SÃ£o TomÃ© and PrÃncipe
|Democratic Republic of
SÃ£o TomÃ© and PrÃncipe
RepÃºblica DemocrÃ¡tica de
SÃ£o TomÃ© e PrÃncipe (Portuguese)
|Motto: "Unidade, Disciplina, Trabalho" (Portuguese)
"Unity, Discipline, Work"
|Anthem: IndependÃªncia total
and largest city
|Recognised regional languages|
|-||President||Manuel Pinto da Costa|
|-||Prime Minister||Gabriel Costa|
|-||from Portugal||12 July 1975|
|-||Total||1,001 km2 (183rd)
386 sq mi
|GDP (PPP)||2012 estimate|
|GDP (nominal)||2012 estimate|
|HDI (2013)|| 0.525
low Â· 144th
|Time zone||UTC (UTC+0)|
|Drives on the||right|
|ISO 3166 code||ST|
SÃ£o TomÃ© and PrÃncipe (/ / SOW-tÉ™-MAY-É™n PRIN-si-pÉ™ or / / SOW-to-MAY-É™n PRIN-si-pay; Portuguese pronunciation: [sÉÌƒwÌƒ tuËˆmÉ› i ËˆpÉ¾Ä©sÉ¨pÉ¨] or [sÉÌƒwÌƒ tuËˆmÉ› i ËˆpÉ¾Ä©sipÉ¨] if correctly pronounced) officially the Democratic Republic of SÃ£o TomÃ© and PrÃncipe, is a Portuguese-speaking island nation in the Gulf of Guinea, off the western equatorial coast of Central Africa.
It consists of two archipelagos around the two main islands: SÃ£o TomÃ© and PrÃncipe, located about 140 kilometres (87 mi) apart and about 250 and 225 kilometres (155 and 140 mi), respectively, off the northwestern coast of Gabon. Both islands are part of an extinct volcanic mountain range. SÃ£o TomÃ©, the sizable southern island, is situated just north of the equator. It was named in honour of Saint Thomas by Portuguese explorers who arrived at the island on his feast day.
With a census population of 187,356 (2012), SÃ£o TomÃ© and PrÃncipe is the second-smallest African country (Seychelles is the smallest African country). It is also the smallest Portuguese-speaking country.
The islands of SÃ£o TomÃ© and PrÃncipe were uninhabited before the arrival of the Portuguese sometime around 1470. The islands were discovered by JoÃ£o de SantarÃ©m and PÃªro Escobar. Portuguese navigators explored the islands and decided that they would be good locations for bases to trade with the mainland.
The dates of discovery are sometimes given as December 21 (St Thomas's Day), 1471 for SÃ£o TomÃ©, and January 17 (St Anthony's Day), 1472 for PrÃncipe, though other sources give different nearby years. PrÃncipe was initially named Santo AntÃ£o ("Saint Anthony"), changing its name in 1502 to Ilha do PrÃncipe ("Prince's Island"), in reference to the Prince of Portugal to whom duties on the island's sugar crop were paid.
The first successful settlement of SÃ£o TomÃ© was established in 1493 by Ãlvaro Caminha, who received the land as a grant from the crown. PrÃncipe was settled in 1500 under a similar arrangement. Attracting settlers proved difficult, however, and most of the earliest inhabitants were "undesirables" sent from Portugal, mostly Jews. In time these settlers found the volcanic soil of the region suitable for agriculture, especially the growing of sugar.
The cultivation of sugar was a labor-intensive process and the Portuguese began to import large numbers of slaves from the mainland. By the mid-16th century the Portuguese settlers had turned the islands into Africa's foremost exporter of sugar. SÃ£o TomÃ© and PrÃncipe were taken over and administered by the Portuguese crown in 1522 and 1573, respectively.
However, superior sugar colonies in the Western Hemisphere began to hurt the islands. The large slave population also proved difficult to control, with Portugal unable to invest many resources in the effort. Sugar cultivation thus declined over the next 100 years, and by the mid-17th century, the economy of SÃ£o TomÃ© had changed. It was now primarily a transit point for ships engaged in the slave trade between the West and continental Africa.
In the early 19th century, two new cash crops, coffee and cocoa, were introduced. The rich volcanic soils proved well suited to the new cash crop industry, and soon extensive plantations (known as "roÃ§as"), owned by Portuguese companies or absentee landlords, occupied almost all of the good farmland. By 1908, SÃ£o TomÃ© had become the world's largest producer of cocoa, which remains the country's most important crop.
The roÃ§as system, which gave the plantation managers a high degree of authority, led to abuses against the African farm workers. Although Portugal officially abolished slavery in 1876, the practice of forced paid labor continued. Scientific American magazine documented in words and pictures the continued use of slaves in SÃ£o TomÃ© in its March 13, 1897 issue. In the early 20th century, an internationally publicized controversy arose over charges that Angolan contract workers were being subjected to forced labor and unsatisfactory working conditions. Sporadic labor unrest and dissatisfaction continued well into the 20th century, culminating in an outbreak of riots in 1953 in which several hundred African laborers were killed in a clash with their Portuguese rulers. This "BatepÃ¡ Massacre" remains a major event in the colonial history of the islands, and its anniversary is officially observed by the government.
By the late 1950s, when other emerging nations across the African Continent were demanding independence, a small group of SÃ£o TomÃ©ans had formed the Movement for the Liberation of SÃ£o TomÃ© and PrÃncipe (MLSTP), which eventually established its base in nearby Gabon. Picking up momentum in the 1960s, events moved quickly after the overthrow of the Caetano dictatorship in Portugal in April 1974. The new Portuguese regime was committed to the dissolution of its overseas colonies; in November 1974, their representatives met with the MLSTP in Algiers and worked out an agreement for the transfer of sovereignty. After a period of transitional government, SÃ£o TomÃ© and PrÃncipe achieved independence on July 12, 1975, choosing as the first president the MLSTP Secretary General Manuel Pinto da Costa.
In 1990, SÃ£o TomÃ© became one of the first African countries to embrace democratic reform, and changes to the constitution â€” the legalization of opposition political parties â€” led to elections in 1991 that were nonviolent, free, and transparent. Miguel Trovoada, a former prime minister who had been in exile since 1986, returned as an independent candidate and was elected president. Trovoada was re-elected in SÃ£o TomÃ©'s second multi-party presidential election in 1996. The Party of Democratic Convergence (PCD) won a majority of seats in the National Assembly, with the MLSTP becoming an important and vocal minority party. Municipal elections followed in late 1992, in which the MLSTP won a majority of seats on five of seven regional councils. In early legislative elections in October 1994, the MLSTP won a plurality of seats in the Assembly. It regained an outright majority of seats in the November 1998 elections. The Government of SÃ£o TomÃ© fully functions under a multi-party system. Presidential elections were held in July 2001. The candidate backed by the Independent Democratic Action party, Fradique de Menezes, was elected in the first round and inaugurated on 3 September. Parliamentary elections were held in March 2002. For the next four years, a series of short-lived opposition-led governments were formed.
The army seized power for one week in July 2003, complaining of corruption and that forthcoming oil revenues would not be divided fairly. An accord was negotiated under which President de Menezes was returned to office. The cohabitation period ended in March 2006, when a pro-presidential coalition won enough seats in National Assembly elections to form a new government.
In the 30 July 2006 presidential election, Fradique de Menezes easily won a second five-year term in office, defeating two other candidates Patrice Trovoada (son of former President Miguel Trovoada) and independent Nilo GuimarÃ£es. Local elections, the first since 1992, took place on 27 August 2006 and were dominated by members of the ruling coalition. On 12 February 2009, there was an attempted coup d'Ã©tat to overthrow President Fradique de Menezes. The coup plotters were imprisoned, but later received a pardon from President de Menezes.
SÃ£o TomÃ© has functioned under a multiparty system since 1990. The president of the republic is elected to a five-year term by direct universal suffrage and a secret ballot, and must gain an outright majority to be elected. The president may hold up to two consecutive terms. The prime minister is appointed by the president, and the fourteen members of cabinet are chosen by the prime minister.
The National Assembly, the supreme organ of the state and the highest legislative body, is made up of 55 members, who are elected for a four-year term and meet semiannually. Justice is administered at the highest level by the Supreme Court. The judiciary is independent under the current constitution.
With regards to human rights, there exists the freedom of speech and the freedom to form opposition political parties.
The country has embassies in Angola, Gabon, Portugal, Belgium, Taiwan, and the US. It also has a permanent mission to the UN in New York and an International Diplomatic Correspondent Office.
Provinces and districts
The provinces are further divided into seven districts, six on SÃ£o TomÃ© and one on PrÃncipe (with PrÃncipe having self-government since April 29, 1995).
The islands of SÃ£o TomÃ© and PrÃncipe, situated in the equatorial Atlantic and Gulf of Guinea about 300 and 250 kilometres (190 and 160 mi), respectively, off the northwest coast of Gabon, constitute Africa's second smallest country. Both are part of the Cameroon volcanic mountain line, which also includes the islands of AnnobÃ³n to the southwest, Bioko to the northeast (both part of Equatorial Guinea), and Mount Cameroon on the coast of Gulf of Guinea.
SÃ£o TomÃ© is 50 km (30 mi) long and 30 km (20 mi) wide and the more mountainous of the two islands. Its peaks reach 2,024 m (6,640 ft) - Pico de SÃ£o TomÃ©. PrÃncipe is about 30 km (20 mi) long and 6 km (4 mi) wide. Its peaks reach 948 m (3,110 ft) - Pico de PrÃncipe. Swift streams radiating down the mountains through lush forest and cropland to the sea cross both islands. The equator lies immediately south of SÃ£o TomÃ© Island, passing through an islet IlhÃ©u das Rolas.
The Pico CÃ£o Grande (Great Dog Peak) is a landmark volcanic plug peak, located at in southern SÃ£o TomÃ©. It rises dramatically over 300 m (1,000 ft) above the surrounding terrain and the summit is 663 m (2,175 ft) above sea level.
At sea level, the climate is tropicalâ€”hot and humid with average yearly temperatures of about 27 Â°C (80.6 Â°F) and little daily variation. The temperature rarely rises beyond 32 Â°C (89.6 Â°F). At the interior's higher elevations, the average yearly temperature is 20 Â°C (68 Â°F), and nights are generally cool. Annual rainfall varies from 5,000 mm (196.9 in) on the southwestern slopes to 1,000 mm (39.4 in) in the northern lowlands. The rainy season runs from October to May.
SÃ£o TomÃ© and PrÃncipe does not have a large number of native mammals (although the SÃ£o TomÃ© Shrew and several bat species are endemic). The islands are home to a larger number of endemic birds and plants, including the world's smallest ibis (the SÃ£o TomÃ© Ibis), the world's largest sunbird (the Giant Sunbird), the rare SÃ£o TomÃ© Fiscal, and several giant species of Begonia. SÃ£o TomÃ© and Principe is an important marine turtle nesting site, notably for hawksbill turtles (Eretmochelys imbricata)
Since the 19th century, the economy of SÃ£o TomÃ© and PrÃncipe has been based on plantation agriculture. At the time of independence, Portuguese-owned plantations occupied 90% of the cultivated area. After independence, control of these plantations passed to various state-owned agricultural enterprises. The main crop on SÃ£o TomÃ© is cocoa, representing about 95% of exports. Other export crops include copra, palm kernels, and coffee.
Domestic food-crop production is inadequate to meet local consumption, so the country imports some of its food. In 1997 it was estimated that approximately 90 percent of the country's food needs are met through imports. Efforts have been made by the government in recent years to expand food production, and several projects have been undertaken, largely financed by foreign donors.
Other than agriculture, the main economic activities are fishing and a small industrial sector engaged in processing local agricultural products and producing a few basic consumer goods. The scenic islands have potential for tourism, and the government is attempting to improve its rudimentary tourist industry infrastructure. The government sector accounts for about 11% of employment.
Following independence, the country had a centrally directed economy with most means of production owned and controlled by the state. The original constitution guaranteed a "mixed economy", with privately owned cooperatives combined with publicly owned property and means of production. In the 1980s and 1990s, the economy of SÃ£o TomÃ© encountered major difficulties. Economic growth stagnated, and cocoa exports dropped in both value and volume, creating large balance-of-payments deficits. Efforts to redistribute plantation land resulted in decreased cocoa production. At the same time, the international price of cocoa slumped.
In response to its economic downturn, the government undertook a series of far-reaching economic reforms. In 1987, the government implemented an International Monetary Fund (IMF) structural adjustment program, and invited greater private participation in management of the parastatals, as well as in the agricultural, commercial, banking, and tourism sectors. The focus of economic reform since the early 1990s has been widespread privatization, especially of the state-run agricultural and industrial sectors.
The SÃ£o TomÃ©an Government has traditionally obtained foreign assistance from various donors, including the UN Development Programme, the World Bank, the European Union (EU), Portugal, Taiwan, and the African Development Bank. In April 2000, in association with the Banco Central de SÃ£o TomÃ© e PrÃncipe, the IMF approved a poverty reduction and growth facility for SÃ£o TomÃ© aimed at reducing inflation to 3% for 2001, raising ideal growth to 4%, and reducing the fiscal deficit.
In late 2000, SÃ£o TomÃ© qualified for significant debt reduction under the IMFâ€“World Bank's Heavily Indebted Poor Countries (HIPC) initiative. The reduction is being reevaluated by the IMF, due to the attempted coup d'Ã©tat in July 2003 and subsequent emergency spending. Following the truce, the IMF decided to send a mission to SÃ£o TomÃ© to evaluate the macroeconomic state of the country. This evaluation is ongoing, reportedly pending oil legislation to determine how the government will manage incoming oil revenues which are still poorly defined, but in any case expected to change the economic situation dramatically.
In parallel, some efforts have been made to incentivize private tourism initiatives, but their scope remains limited.
Portugal remains one of SÃ£o TomÃ©'s major trading partners, particularly as a source of imports. Food, manufactured articles, machinery, and transportation equipment are imported primarily from the EU.
SÃ£o TomÃ© and PrÃncipe was ranked the 174th safest investment destination in the world in the March 2011 Euromoney Country Risk rankings.
In 2001, SÃ£o TomÃ© and Nigeria reached agreement on joint exploration for petroleum in waters claimed by the two countries of the Niger Delta geologic province. After a lengthy series of negotiations, in April 2003 the joint development zone (JDZ) was opened for bids by international oil firms. The JDZ was divided into nine blocks; the winning bids for block one, ChevronTexaco, ExxonMobil, and the Norwegian firm, Equity Energy, were announced in April 2004, with SÃ£o TomÃ© to take in 40% of the $123 million bid, and Nigeria the other 60%. Bids on other blocks were still under consideration in October 2004. SÃ£o TomÃ© has received more than $2 million from the bank to develop its petroleum sector.
Banco Central de SÄo TomÃ© e PrÃncipe is the central bank, responsible for monetary policy and bank supervision. There are six banks in the country. The largest and oldest is Banco Internacional de SÃ£o TomÃ© e PrÃncipe, which is a subsidiary of Portugal's government-owned Caixa Geral de DepÃ³sitos. It had a monopoly on commercial banking until a change in the banking law in 2003 led to the entry of several other banks.
The first ever census was carried out in 2011 with the help of the National Statistic Institute (INE) of Cape Verde.
Of SÃ£o TomÃ© and PrÃncipe's total population estimated at 163,784 by the government agency about 157,500 live on SÃ£o TomÃ© and 6,000 on PrÃncipe. All are descended from people from different countries taken to the islands by the Portuguese from 1470 onwards.
In the 1970s, there were two significant population movementsâ€”the exodus of most of the 4,000 Portuguese residents and the influx of several hundred SÃ£o TomÃ© refugees from Angola. Almost all are adherents of the Roman Catholic, Evangelical Protestant, or Seventh-day Adventist Churches, with a small Muslim population.
Although a small country, SÃ£o TomÃ© and PrÃncipe has four national languages: Portuguese (the official language, spoken by 95% of the population), and the Portuguese-based creoles Forro (85%), Angolar (3%) and Principense (0.1%). French is also taught in schools, as the country is a member of Francophonie.
There was a resurgence of malaria in the country in 2010, but the exact cause is unknown. Female life expectancy at birth was 65.1 years in between 2005 and 2010, and male life expectancy at 62.8 for the same time period. Healthy life expectancy at birth was at 64.7 years in 2011.
Education in SÃ£o TomÃ© and PrÃncipe is compulsory for four years. Primary school enrollment and attendance rates were unavailable for SÃ£o TomÃ© and Principe as of 2001. The educational system has a shortage of classrooms, insufficiently trained and underpaid teachers, inadequate textbooks and materials, high rates of repetition, poor educational planning and management, and a lack of community involvement in school management. Domestic financing of the school system is lacking, leaving the system highly dependent on foreign financing. Tertiary institutions are the National Lyceum (SÃ£o TomÃ© and PrÃncipe) and the Instituto Superior PolitÃ©cnico.
SÃ£o TomÃ©an culture is a mixture of African and Portuguese influences.
SÃ£o TomÃ©ans are known for Ãºssua and socopÃ© rhythms, while PrÃncipe is home to the dÃªxa beat. Portuguese ballroom dancing may have played an integral part in the development of these rhythms and their associated dances.
- Cuisine of SÃ£o TomÃ© and PrÃncipe
- Outline of SÃ£o TomÃ© and PrÃncipe
- Bight of Bonny
- LGBT rights in SÃ£o TomÃ© and PrÃncipe
- List of birds of SÃ£o TomÃ© and PrÃncipe
- List of island countries
- "Nationality". The World Factbook. Retrieved July 17, 2012.
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- "SÃ£o TomÃ© and PrÃncipe - Definition of SÃ£o TomÃ© and PrÃncipe". Yourdictionary.com. 2013-09-25. Retrieved 2013-09-29.
- [dead link]
- History[dead link]
- "The Expulsion 1492 Chronicles, section XI: "The Vale of Tears", quoting Joseph Hacohen (1496-1577); also, section XVII, quoting 16th century author Samuel Usque". Aish.com. 2009-08-04. Retrieved 2013-09-29.
- For an in depth analysis of post-colonial history up to this point see Gerhard Seibert, Comrades, Clients and Cousins: Colonialism, Socialism and Democratization in SÃ£o TomÃ© and PrÃncipe, Leiden: Brill, 2006.
- Sao Tome president pardons coup plotter[dead link]. Orange Botswana Portal. January 7, 2010.
- 2010 Ibrahim Index of African Governance, retrieved 2012-03-04[dead link]
- Agricultural Marketing Directory for U.S. & Africa Trade - Mary E. Lassanyi, Wayne Olson. p. 206.
- See BrÃgida Rocha Brito and others, Turismo em Meio Insular Africano: Potencialidades, constrangimentos e impactos, Lisbon: Gerpress, 2010 (Portuguese)
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- WRTH 1997, p. 514, ISBN 0-8230-7797-7
- "Euromoney Country Risk". Euromoney Country Risk. Euromoney Institutional Investor PLC. Retrieved 15 August 2011.
- Tran, Phuong (1 February 2007). "SÃ£o TomÃ© & PrÃncipe Still Waiting for Oil Boom". VOA News (Voice of America). Archived from the original on 2011-05-22. Retrieved 25 December 2008.
- (SÃ£o TomÃ© and Principe). Retrieved 06-10-2012.
- "Cape Verde supports population census in Sao Tome and Principe". Inforpress. 6 April 2011.
- Domain Available :: Nic.St - The Official .St Domain Registry[dead link]. Ine.st. Retrieved on 2013-08-09.
- World Malaria Report 2010. 2010. pp. 42, 111â€“113. Retrieved March 25, 2012.
- "World Population Prospects: The 2010 Revision". Retrieved March 25, 2012.
- "Sao Tome and Principe: Human Development Indicator".
- "Information by the Santomense MinistÃ©rio dos Negocios Estrangeiros, CooperaÃ§Ã£o e Comunidades on international cooperation".
- "World Development Indicators and Global Development Finance - Google Public Data Explorer". Retrieved March 25, 2012.
- "SÃ£o TomÃ© and PrÃncipe". 2001 Findings on the Worst Forms of Child Labor. Bureau of International Labor Affairs, U.S. Department of Labor (2002). This article incorporates text from this source, which is in the public domain.
|Wikivoyage has a travel guide for SÃ£o TomÃ© and PrÃncipe.|
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to SÃ£o TomÃ© and PrÃncipe.|
|Look up sÃ£o tomÃ© and prÃncipe in Wiktionary, the free dictionary.|
- Country Profile from BBC News
- SÃ£o TomÃ© and PrÃncipe entry at The World Factbook
- SÃ£o TomÃ© and PrÃncipe from UCB Libraries GovPubs
- SÃ£o TomÃ© and PrÃncipe at DMOZ
- Wikimedia Atlas of SÃ£o TomÃ© and PrÃncipe
- Atlas de SÃ£o TomÃ© e PrÃncipeâ€”Available maps catalogue in the internet from AssociaÃ§Ã£o CauÃ©-Friends of STP (Portuguese)
- SÃ£o TomÃ© e PrÃncipeâ€”Tourist information
- Presentation "Developing the sao tome island", and "Developing the sao tome island" full text.
- Key Development Forecasts for SÃ£o TomÃ© and PrÃncipe from International Futures
- PÃ¡gina Oficial do Governo de SÃ£o TomÃ© e PrÃncipe - Official Page of the Government of SÃ£o TomÃ© and PrÃncipe (Portuguese)
- PresidÃªncia da RepÃºblica DemocrÃ¡tica de SÃ£o TomÃ© e PrÃncipe - President of the Democratic Republic of SÃ£o TomÃ© and PrÃncipe (official site) (Portuguese)
- Assembleia Nacional de SÃ£o TomÃ© e PrÃncipe - National Assembly of SÃ£o TomÃ© and PrÃncipe (official site) (Portuguese)
- Instituto Nacional de EstatÃstica - National statistics institute (Portuguese)
- Central Bank of SÃ£o TomÃ© and PrÃncipe
- Chief of State and Cabinet Members