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Cape Verde, also known as Cabo Verde, has lately made headlines for all the right reasons, having advanced to the AFCON’s last eight.

Here’s why the country changed its name from Cape Verde to Cabo Verde.

The country changed its name in 2013, and Cape Verde’s Minister of Culture, Mario Lucio de Sousa, emphasises the challenge of repeated translations in diplomatic and tourism documents. Seeking a single worldwide identity, Cape Verde officially requested that the name be changed to Cabo Verde in all United Nations languages, with the exception of the long-form Republica de Cabo Verde.

The United States accepted this adjustment in December, and it is now reflected in government databases and websites. However, the move may take some time to catch on in terms of worldwide usage, particularly in Nigeria.

The name change represents more than just a linguistic modification. Political leaders and academics agree that a country’s name is an important part of its cultural, historical, and economic character. Cabo Verde hopes to become known for its distinct offers, such as organic wines made from volcanic soils.

Here Five things to know about Cabo Verde;

Colonial Roots: Uninhabited to Portuguese Colony

– The islands of Cabo Verde, off the West African coast, were uninhabited until colonized by Portugal in the mid-15th century.
– Ribeira Grande, now Cidade Velha, became the oldest European city in the tropics, marking the beginning of centuries under Portuguese rule.

Triangular Trade Hub: Economic Boom and Slave Trade

– Cabo Verde played a pivotal role in the triangular trade, trading European goods for enslaved people, later exchanged for raw materials in the New World.
– The islands’ prosperity grew, and they became known for pano cloths, a valuable currency in the transatlantic slave trade.

Struggles and Decline: Droughts, Wars, and Economic Challenges

– The decline of the slave trade, coupled with recurring droughts, led to Cabo Verde’s economic struggles in the 19th century.
– The capital, Ribeira Grande, faced attacks and ultimately declined, leading to the relocation of the capital to Praia in 1770.

Path to Independence: From PAIGC to Sovereignty

– The African Party for the Independence of Guinea and Cabo Verde (PAIGC) played a crucial role in the fight for independence.
– Cabo Verde achieved full independence on July 5, 1975, after years of armed struggle and negotiations with Portugal.

Name Change: From Cape Verde to Cabo Verde

– In October 2013, Cabo Verde made a historic request to change its official name in all languages, including Portuguese, from Cape Verde to Cabo Verde.
– The change aimed to establish a consistent global identity, emphasizing the country’s preferred name in diplomatic and international relations.
– The United States approved the change in December 2013, reflecting the shift in official documents and databases.

Despite formal permission, the change from Cape Verde to Cabo Verde may take some time to take effect globally, as it did when Ivory Coast became Cote d’Ivoire. The impact of this judgement on the Cape Verdean diaspora, particularly in New England, is unclear, as community members express varying levels of understanding and opinion on the issue.

As Cabo Verde appears on maps, planes, and trade journals, the country aims to reposition itself beyond its historical status as a trans-Atlantic slave trade reference point. The archipelago, no longer merely a cape, strives to be known for its beautiful landscapes, kind hospitality, and distinctive cultural contributions.