Cape Verde is an island country in West Africa composed of an archipelago of ten volcanic islands. It is located in the Atlantic Ocean, off the coast of Mauritania and Senegal. The archipelago is divided into two series of islands: to the south the islands of Sotavento (Brava, Fogo, Santiago and Maio) and to the north the islands of Barlavento (Boa Vista, Sal, Sao Nicolau, Santa Luzia, São Vicente and Santo Antao). Santiago alone comprises more than half of the country’s population, including the capital and largest city Praia. The country is a former colony of Portugal, which became independent on July 5, 1975.