Foreign policy and defense
Since independence in 1975, Cape Verde has
pursued an alliance-free foreign policy and the
country's relations with the outside world are good. The
earliest public receives a great deal of assistance from
the western world in particular, not least the US,
Portugal and the EU. For some decades now, China has
also been an important aid donor.
Cape Verde has a good relationship with the former
colonial power of Portugal. The country also plays an
active role in the Portuguese-speaking countries'
organization CPLP. It also has good cooperation with
other former Portuguese colonies in Africa.
Overview of business holidays and various national observances in Cape Verde for years of 2020, 2021, 2022, 2023, 2024 and 2025.
Contact with EU countries has increased in importance
since the early 1990s. In 2007, a "special partnership"
agreement was concluded between the EU and Cape Verde,
which means that cooperation is carried out in trade and
investment as well as in the fight against drug
smuggling, organized crime and illegal immigration. Cape
Verde is working to gain special status within the EU
under the same conditions as for example the Canary
Islands. It would give the country access to the EU
internal market and justify further financial support
from the Union. Since the turn of the millennium, the
country has expanded its cooperation with the Atlantic
islands of Madeira, the Azores and the Canary Islands.
Cape Verde also has good relations with the United
States, where there is a large Cape Verde colony. The
country gave its full support to the United States after
the terrorist attacks against New York and Washington in
2001, announcing that Cape Verde territory was at the
disposal of the Americans in the fight against
terrorism. In January 2012, US Secretary of State
Hillary Clinton visited Cape Verde and the following
month, US aid to the islands was expanded. In March
2013, Prime Minister Neves traveled to Washington to
meet President Barack Obama with three other African
Cape Verde has largely come to act as a transit
country for drugs smuggled from Latin America to Europe.
In 2010, a new security center, Cosmar, was opened with
the help of American money, in order to tighten the
measures against drug smuggling. A similar center is
located in Morocco.
In 2001, the new PAICV government established
diplomatic relations at ambassador level with China.
Since then, contacts with the Asian country have
increased significantly, mainly on the economic level.
The defense force is small. Less than one percent of
gross domestic product (GDP) goes to the defense. The
two-year military service is selective. In 2006, NATO
chose to hold its first major military exercise on
African soil in Cape Verde. It strengthened the country
in its quest for closer contacts with the military
alliance, which it is hoped will help keep drug
smuggling and illegal fishing off the coasts.
FACTS - DEFENSE
1,000 men (2017)
The air Force
100 men (2017)
100 men (2017)
Military expenditure's share of GDP
0.5 percent (2017)
Military spending's share of the state budget
1.7 percent (2017)
Free Trade Agreement in Africa
Cape Verde is one of 44 countries to sign a Free Trade Agreement at the
African Union Summit in Rwanda. The agreement must be ratified at the national
level before the AFCFTA free trade area can become a reality, but it is seen as
a historically important step towards increased trade exchange within Africa.