In 1975, Cape Verde was given independence from Portugal and for the next sixteen years the country was governed by the PAICV (‘Partido Africano de Independencia de Cape Verde’). In 1991, when the newly-formed political party, the MPD (‘Movimento para a Democracia’) won the first multi-party democratic national election and were re-elected in 1996. However, in 2001 a much-transformed PAICV was elected back into government and having achieved a record of economic success during that term was, on 22nd January 2006, re-elected to another five year term where they remain today.
Cape Verde is a socially and politically stable country that supports the reform policies recommended by the IMF and the World Bank. These policies are in place to control public spending, reduce domestic debt, privatise companies and improve social services.
The current government is keen to attract private foreign investment, with particular attention being paid to the development of the property, tourism, light-manufacturing, shipping and fishing sectors. Foreign policy objectives aim to maintain close relations with the West and strengthen Cape Verde's relationship with the EU as well as expanding partnerships in trade, investment and tourism. Cape Verde is currently seeking associate status with the EU and has consequently formed a lobby group with the neighbouring Portuguese islands of Madeira and the Azores and Spain’s Canary Islands. Violent crime is uncommon in Cape Verde (although there is a small but inevitable amount of petty crime), this is mainly because the justice system and local institutions are relatively strong by the standards of most African countries standards. According to the UN's Development Programme Cape Verde is considered to be a middle-income country, with the fourth highest Human Development Index (which takes into account various factors, such as GDP per capita, life expectancy, adult literacy, education etc) of all African nations behind only the Seychelles, Mauritius and Tunisia. Cape Verde is a growing economy, a safe place to invest and a culturally rich place to spend your holidays.
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