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PRAIA (Reuters) - For a small string of barren volcanic islands that have no natural resources, suffer from chronic droughts and are perched far off Africa's west coast, Cape Verde is punching well above its weight.

Unscathed by conflict or political instability, the country has quietly become a middle-income nation and looks set to be one of few in Africa to meet any of the Millennium Development Goals set for measuring progress in improving livelihoods.

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