Cape Verde: A Good African Destination

During my recent visit to Cape Verde, an Atlantic Island-Nation, 400 miles off the cost of West Africa, things were looking up, as the people appeared fed and healthy. If hunger exists, it was not visible. Fresh fish was abundant in the market. Despite a lack of rain most months, many fruits, such as bananas, and vegetables, were on display. There was an ample supply of bread. The local grocery carried all the basic staples. Getting a cup of coffee in the morning was no problem. Meals included rice and tomatoes.

Education is on the rise, as hundreds of children wearing uniforms walked to and from school each day. While they could benefit from learning English, (the global language of business), Portuguese and the local Creole tongue are preparing them for life.

There was a courthouse in the municipality where I stayed, but no obvious need for it, since everyone appeared to be law-abiding and respectful of the rights of others. As a white visitor, I was never once harassed, while out on the streets.

Four modern international airports connect the nine inhabited islands. On Santiago, the largest, transportation between the cities was by mini-bus, a relatively inexpensive and efficient method. Windy but paved roads connect the principal communities.

There was a good amount of new building construction, but some projects appeared stalled. Refrigerators, stoves, and microwaves were available, along with furniture and beds. Since washing machines are not used, cloths were cleaned the old-fashioned way.

Some public utilities need improvement. While communities have water and sewer systems, water pressure is low, and water often arrives in dribbles. Some waste water systems are so overloaded, flushing is limited. Electrical blackouts are common.

Communications were good, as cell phone and Internet use was available. I however saw no newspapers for sale on the streets.

Three islands, Sal, Boa Vista, and Maio have flat sandy beaches, where hotels and resorts have been erected, mainly for German, Italian, and British visitors. Great potential exists to develop Cape Verde further as a first port of call for those wishing to see Africa.


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