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CIA - The World Factbook -- Sao Tome and Principe
 
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Sao Tome and Principe
Flag of Sao Tome and Principe
Map of Sao Tome and Principe
Introduction Sao Tome and Principe
Background:
Discovered and claimed by Portugal in the late 15th century, the islands' sugar-based economy gave way to coffee and cocoa in the 19th century - all grown with plantation slave labor, a form of which lingered into the 20th century. Although independence was achieved in 1975, democratic reforms were not instituted until the late 1980s. Though the first free elections were held in 1991, the political environment has been one of continued instability with frequent changes in leadership and coup attempts in 1995 and 2003. The recent discovery of oil in the Gulf of Guinea is likely to have a significant impact on the country's economy.
Geography Sao Tome and Principe
Location:
Western Africa, islands in the Gulf of Guinea, straddling the Equator, west of Gabon
Geographic coordinates:
1 00 N, 7 00 E
Map references:
Africa
Area:
total: 1,001 sq km
land: 1,001 sq km
water: 0 sq km
Area - comparative:
more than five times the size of Washington, DC
Land boundaries:
0 km
Coastline:
209 km
Maritime claims:
measured from claimed archipelagic baselines
territorial sea: 12 nm
exclusive economic zone: 200 nm
Climate:
tropical; hot, humid; one rainy season (October to May)
Terrain:
volcanic, mountainous
Elevation extremes:
lowest point: Atlantic Ocean 0 m
highest point: Pico de Sao Tome 2,024 m
Natural resources:
fish, hydropower
Land use:
arable land: 6.25%
permanent crops: 48.96%
other: 44.79% (2001)
Irrigated land:
100 sq km (1998 est.)
Natural hazards:
NA
Environment - current issues:
deforestation; soil erosion and exhaustion
Environment - international agreements:
party to: Biodiversity, Climate Change, Desertification, Endangered Species, Environmental Modification, Law of the Sea, Ozone Layer Protection, Ship Pollution
signed, but not ratified: none of the selected agreements
Geography - note:
the smallest country in Africa; the two main islands form part of a chain of extinct volcanoes and both are fairly mountainous
People Sao Tome and Principe
Population:
187,410 (July 2005 est.)
Age structure:
0-14 years: 47.6% (male 45,145/female 44,007)
15-64 years: 48.6% (male 43,996/female 47,011)
65 years and over: 3.9% (male 3,333/female 3,918) (2005 est.)
Median age:
total: 16.12 years
male: 15.53 years
female: 16.71 years (2005 est.)
Population growth rate:
3.16% (2005 est.)
Birth rate:
40.8 births/1,000 population (2005 est.)
Death rate:
6.68 deaths/1,000 population (2005 est.)
Net migration rate:
-2.51 migrant(s)/1,000 population (2005 est.)
Sex ratio:
at birth: 1.03 male(s)/female
under 15 years: 1.03 male(s)/female
15-64 years: 0.94 male(s)/female
65 years and over: 0.85 male(s)/female
total population: 0.97 male(s)/female (2005 est.)
Infant mortality rate:
total: 43.11 deaths/1,000 live births
male: 45.06 deaths/1,000 live births
female: 41.11 deaths/1,000 live births (2005 est.)
Life expectancy at birth:
total population: 66.99 years
male: 65.43 years
female: 68.59 years (2005 est.)
Total fertility rate:
5.71 children born/woman (2005 est.)
HIV/AIDS - adult prevalence rate:
NA
HIV/AIDS - people living with HIV/AIDS:
NA
HIV/AIDS - deaths:
NA
Major infectious diseases:
degree of risk: high
food or waterborne diseases: bacterial diarrhea, hepatitis A, and typhoid fever
vectorborne disease: malaria (2004)
Nationality:
noun: Sao Tomean(s)
adjective: Sao Tomean
Ethnic groups:
mestico, angolares (descendants of Angolan slaves), forros (descendants of freed slaves), servicais (contract laborers from Angola, Mozambique, and Cape Verde), tongas (children of servicais born on the islands), Europeans (primarily Portuguese)
Religions:
Catholic 70.3%, Evangelical 3.4%, New Apostolic 2%, Adventist 1.8%, other 3.1%, none 19.4% (2001 census)
Languages:
Portuguese (official)
Literacy:
definition: age 15 and over can read and write
total population: 79.3%
male: 85%
female: 62% (1991 est.)
Government Sao Tome and Principe
Country name:
conventional long form: Democratic Republic of Sao Tome and Principe
conventional short form: Sao Tome and Principe
local long form: Republica Democratica de Sao Tome e Principe
local short form: Sao Tome e Principe
Government type:
republic
Capital:
Sao Tome
Administrative divisions:
2 provinces; Principe, Sao Tome
note: Principe has had self-government since 29 April 1995
Independence:
12 July 1975 (from Portugal)
National holiday:
Independence Day, 12 July (1975)
Constitution:
approved March 1990, effective 10 September 1990
Legal system:
based on Portuguese legal system and customary law; has not accepted compulsory ICJ jurisdiction
Suffrage:
18 years of age; universal
Executive branch:
chief of state: President Fradique DE MENEZES (since 3 September 2001)
head of government: Prime Minister Maria do Carmo SILVEIRA (since 7 June 2005); Damiao Vaz DE ALMEIDA resigned 2 June 2005
cabinet: Council of Ministers appointed by the president on the proposal of the prime minister
elections: president elected by popular vote for a five-year term; election last held 29 July 2001 (next to be held July 2006); prime minister chosen by the National Assembly and approved by the president
election results: Fradique DE MENEZES elected president in Sao Tome's third multiparty presidential election; percent of vote - NA%
Legislative branch:
unicameral National Assembly or Assembleia Nacional (55 seats; members are elected by direct, popular vote to serve four-year terms)
elections: last held 3 March 2002 (next to be held March 2006)
election results: percent of vote by party - MLSTP 39.6%, Force for Change Democratic Movement 39.4%, Ue-Kedadji coalition 16.2%; seats by party - MLSTP 24, Force for Change Democratic Movement 23, Ue-Kedadji coalition 8
Judicial branch:
Supreme Court (judges are appointed by the National Assembly)
Political parties and leaders:
Democratic Renovation Party [Armindo GRACA]; Force for Change Democratic Movement [leader NA]; Independent Democratic Action or ADI [Carlos NEVES]; Movement for the Liberation of Sao Tome and Principe-Social Democratic Party or MLSTP-PSD [Manuel Pinto Da COSTA]; Party for Democratic Convergence or PCD [Aldo BANDEIRA]; Ue-Kedadji coalition [leader NA]; other small parties
Political pressure groups and leaders:
NA
International organization participation:
ACCT, ACP, AfDB, AU, FAO, G-77, IBRD, ICAO, ICCt (signatory), ICFTU, ICRM, IDA, IFAD, IFRCS, ILO, IMF, IMO, Interpol, IOC, IOM (observer), ITU, NAM, OPCW, UN, UNCTAD, UNESCO, UNIDO, UPU, WCL, WHO, WIPO, WMO, WToO, WTO (observer)
Diplomatic representation in the US:
Sao Tome and Principe does not have an embassy in the US, but does have a Permanent Mission to the UN, headed by First Secretary Domingos Augusto FERREIRA, located at 400 Park Avenue, 7th Floor, New York, NY 10022, telephone [1] (212) 317-0580
Diplomatic representation from the US:
the US does not have an embassy in Sao Tome and Principe; the Ambassador to Gabon is accredited to Sao Tome and Principe on a nonresident basis and makes periodic visits to the islands
Flag description:
three horizontal bands of green (top), yellow (double width), and green with two black five-pointed stars placed side by side in the center of the yellow band and a red isosceles triangle based on the hoist side; uses the popular pan-African colors of Ethiopia
Economy Sao Tome and Principe
Economy - overview:
This small poor island economy has become increasingly dependent on cocoa since independence in 1975. Cocoa production has substantially declined in recent years because of drought and mismanagement, but strengthening prices helped boost export earnings in 2003. Sao Tome has to import all fuels, most manufactured goods, consumer goods, and a substantial amount of food. Over the years, it has had difficulty servicing its external debt and has relied heavily on concessional aid and debt rescheduling. Sao Tome benefited from $200 million in debt relief in December 2000 under the Highly Indebted Poor Countries (HIPC) program, but lacking a formal poverty reduction program with the IMF, it has not benefited from subsequent HIPC debt reductions. Sao Tome's external debt stands at over $300 million. Considerable potential exists for development of a tourist industry, and the government has taken steps to expand facilities in recent years. The government also has attempted to reduce price controls and subsidies. Sao Tome is optimistic about the development of petroleum resources in its territorial waters in the oil-rich Gulf of Guinea. The first production license was sold to a consortium led by US-based oil firms. Much of the 2005 budget is dependent upon the sale of additional production licenses.
GDP (purchasing power parity):
$214 million (2003 est.)
GDP - real growth rate:
6% (2004 est.)
GDP - per capita:
purchasing power parity - $1,200 (2003 est.)
GDP - composition by sector:
agriculture: 16.5%
industry: 15.4%
services: 68.1% (2004 est.)
Labor force:
NA
Labor force - by occupation:
population mainly engaged in subsistence agriculture and fishing
note: shortages of skilled workers
Unemployment rate:
NA
Population below poverty line:
54% (2004 est.)
Household income or consumption by percentage share:
lowest 10%: NA
highest 10%: NA
Inflation rate (consumer prices):
14% (2004 est.)
Investment (gross fixed):
31.5% of GDP (2004 est.)
Budget:
revenues: $27.94 million
expenditures: $43.91 million, including capital expenditures of $54 million (2004 est.)
Agriculture - products:
cocoa, coconuts, palm kernels, copra, cinnamon, pepper, coffee, bananas, papayas, beans; poultry; fish
Industries:
light construction, textiles, soap, beer; fish processing; timber
Industrial production growth rate:
NA
Electricity - production:
17 million kWh (2002)
Electricity - production by source:
fossil fuel: 41.2%
hydro: 58.8%
nuclear: 0%
other: 0% (2001)
Electricity - consumption:
15.81 million kWh (2002)
Electricity - exports:
0 kWh (2002)
Electricity - imports:
0 kWh (2002)
Oil - production:
0 bbl/day (2001 est.)
Oil - consumption:
700 bbl/day (2001 est.)
Oil - exports:
NA
Oil - imports:
NA
Current account balance:
$-31.5 million (2004 est.)
Exports:
$6.7 million f.o.b. (2004 est.)
Exports - commodities:
cocoa 80%, copra, coffee, palm oil
Exports - partners:
Netherlands 35.9%, China 12.3%, Belgium 7.4%, Germany 6.3%, Poland 5.1%, France 4.8%, Thailand 4.1% (2004)
Imports:
$41 million f.o.b. (2004 est.)
Imports - commodities:
machinery and electrical equipment, food products, petroleum products
Imports - partners:
Portugal 52.3%, Germany 9.5%, US 6%, Netherlands 4.8%, South Africa 4.3%, Belgium 4.1% (2004)
Reserves of foreign exchange and gold:
$29.78 million (2004 est.)
Debt - external:
$318 million (2002)
Economic aid - recipient:
$200 million in December 2000 under the HIPC program
Currency (code):
dobra (STD)
Currency code:
STD
Exchange rates:
dobras per US dollar - 9,900.4 (2004), 9,347.6 (2003), 9,088.3 (2002), 8,842.1 (2001), 7,978.2 (2000)
Fiscal year:
calendar year
Communications Sao Tome and Principe
Telephones - main lines in use:
7,000 (2003)
Telephones - mobile cellular:
4,800 (2003)
Telephone system:
general assessment: adequate facilities
domestic: minimal system
international: country code - 239; satellite earth station - 1 Intelsat (Atlantic Ocean)
Radio broadcast stations:
AM 1, FM 5, shortwave 1 (2002)
Radios:
38,000 (1997)
Television broadcast stations:
2 (2002)
Televisions:
23,000 (1997)
Internet country code:
.st
Internet hosts:
1,069 (2003)
Internet Service Providers (ISPs):
1 (2002)
Internet users:
15,000 (2003)
Transportation Sao Tome and Principe
Highways:
total: 320 km
paved: 218 km
unpaved: 102 km (1999 est.)
Ports and harbors:
Sao Tome
Merchant marine:
total: 15 ships (1,000 GRT or over) 79,490 GRT/97,077 DWT
by type: bulk carrier 2, cargo 11, chemical tanker 2
foreign-owned: 2 (Egypt 1, Greece 1) (2005)
Airports:
2 (2004 est.)
Airports - with paved runways:
total: 2
1,524 to 2,437 m: 1
914 to 1,523 m: 1 (2004 est.)
Military Sao Tome and Principe
Military branches:
Armed Forces of Sao Tome and Principe (FASTP): Army, Coast Guard, Presidential Guard (2004)
Military service age and obligation:
18 years of age (est.) (2004)
Manpower available for military service:
males age 18-49: 33,438 (2005 est.)
Manpower fit for military service:
males age 18-49: 25,950 (2005 est.)
Military expenditures - dollar figure:
$700,000 (2004)
Military expenditures - percent of GDP:
0.8% (2004)
Military - note:
Sao Tome and Principe's army is a tiny force with almost no resouces at its disposal and would be wholly ineffective operating unilaterally; infantry equipment is considered simple to operate and maintain but may require refurbishment or replacement after 25 years in tropical climates; poor pay and conditions have been a problem in the past, as has alleged nepotism in the promotion of officers, as reflected in the 1995 and 2003 coups; these issues are being addressed with foreign assistance as intial steps towards the improvement of the army and its focus on realistic security concerns; command is excersized from the president, through the Minister of Defense, to the Chief of the Armed Forces staff (2005)
Transnational Issues Sao Tome and Principe
Disputes - international:
none

This page was last updated on 20 October, 2005


 


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