Formerly a Portuguese colony, Cape Verde, located off the western coast of Africa, gained independence in 1975. In 1991, Cape Verde held its first democratic elections; its current president is Jorge Carlos Fonseca who was elected in 2011. For much of the 20th century, severe droughts and poor natural resources led to widespread emigration. Many native Cape Verdeans have thus formed immigrant communities in other countries.
Cape Verde's culture is a heterogeneous mix of African and Portuguese influences. Its music has achieved international acclaim due to artists like Ildo Lobo and Cesaria Evora. Evora popularised Cape Verde's distinctive morna musical genre, which is considered the national music of Cape Verde.
Both Portuguese and Cape Verdean Creole are used in Cape Verde's literature. Well known authors include Baltasar Lopes da Silva, Manuel Lopes, and Orlanda Amarílis. Other literary figures include poets Sergio Frusoni and Corsino Fortes, whose lyrical poetry detail the daily realities of life in Cape Verde.