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Uninhabited on their discovery in 1456, the Cape Verde islands became part of the Portugueseempire in 1495. A majority of today's inhabitants are of mixed Portuguese and African ancestry.Positioned on the great trade routes between Africa, Europe, and the New World, the islandsbecame a prosperous center for the slave trade but suffered economic decline after the slavetrade was abolished in 1876. In the 20th century, Cape Verde served as a shipping port, at the Atlantic Ocean. Read more: Cape Verde: Maps, History, Geography, Government, Culture,Facts, Guide & Travel/Holidays/Cities |Infoplease.com
São Tomé and Príncipe
São Tomé and Príncipe, believed to have been originally uninhabited, were explored byPortuguese navigators in 1471 and settled by the end of the century. Intensive cultivation byslave labor made the islands a major producer of sugar during the 17th century, but outputdeclined until the introduction of coffee and cocoa in the 19th century brought new prosperity.The island of São Tomé was the world's largest producer of cocoa in 1908, and the crop is stillits most important. The Portuguese empire ran its trade from the ports near the Atlantic Oceanuntil the revolution in 1974. The Portuguese revolution of 1974 brought the end of the overseasempire, and on July 12, 1975, Lisbon granted São Tomé independence. Read more: São Tomé and Príncipe: Maps, History, Geography, Government, Culture, Facts,Guide & Travel/Holidays/Cities | Infoplease.com http://www.infoplease.com/country/sao-tome-and-principe.html#ixzz2wrHNjqqORead more: São Tomé and Príncipe: Maps, History, Geography, Government, Culture, Facts,Guide & Travel/Holidays/Cities | Infoplease.com http://www.infoplease.com/country/sao-tome-and-principe.html#ixzz2wrFUqUhP MADGASCARMadagascar is the world's fourth biggest island after the island of Greenland, New Guinea andBorneo. Because of its isolation, in the Indian Ocean, most of its mammals, half its birds, andmost of its plants exist nowhere else on earth. The island is heavily exposed to tropical cyclones which bring torrential rains and destructivefloods, such as the ones in 2000 and 2004, which left thousands homeless. After sometimes harsh French colonial rule, which included the bloody suppression of anuprising in 1947, Madagascar gained independence in 1960. The military seized power in theearly 1970s with the aim of achieving a socialist paradise. This did not materialize. The economy went into decline and by 1982 the authorities were forcedto adopt a structural adjustment programme imposed by the International Monetary Fund. The World Bank has estimated that 92% of Malagasy live on less than $2 per day. Poverty andthe competition for agricultural land have put pressure on the island's dwindling forests, home tomuch of Madagascar's unique wildlife and key to its emerging tourist industry.http://news.bbcimg.co.uk/media/images/53552000/gif/_53552338_madagasgar.gif
The archipelago of Comoros is situated in the tropical waters of the
between theeastern coast of
. It includes three volcanic islands, numerous coral reefs and uninhabited islets. Mayote, themost southern island, remains a
dependency, although claimed by Comoros.