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The Republic of Cape Verde or Cape Verde (Portuguese: Cabo Verde, pron. IPA /'ka.bu 'veɾ.d(ɨ)/) is a republic located on an archipelago in the Macaronesia ecoregion of the North Atlantic Ocean, off the western coast of Africa. The previously uninhabited islands were discovered and colonized by the Portuguese in the 15th century; they subsequently became a trading centre for African slaves. Most Cape Verdeans descend from both groups.