Hunger in Cabo Verde may still persist, but Green’s words of aid being key to solve the problem holds true, as the nation is seeing improvement little by little.

– Blake Chambers

Photo: Flickr

Why Is Cabo Verde Poor?

Cabo Verde, or Cape Verde, is a former Portuguese colony made up of 10 islands and five islets located just over 300 miles off Africa’s west coast. Why is Cabo Verde poor? Severe droughts during the 1900s killed 200,000 people and caused many to leave the islands.

Cabo Verde does not have many natural resources, and only 10% of the land can sustain crops. This makes the nation vulnerable to poor economic growth. Although the poverty rate has been reduced significantly, one-quarter of the population is still poor.

The national poverty rate in Cabo Verde fell from 37% to 27% between 2003 and 2008, according to the World Bank, and the extreme poverty rate went from 21% to 12%.

Tourism is a major source of economic growth in Cabo Verde and is credited as the main reason for the drop in poverty rates. Still, one is compelled to ask: why is Cabo Verde poor?

The Congressional Research Service reported that slow economic growth in Europe has fostered slow growth in Cabo Verde. This is because Europe is a major trading partner and source of foreign investment, and Cabo Verde is also a major tourist destination for many Europeans.

Despite all this, growth has recovered due to a resurgence in tourism and foreign investment. Gross domestic product grew from .93% to 3.63% between 2012 and 2016. Unemployment is now estimated to be at nine percent, which is a significant drop from 16.8% in 2012. Yet, one must still ask: why is Cabo Verde poor?

Public debt in Cabo Verde was 130% of the GDP at the end of 2016, according to the World Bank. It is also estimated that growth was above four percent which is 1.5% more than in 2015 but still not enough to bring down debt levels. The World Bank predicts that debt will continue to increase in 2017 because of a state-owned airline (TACV) and social housing.

Modest growth is predicted for Cabo Verde’s major trading partners which may slow foreign investment in the small nation as well.

Fernando Vazquez
Photo: Flickr

Common Diseases in Cabo Verde

Vaccines have been a luxury for the leading countries of the world, but for poor countries, accessing them is much more difficult. Some diseases are preventable with a vaccine, but there are many that are not. Due to the poverty in Cabo Verde, diseases that can’t be prevented with a vaccine are just as common as the ones that can.

These are some common diseases in Cabo Verde that can be treated with a vaccine:

  1. Hepatitis A
    Hepatitis A is transmitted through contaminated food and water or through physical contact between people. Symptoms can take up to two weeks to appear and include jaundice or elevation of liver enzymes. In Cabo Verde, it is most common where the environment and drinking water are unclean.Hepatitis A typically lasts less than two months’ time. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) states that “supportive care” is the best form of treatment. There are two vaccines available to prevent Hepatitis A — Vaqta and Harvix — which can be used on patients at least a year old.
  2. Hepatitis B
    According to the CDC, an estimated 248 million around the world people are infected with Hepatitis B. This disease is transmitted typically through blood and other fluids that are produced by the body. This can happen through the sharing of needles, unprotected sex and exposure to blood. Hepatitis B infects the liver and its symptoms are abdominal pain, jaundice, anorexia, vomiting and fatigue.For those with chronic Hepatitis B, antiviral drugs are available, otherwise, there is no direct treatment for it. There is a vaccine that is administered in three separate doses as a preventative measure.
  3. Yellow Fever
    Yellow Fever is transmitted through the bite of a mosquito that is carrying the disease. Young children are the most likely to contract it because immunity is developed as people age. In Cabo Verde, Yellow Fever becomes a problem beginning in July when the weather becomes dry and typically ends in October.There are no direct treatments for Yellow Fever. Those that contract Yellow Fever are advised to rest, use analgesics and antipyretics to control the symptoms and avoid another mosquito bite. In Cabo Verde, it is required that travelers are vaccinated before entering the country. Revaccination is no longer required as of July of 2016, but proof of a vaccination is needed when leaving Cabo Verde and entering a new country.

These are some communicable common diseases in Cabo Verde that cannot be treated with a vaccine:

  1. African Tick-Bite Fever
    African Tick-Bite Fever is spread through the bite of ticks that are infected with the disease. Symptoms are typically soreness of muscles, rash and fever which typically appear two weeks after the bite. In Cabo Verde, the disease is most common from November through April.
  2. Chikungunya
    Chikungunya is a disease that is spread through mosquito bites. Those infected typically experience joint and muscle pain, fever, headache and rash. The mosquitoes carrying the disease are most active during the day near buildings in major cities.
  3. Dengue
    Like Chikungunya, Dengue is spread through the bite of infected mosquitoes. Its symptoms develop over the course of two weeks and are often fever, rash, muscle, joint and eye pain and vomiting. Some cases are more severe and bleeding, intense or even death can occur. Mosquitoes carrying Dengue are often found at an elevation of 6,500 feet and bite at any time in the day.

Prevention of common diseases in Cabo Verde is an important aspect for each citizen. Knowing what vaccinations are available and what measures to take when there isn’t one could keep the country from plummeting into a disastrous epidemic.

Mackenzie Fielder

Photo: Flickr

Diseases in Cabo VerdeJust west of Senegal lies a cluster of islands in the Atlantic Ocean called Cabo Verde, also known as Cape Verde. Only slightly larger that the state of Rhode Island, the islands are home to just over half a million people. With poor natural resources and often severe water shortages, the economy is largely service-oriented with little diversification. Today, reforms aim to develop the private sector and attract investment. Here are the top diseases in Cabo Verde:

Cerebrovascular Disease
Referring to disorders of ischemia or bleeding in the brain, cerebrovascular disease often leads to cases of stroke. In 2015, it was recorded that cerebrovascular disease had consistently been the most lethal of the top diseases in Cabo Verde for the past decade. Although it remains the archipelago’s most dangerous disease, instances of cerebrovascular disease had decreased by 4.7 percent over the decade.

Ischemic Heart Disease
Ischemic heart disease, also called coronary artery disease, refers to problems resulting from narrowed arteries of the heart. Such a disease can lead to a heart attack. In 2015, ischemic heart disease was recorded as Cabo Verde’s second most common cause of death. Fortunately, the prevalence of the disease has actually decreased by 4.3 percent since the previous decade.

Lower Respiratory Infections
Referring to infections of the lower respiratory system such as bronchiolitis, influenza, acute bronchitis and pneumonia, lower respiratory infections account for high death rates around the world. However, lower respiratory infections are communicable and can be treated if given proper care and attention. Lower respiratory infections are currently the third most fatal of the top diseases in Cabo Verde. However, since 2015, instances of the disease in the archipelago were reported to have decreased by 12.3 percent.

As previously mentioned, every one of the top diseases in Cabo Verde has been decreasing in prevalence since 2005. Additionally, in January of 2014, Cabo Verde opened the doors of the National Institute of Health of Cape Verde, an organization founded on the core value of universal health access. With this new development, the international community may see that the nation is dedicated to providing a higher standard of healthcare to their people.

Shannon Golden

Photo: Google

Water Quality in Cabo Verde
The Republic of Cabo Verde is a country comprised of 10 islands off the coast of West Africa. In 2012, the government planned to drastically increase its desalination system in order to improve water capacity and consumption and to meet the demands of the country’s rising tourism industry. Since this plan to improve water sanitation and availability of this country’s precious resource, water quality in Cabo Verde has improved in 2017, through government cooperation and local partnership.

Though Santiago, one of Cabo Verde’s islands, already had a desalination plant implemented, the government suggested at least eight more plants be installed in order to satisfy the resident and growing tourist populations. At the time of the government’s 2012 plan to invest in major water quality improvement, reports showed that with the island’s 500,000 citizens and the high volume of tourists, sources of water were already limited. Cabo Verde is a dry country and doesn’t receive much rain, so the country’s ministry of environment made it a goal to build a desalination plant for every island, as part of the National Directive Plan for Water.

The ministry hoped that over the next five years, 400 million euros, paired with a $66.2 million grant from the U.S. foreign aid agency, plus additional funding from the EU and the U.N., would significantly contribute to the country’s goal to have 50% of its energy supplied by renewable sources by the year 2020.

In March 2017, just five years since the start of the desalination and sanitation system implementation, Cabo Verde’s driest islands are seeing major victories, and some of the country’s most vulnerable populations are seeing the biggest difference. Santa Maria, a high-traffic tourist and travel location in Sal on Cape Verde, saw the inauguration of a 2010 Wastewater Treatment Plant. With the help of new management and a working operating system that connects to local sewage networks, the plant is now fully functioning.

The new system for delivering clean, available and affordable water will make lives on Cabo Verde a little easier. Most poor families can’t afford to access water through the island’s utility networks, and some are miles apart, making clean water retrieval hard on locals. Poor women spend the most time collecting water for each household, but some more rural areas of the country have very little access — a mere 16% of the country ever sees this water.

Because of improved water quality in Cabo Verde, residents are feeling confident about running their households, thanks to government funding and water treatment plants throughout the country. Some locals say having sanitary and accessible water is most important in keeping their families healthy.

Cabo Verde’s tourism economy is also expected to improve with efforts to keep sanitized water flowing. As the industry provides jobs for more than one-third of the population, it is vital that the Cabo Verde government keep water sanitation at its highest priority, so that cleaner beaches bring tourists back again and again.

The government plans to designate a water improvement sector fund specifically for the water treatment facilities, upon its success. With further plans like this, water quality in Cabo Verde will continue to show signs of improvement.

Olivia Cyr

Photo: Flickr

Education in Cabo Verde
Unknown to many people around the world, there is a small country made up of 10 islands and five islets off the west coast of Africa called Cabo Verde. The country has faced and continues to face many obstacles such as a lack of natural resources, drought and poor land for farming. Despite these challenges, the country remains prosperous and continues to see improvements in its education system. Here are some things to know about education in Cabo Verde.

Four Educational Groups
Education in Cabo Verde is broken up into four sectors: pre-primary, for children ages three to five; primary, from ages six to 11; secondary, for students 12 to 17 and tertiary, the country’s version of college. Only education from the age of 6 to 15 is mandatory.

Large-Scale Changes in 1975
In 1975, Cabo Verde gained its independence. Before its separation from Portugal, the literacy rate in Cabo Verde was only at 40%. As of 2015, the literacy rate in the country has doubled to an impressive 80%.

Improved School Attendance
In 2007, about 5,000 children were not attending school in Cabo Verde. As of 2015, that number has gone down to less than 1,000 students out of school. While there are still efforts to be made to ensure that every child attends school, this tremendous improvement in less than ten years is impressive.

Investments in Education
As of 2013, about 15% of the government’s yearly expenditure was going towards education. This percentage is higher than in many countries around the world such as the U.S., which spends about six percent of public spending annually on education.

Providing Necessary Tools
The school system in Cabo Verde does its best to provide all students with what they need to succeed in school. Textbooks are now available to 90% of students in the country. Additionally, 83% of teachers have attended in-service teacher training.

While education in Cabo Verde is not perfect, the country has made impressive advances since its independence in 1975. Almost all children in the country attend school and can read. Additionally, the government works toward improving its education system by providing all that they can. Cabo Verde may be a tiny and unknown nation, but their educational successes make them a great example for countries like them around the world.

Olivia Hayes

Photo: Flickr