Emigration out of less developed countries is not unusual; it is the norm. And certainly, there are many examples of Cape Verdeans who have achieved prosperity and even fame in their adopted countries. Yet, it is interesting to watch foreigners from the first world countries and other African nations migrating into Cape Verde to create second homes or start a business.
What is it that they see in Cape Verde that Cape Verdeans do not? In fact, there is a developing trend of Cape Verdeans, especially those in America, moving back to Cape Verde after many years abroad for job opportunities or simply for patriotic reasons. And it is especially interesting and inspiring to see that many of these are younger Cape Verdeans, some who may not even have lived many years in Cape Verde or may have only been there for a vacation visit to relatives. What is it that they see that gives them such great expectations?
Let me provide you with some evidence that Cape Verde today is not the same Cape Verde that many of its older emigrants remember as the Cape Verde of yesterday. Cape Verde of today is still the island paradise as hundreds of thousands of tourists are discovering - but in many important ways it is much better that its emigrants may remember. Cape Verde has been steadily developing since its independence, and has been promoted to the group of "medium development" countries in 2007, leaving the Least Developed Countries category (which is only the second time it has happened to a country).
Read on to examine the evidence for yourself.
Today, Cape Verde is recognized as a stand-out among the 53 nations in Africa and consistently ranks highest in the measures used by various sponsors of independent evaluation. In particular, there is a widely recognized measure of governance among African countries that is compiled by an independent African authority - the Ibrahim Index of African Governance.
The Ibrahim Index is compiled by the Dr. Mo Ibrahim Foundation with the technical assistance from experts at the US Brookings Institution. It's ultimate goal is to provide not only a ranking but to engage the governments and citizens of the African countries in an honest dialogue that leads to improvements in their governance.
Cape Verde ranks high on this index of governance. It was the 4th best African nation based on the 2010 index. Here's a summary of the Ibrahim rankings overall and in each category.
These impressive statistics demonstrate that Cape Verde is the African island paradise that not only provides the best opportunities for Americans and Europeans to visit, but more important, is the best place to be if you are interested in a stable yet energetic African country in which to invest, live or retire. And surely, if you are of Cape Verdean heritage but living outside Cape Verde, you should know that your country today may be better that you ever imagined it could be.