SÃO TOMÉ AND PRÍNCIPE

Date of establishment: July 12, 1975

Brief history:

  • 15th century: São Tomé and Príncipe were discovered by Portuguese navigators. Portugal began the settlement of these islands, which became important trading posts.
  • 16th to 19th century: The islands were used for growing sugar cane and were important sources of labor in the transatlantic slave trade.
  • 19th century: The abolition of slavery in Portugal in 1869 had an impact on the fate of the islands.
  • 20th century: In 1951, São Tomé and Príncipe became Portuguese overseas territories. Throughout the 20th century, a national independence movement grew.
  • 1974: The Portuguese Revolution marked a change in colonial politics. Portugal promised independence to its colonies.
  • July 12, 1975: São Tomé and Príncipe gained independence from Portugal.
  • After 1975: There followed a period of political change, alternation of ruling regimes and economic challenges. The country has gone through several periods of political instability.
  • 21st century: São Tomé and Príncipe remains an independent state struggling to address social and economic challenges. The economy of the islands is based on agriculture, mainly cocoa and oil palm production, and fishing.

 

International abbreviation: ST

 

Currency: São Tomé and Príncipe dobra (STN)

One dobra is divided into 100 centimos. Depending on current events, the United States Dollar (USD) may also be accepted in certain stores and transactions.

 

Internet domain: .st

 

Dialing code: + 239

 

Time zone: GMT +1

 

Geography:

São Tomé and Príncipe is an island nation located in the Atlantic Ocean, near the west coast of Africa. It lies roughly on the equator and is part of West Africa.

This country consists of the main island of São Tomé and the smaller Prince Island (Ilha do Príncipe).

São Tomé and Príncipe is known for its beautiful nature. Both islands have lush tropical vegetation, mountain massifs, rainforests, and beautiful beaches. They are surrounded by coral reefs and offer a wealth of biodiversity.

 

Highest peak: Pico de São Tomé 2 024 m (6 640 feet) above sea level.

Pico de São Tomé is part of a mountain massif located on the island of São Tomé (St. Thomas).

 

Climate:

Temperatures on the islands are mostly high throughout the year. Average temperatures range between 22°C (72°F) and 30°C (86°F). The highest temperatures usually occur during the dry season.

The islands have high humidity, which is due to their location near the equator and the influence of the rainy season. São Tomé and Príncipe has two basic climatic periods. The rainy season lasts from October to May, when heavy rains occur regularly. The dry season lasts from June to September. This area of the Atlantic Ocean is occasionally affected by hurricanes.

 

Fauna and flora:

São Tomé and Príncipe is home to many species of birds. Among them are, for example, the São Tomé weaver (Ploceus sanctithomae) and the Príncipe weaver (Ploceus princeps).

The islands are home to a variety of reptile species, including geckos and lizards. The tropical forests on the islands are home to a variety of insects, butterflies, beetles, and many more. In the sea surrounding São Tomé and Príncipe you will find a variety of fish, sharks, dolphins, and sea turtles.

The islands have lush tropical rainforests, with different types of trees growing there, including mahogany, ebony, and mangroves, as well as species of orchids.

 

Agriculture:

São Tomé and Príncipe is known for its cocoa production. Cocoa is one of the country’s main export products. It grows in rainforests and is an important source of income for local farmers. Coffee is another important crop as the country produces quality coffee that is sought after in the world market. Palm oil is used in the manufacturing and food industries.

Other tropical crops such as bananas, pineapples, avocados, and papayas are also grown on the islands. Agriculture has a significant impact on the islands’ environment, which is why nature conservation is important. Sustainable agriculture and forestry are key to protecting the biodiversity and natural wealth of the islands.

 

Extraction of raw materials:

São Tomé and Príncipe has potential for oil and gas production. Exploratory drilling has been carried out in the past, but commercial extraction has not yet started. A possible future of oil and gas production could bring new revenue to the country. Logging, especially mahogany and ebony, has historically been an important industry on the islands.

The islands also have reserves of stone and limestone, which are used for construction purposes and lime production. Materials such as sand and gravel are mined for construction purposes such as road and building construction.

 

Industry:

The country has a food processing industry that includes cocoa and coffee processing. Palm oil production is another branch related to agriculture. The fishing industry plays a significant role in the economy. Construction is an important sector, especially due to infrastructure development and housing needs.

 

Services and other areas of the economy: tourism, and maritime and air transport

 

Natural and historical attractions: Obo Park, Pico de São Tomé mountain, Jalé beach, and coral reefs

São Tomé and Príncipe is known for its beautiful nature, which includes rainforests, mountain ranges, waterfalls, beaches, and coral reefs. Tourists go there to discover unique ecosystems and natural beauty.

The islands have beautiful beaches with white sand and turquoise waters, ideal for sunbathing, swimming, and water sports. The underwater world around the islands offers excellent conditions for diving and snorkeling. The coral reefs are home to a variety of marine life.

Through visits to museums, historical monuments, and markets with local products, tourists can discover the local rich culture and history.

 

 

Form of government: semi-presidential republic

The President is the head of state and is elected through general elections for a five-year term. He/she has executive authority and is responsible for managing the government and the state apparatus. At the same time, he/she appoints the prime minister and other members of the government. Parliament, called the National Assembly, is the legislative body of São Tomé and Príncipe. It consists of one chamber. Deputies are elected by general election for a five-year term.

The country has a multi-party system, which means that there are several political parties that compete in elections and have representation in parliament. A democratic system was established after independence in 1975.

 

Capital city: São Tomé

The city of São Tomé is located on the northeast coast of the island of São Tomé. It has a rich history that dates back to the period of Portuguese colonization. The Portuguese colonial government used the city as an administrative center for its African colonies.

 

Area: 1 001 km2 (386 square miles)

 

Population: 223 000 (2021)

The main groups are descendants of African slaves and descendants of European colonizers (mainly the Portuguese). Portuguese is the official language of São Tomé and Príncipe, although many local people also speak a creole language called Forro.

The majority of the population is Catholic, due to Portugal’s colonial heritage. The country still faces several social and economic challenges, including poverty and access to basic services.

 

UNESCO World Heritage Sites:

 

National parks: 1

 

1. Obo National Park