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Cape Verde County’s Social and Cultural Problems Case Study

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Updated: Nov 20th, 2020

Issues and Position

Two main problems of Cape Verde county in the context of social humanitarian and cultural aspects are indigenous peoples’ status and the digital divide. Cape Verde country is an island country that is located in West Africa. The current situation is associated with tension in the mentioned areas as many indigenous peoples remain mistreated and the country’s digital development is almost inconspicuous compared to the global level of digitalization. Being a member of United Nations (UN), the United Arab Emirates pays great attention to these humanitarian problems and strives to suggest and implement the most creative and appropriate solutions to address challenges that are presently encountered by Cape Verde country. In particular, this policy assumes the implementation of Information and Communications Technology (ICT) in various fields beginning from agriculture to education so that to ensure the necessary improvement of social, cultural, and humanitarian sectors of Cape Verde county.

Detailed Background Information

In order to discuss the potential measures that will enhance the position of this country, it seems necessary to point out the past and current situations related to the digital divide and indigenous peoples. In the course of history, the latter were under the impact of Portugal authority as a colony. The Portuguese named these islands of the archipelago as Cape Verde and turned it into a transit point for trafficked African slaves (Rego, 2015). At the end of the 16th century, the island passed into the possession of Spain, but in 1640, it ultimately came back under the rule of Portugal, belonging to it until the declaration of its independence in 1975 (Rego, 2015). During 25 years of its existence, the country has gone a long way from a one-party dictatorship to a developing democracy with a multiparty system and parliamentary elections. The country’s economy that initially focused on the socialist planned economy is now based on the principles of the free market. However, it is essential to emphasize that the natural resources are extremely limited. The hot climate and the lack of water resources make it almost impossible to lead an effective farming (Rego, 2015). In effect, Cape Verde can meet its needs for food and raw materials only for 10-15 percent while the rest is to be imported. Thus, slavery, the extensive colonial period, and the lack of proper policies led to these problems.

The international community is increasingly concerned with these issues in the context of the global integration and affirmation. A range of actions was introduced to eliminate both social and digital problems, for example, democracy establishment, improvement of the macroeconomic situation, and others. It is important to state that the above measures allowed promoting development to some extent, yet the country still needs to be funded to make a standard living of citizens more appropriate. In particular, Sing’Oei, Muse, and Laher (2014) state that “many of these measures are ad hoc and not a national policy” (p. 70). Thus, the following problems need to be considered and addressed accordingly: the lack of job positions, adequate health care, opportunities for young people, poverty, and the like. The second key problem related to the lack of ICT technology also roots from the very establishment of Cape Verde county. Speaking of the digital divide, it is possible to note that digitally developed countries experience economic, social, and cultural progress and have a sense of optimism and the future perspectives. Those that are digitally underdeveloped face the progressive backwardness and stagnation and have a sense of defeat along with hopelessness which provoke a moral crisis, depression, and emigration.

Proposed Solutions Regarding the Issues

From the above observations, it becomes evident that a range of elaborate solutions is needed to improve the current situation. Furthermore, the similar issues are also can be regarded as the most pronounced ones in Cambodia, Angola, or India. All of these regions face poverty, the lack of adequate health care, and uneven attitude towards indigenous peoples. In order to turn one of the world’s poorest countries with an average annual income of less than a thousand dollars per capita into an economically developed state, it is crucial to make every effort in terms of the international support. Currently, the government privatized a few state-owned enterprises and strongly supports the capitalist relations in the economy with all their strengths and weaknesses (Thornberry, 2013). At this point, indigenous peoples suffer from poverty and face serious obstacles in obtaining a job and proper education. The mentioned consequences deprive people of the right to food, adequate housing, and a decent job.

The resolution of these complicated issues lies in several directions the most significant of which is the political aspect that controls human rights to self-determination along with the rights to their own territories and natural resources (Thornberry, 2013). It is possible to suggest that the increased attention to policies will be beneficial to Cape Verde. In particular, the first area to improve concerns high-quality social services. The feasibility of some inputs, forming human capital such as the quality of schools and health services, for example, in the case of indigenous peoples, apparently, cannot have noticeable impact due to insufficient capacity of indigenous people to express their opinions on the provision of services (Sing’Oei et al., 2014). Therefore, a need to consider strategies to strengthening the positions of indigenous people can be resolved. This may involve the empowerment of expressing their opinions. Furthermore, a more detailed analysis of the needs of indigenous peoples focused on the updated measures to improve data collection can be required as the present methods of identification of indigenous peoples in continuous or household surveys are not systematic.

In this regard, it is essential to develop a list of standardized questions for the survey that can include questions on self-identification, language, and concerns of indigenous peoples. The statistical agencies should also enter a special survey module designed for more in-depth analysis of causes of poverty and the problems faced by indigenous peoples as well as their attitudes towards the current situation (Sing’Oei et al., 2014). This module may comprise the research of health care sector, various community activities, land issues, and bilingual education. In general, either new or improved policies should contribute to the creation of equal opportunities for indigenous people, including family programs. In some cases, it may be necessary to ensure the application in the national health-systems – care traditions practiced by indigenous healing methods that have proven their effectiveness. In Ecuador, for example, it is suggested to offer a combined service that offers a choice between modern and traditional medicine (Sing’Oei et al., 2014).

Approximately two-thirds of the population of Cape Verde is composed of people under the age of 25 years who do not want to live in isolation from the outside world (Cabo Verde country profile, 2016). They tend to dress in European fashion, listen to American music, and go abroad to discover the global issues. However, it is not merely an abstract desire to see the world makes emigration dreams so attractive. The most of young indigenous people have little chances to find work at home country and earn enough money. In this connection, it is appropriate to suggest that the expansion of ICT within the country.

According to international practice of overcoming the global digital divide, efficiency and effectiveness of policy efforts and results of the measures can be achieved through close cooperation and joint efforts of all stakeholders, including the authorities, international organizations, civil society, public, and the private sector of the economy. In its efforts to reduce the digital divide, international organizations and institutions take into account the principle of freedom of information, as proclaimed by the UN General Assembly in Article 19 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights (Universal Declaration of Human Rights, 1948). The comprehensive resolution of problems on the digital divide is provided by the United Nations with broad representation and maximum consideration of the views and interests of the international community. A considerable contribution to the solution of such problems is also made by the World Summit on the Information Society along with other global organizations.

The uneven distribution of the results of scientific and technological progress between developed and developing countries affects the deepening cross-national inequality, fostering to begin work on the transformation of the first. The first step in the direction of bridging the digital divide between countries is to consider theoretical steps to ensure equal and open access to information and knowledge contained in the Action Plan approved after the Declaration of Principles on the WSIS in Geneva (Pick & Sarkar, 2015). In accordance with the objectives of this Action Plan, the following measures can be taken to provide access to ICT and thus enhance the situation:

  • Elaborate policy guidelines for the improvement and promotion of information in the public to facilitate access.
  • Encourage governments to ensure a variety of information resources, including access to the Internet.
  • Promote the development of legislation on access to data, especially to modern cloud technologies.
  • Support scientific research and development activities in order to facilitate accessibility of ICT for all, including indigenous populations (Pick & Sarkar, 2015).

At this point, several practical strategies can be recommended to implement to ensure universal access to information and knowledge for all, including:

  • Promotion and establishment of favorable market conditions that are necessary for the provision of communications services;
  • Organization of additional opportunities for access to communications through the public institutions;
  • Provision of the Internet access, especially in urban, rural, and remote areas and for indigenous peoples.


In conclusion, it seems necessary to stress the fact that Cape Verde county needs a resolution of such problems as unequal treatment of indigenous peoples and the digital gap. It was revealed that indigenous peoples suffer from poverty, inadequate health care services, education, and unemployment. Another problem of digital divide also causes the increasing disintegration of Cape Verde from the rest of the world. In order to enhance the current situation, it was suggested to consider and implement a set of policies and strategies to address these challenges by means of an open access to the global community and information and improvement of the social service sector.


(2016). Web.

Pick, J. B., & Sarkar, A. (2015). The global digital divides: Explaining change. Redlands, CA: Springer.

Rego, M. (2015). The dialogic nation of Cape Verde: Slavery, language, and ideology. Lanham, MD: Lexington Books.

Sing’Oei, K., Muse, P., & Laher, R. (2014). Indigenous peoples in Africa: Contestations, empowerment and group rights. Pretoria, South Africa: African Books Collective.

Thornberry, P. (2013). Indigenous peoples and human rights (2nd ed.). New York, NY: Juris Pub.

(1948). Web.

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