Although there are some references to the passage of Romans, Arabs and Greeks to Cape Verde, as well as the supposition that some African populations had some contact with the islands, at the time considered by many historians as the official date of discovery of the archipelago, that is 1460, it was not inhabited. It is widely accepted that in 1460 the Genovese and Portuguese navigators António di Noli and Diogo Gomes, both in the service of the Portuguese Crown, discovered and registered the first five islands of the archipelago. In 1462, the navigator Diogo Afonso would discover the other islands. At this date, the settlement of the archipelago started with free Europeans and slaves from the African coast. The island of Santiago was the first one to be colonized and recognized.
The affirmation of the Cape Verdean nation happened on National Independence Day, 5th July 1975, and on 13th January 1991 the multiparty system was introduced in the country. Since then a parliamentary democratic system of government, with all the institutions of a modern democracy, based on free elections, has been established in the country. Cape Verde is a politically and socially stable country, enjoying peace and the absence of any kind of conflict.
As one of the major stops along the ancient Portuguese trade route, Cape Verde’s business history runs parallel with its development as a nation. However, people are discovering that business opportunities in the Cape Verde islands today are much more diverse, and the country has even been known as one of the ‘best-kept secrets’ of West Africa. It’s never been a better time to do business in Cape Verde. Cape Verde has a stable political and socioeconomic environment. Since 1991 there has been a parliamentary political system of free elections, with no ideology-driven conflicts, and no ethnic or religious rifts. There have been far-reaching macroeconomic changes and improved social indicators, as well as a pegged exchange rate regime (which ties the local currency to the euro). Strategically located at the crossroads of four continents – North America, South America, Africa and Europe – the geographical position of the islands creates easy access by regular shipping lines and air routes. Cape Verde’s outward-looking economy also plays a role in making it an ideal place for business. Preferential trade agreements favour products made in Cape Verde, offering easy access to the European Union, ECOWAS and United States markets. The labour market is also readily and freely available to businesses establishing themselves in Cape Verde. The workforce is easy to train and highly productive. Good public facilities and infrastructure assure high standards for business expansion. These include two industrial estates, international airports and ports of established capacity; competitive and efficient information and telecommunication technologies; and shipyards, cold storage and seafood processing.