Definition of Youth

While it does not define an age range for youth, the Cape Verde youth policy describes several youth programmes that have specific target ages. For example, the “CulturArte” arts training programme is aimed at youth aged 15 and 25 years.


Marriageable Age

  • Opposite Sex
  • Same Sex
  • Without parental consent
  • with parental consent
  • Male
  • 18
  • 16
  • --
  • Female
  • 18
  • 16
  • --

  • Opposite sex marriage is allowed without parental permission at 16 but requires authorisation of the civil court. No specific legislation for same-sex marriage. Source: UNSD, ILGA

Candidacy Age

Criminal Responsibility

Minimum Age
Source:  Penal Code of Cape Verde

Majority Age


Source: UNHCR

Voting Age


Situation of Young People

Literacy Rates

Both sexes (15-24) %
  • 98.12% Male (15-24) %
  • 98.56% Female (15-24) %

Net Enrolment Rate

Secondary School
Both sexes %
  • 64.33%Male %
  • 74.04% Female %

Situation of Young People

Prevalence of HIV

Male (15-24) %
Female (15-24) %

Tobacco Use

Consumed any smokeless or smoking tobacco product at least once 30 days prior to the survey.
Both sexes (13-15) %
  • 14.70% Male (13-15) %
  • 11.70% Female (13-15) %
  • Year: 2010
  • Source: WHO

Policy & Legislation

Is there a national youth policy?
The national youth policy of Cape Verde is from 2009. A strategic youth plan is under development.

Cape Verde’s national youth policy (2009) describes a series of programmes and policies that have youth as a target group, rather than defining a unified approach or policy on youth.   The policy gives details about youth spaces such as sport centres, youth programmes (ex. national volunteer programme) and initiatives to support youth associations. It also describes nation-wide policies and how they affect youth, such as health & housing.   A strategic youth plan (PEJ) was intended for 2012-2016, however the plan is not on the youth ministry website, nor are there any updates on its progress. As reported by Binókulu in July 2013 and the UN Cape Verde website, the plan’s priorities are: (1) Health, environment & sport; (2) Family & community; (3) Justice, and; (4) Culture & citizenship. It was proposed that the plan be extended to 2020.

Public Institutions

Is there a governmental authority
(ministry, department or office) that is primarily responsible for youth?
Cape Verde’s youth website describes a Ministry of Youth (MJUV) and a Directorate of Youth (DGJ), as part of the Ministry for Youth, Employment and Human Resource Development (MJEDRH). The MJUV is responsible for the coordination and implementation of policies that concern youth.  Its mission is to improve the conditions that enable young citizens to participate in social, political, economic, sport and cultural life. The DGJ is the institution responsible for preparing national strategies for youth, and in particular, promoting youth associations.

Youth and Representation

Does the country have a national youth organisation / association (council, platform, body)?
The Youth Federation of Cape Verde (FCJ) is an umbrella organisation for 22 youth leagues in Cape Verde, each representing a county in the country. Its mission is to promote the contributions of young people in their communities and it aims to be the legitimate representative and interlocutor of youth to decision-makers. Its objectives include ensuring youth are consulted on matters relating to them, exchanging with youth groups abroad and promoting the development of youth associations. According to its official Facebook page, it was founded in 2005.

Budget & Spending

What is the budget allocated to the governmental authority (ministry, department or office) that is primarily responsible for youth and/or youth programming?
CVE 960 million
USD 12.1 million
The proposed 2014 state budget for Cape Verde allots the Ministry for Youth, Employment and Human Resource Development (MJEDRH) CVE 960 million (USD 12.1 million) as part of the public investment programme (PIP). It is unclear what portion of this budget is specifically for youth. According to the World Bank, Cape Verde spent 14.39% of its government expenditure on education provision in 2010, and 4.95% of its GDP in 2011.
Total Expenditure on Education as a Percentage of Government Spending and GDP

  • % of GDP
  • % of gov. expenditure

Source: World Bank
Gaps indicate missing data from the original data source. (Accessed August 2013).

Additional Background

From Cape Verde National Youth Policy (2009) Translation - original in Portuguese:  
The last census revealed that over 50 percent of the country's population is young and the average age is 24 years. This data alone places the Cape Verdean youth at the center of public policies, which the government early on identified and given proper attention .
The policies outlined by the Government takes into account the transversality of its impact on youth groups, from education to entrepreneurship, vocational training of sport, access to new technology training for entry into the labor market , associations of volunteering , housing to bank credit . With this understanding, the policies for youth should be seen as a multi-sectoral offensive - the various pillars that together ensure the robustness of the effects that global politics produces.