SAMOA

Date of establishment: January 1, 1962

Brief history:

  • Ancient History: Settlement of Samoa probably began around 3000 BCE. Polynesian seafarers arrived on the islands and established traditional societies and cultures.
  • Contact with Europeans: European navigators, including James Cook, arrived here in the 18th century. A period of clashes with European and American colonizers followed.
  • Colonization: In the 19th century, Samoa became the focus of several countries, including Germany, the United States, and Great Britain.
  • Partition of Samoa: In 1899, the Samoan Islands were divided between Germany (the western part) and the United States (the eastern part).
  • Independence of Samoa (1962): Western Samoa (now Samoa) gained independence in New Zealand on 1 January 1962.
  • American Samoa: The eastern part of the island remained under the administration of the United States and is known as American Samoa.
  • Modern History: After independence, Samoa became a sovereign state and a member of the international community.

 

International abbreviation: WS

 

Currency: Samoan tala (WST)

The tala is divided into 100 sen. The Samoan tala is the official currency of Samoa, you may also come across the US dollar in some tourist areas. American Samoa uses the dollar as its official currency.

 

Internet domain: .ws

 

Dialing code: +685

 

Time zone: GMT +13

 

Geography:

Samoa is located in the southwestern part of the Pacific Ocean, in an area known as the Pacific Islands. It lies in Polynesia, which is one of the subregions of the Pacific.

It consists of two main islands, Upolu and Savai’i. The island of Upolu is the largest and is also home to the capital, Apia. Savai’i is the second largest island and is located west of Upolu.

The Samoan islands are of volcanic origin, giving the country a dramatic topography. High mountains and volcanic peaks create beautiful landscapes, including rainforests, waterfalls, and white sandy beaches. The country lies in an area where earthquakes occur and tsunamis are a major risk.

 

Highest peak: Silisili 1 858 m (6 096 feet) above sea level.

It is a volcanic peak located on Savai’i Island.

 

Climate:

The rainy season in Samoa lasts from November to April.

The dry season lasts from May to October. Rainfall decreases during this period. Temperatures are slightly lower during the dry season, but still remain warm.

The humidity here is high for most of the year, giving the islands their characteristic tropical character.

The surrounding ocean temperatures are pleasant for swimming and diving. Sea water has temperatures between 24°C (75°F) and 30°C (86°F) throughout the year.

 

Fauna and flora:

Samoa is home to many species of birds, including parrots, pigeons, and hummingbirds. Some bird species are endemic and only found in the Samoan Islands.

The underwater life around the islands is rich and diverse.

The Samoan Islands are home to many types of invertebrates, including butterflies, spiders and earthworms.

Sea turtles, such as the loggerhead, are very common.

In the Pacific waters around Samoa, you can spot dolphins and, in season, whales that pass through the region on their migrations.

The islands are rich in flowers, including hibiscus, plumeria and other species, which are often used for decoration.

 

Agriculture:

Taro is one of the main crops in the Samoan Islands. It is used to make the traditional dish “poi”.

Bananas are another important crop. Various varieties are grown here, which are part of many Samoan dishes.

Coconuts, coconut milk and oil are an important part of Samoan cuisine.

Other crops grown include pineapples, cassava, sweet potatoes, and other  fruits and vegetables.

Cattle breeding and fishing are also important industries.

 

Extraction of raw materials:

The Samoan Islands are not rich in mining industry and mineral resources.

The islands are of volcanic origin, therefore in some places there is lava and volcanic rocks. These rocks can be used for construction purposes, but mining is limited.

 

Industry:

The islands have forest resources and a small wood processing industry. Wood is used to make furniture and building materials.

The textile industry includes the production of clothing and textile products. Some Samoan companies specialize in the production of traditional Samoan clothing and souvenirs.

The construction industry provides construction, the maintenance of buildings, and infrastructure on the islands.

Small-scale industries produce traditional products such as wooden sculptures, baskets, and straw products, which are sold as souvenirs.

 

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

 

Natural and historical attractions: Apia, Fagaloa Bay, Pulemelei Hill, Fuipisia Waterfall, O Le Pupu Pue National Park, Beaches, and Savai’i Island

Samoa is known for its beautiful white sand beaches, crystal clear sea waters, and dramatic volcanic landscapes. Tourists come here to enjoy the natural beauty, including waterfalls, rainforests, and coral reefs. The culture has a rich history and tradition. Tourists can experience traditional Samoan dances, music, arts, and crafts. The annual fa’a Samoa festival celebrates and promotes Samoan culture.

 

Form of government: parliamentary republic

The head of state is elected for a four-year term. The Samoan legal system is based on a combination of traditional Samoan law (fa’a Samoa), which is deeply rooted in local culture and traditions, and law derived from British law.

Parliament, known as the Fono, is a unicameral legislative body.

The Republic of Samoa has been an independent state since 1962, when it gained independence from New Zealand.

 

Capital city: Apia

Apia is located on the northern coast of Upolu Island, on the southern shore of Apia Bay.

Apia is a vibrant and diverse city that serves as the gateway to the Samoan Islands and at the same time center for political and business activities in the country.

 

Area: 2 831 km2 (1 093 square miles)

 

Population: 205 000 (2022)

Samoans make up the majority of the islands’ population. They have their own unique culture, language, and traditions. The official language is Samoan, but English is also widespread and is used in business, education and public administration. Christianity, especially the Samoan Christian Church, plays an important role in the religious life of the inhabitants of the Samoan Islands. There is also a smaller community of Roman Catholics.

 

UNESCO World Heritage Sites: –

 

National parks: 5

 

  1. Lake Lanoto’o National Park
  2. Lata National Park
  3. Masamasa-Falelima National Park
  4. Mauga o Salafai National Park
  5. O Le Pupu-Puʿe National Park