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Sao Tome and Principe

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Flag
Image:tp-flag.png
Quick Facts
CapitalSao Tome
Governmentrepublic
Currencydobra (STD)
Areatotal: 1,001 sq km
water: 0 sq km
land: 1,001 sq km
Population170,372 (July 2002 est.)
LanguagePortuguese (official)
ReligionChristian 80% (Roman Catholic, Evangelical Protestant, Seventh-Day Adventist)

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. The first free elections were held in 1991.

Sao Tome and Principe

Geography

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
water: 0 sq km
land: 1,001 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: 2%
permanent crops: 41%
other: 57% (1998 est.)
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
Sao Tome and Principe

People

Population 
170,372 (July 2002 est.)
Age structure 
0-14 years: 47.7% (male 41,159; female 40,125)
15-64 years: 48.3% (male 39,701; female 42,586)
65 years and over: 4% (male 3,115; female 3,686) (2002 est.)
Population growth rate 
3.18% (2002 est.)
Birth rate 
42.3 births/1,000 population (2002 est.)
Death rate 
7.32 deaths/1,000 population (2002 est.)
Net migration rate 
-3.15 migrant(s)/1,000 population (2002 est.)
Sex ratio 
at birth: 1.03 mas)/female
under 15 years: 1.03 mas)/female
15-64 years: 0.93 mas)/female
65 years and over: 0.85 mas)/female
total population: 0.97 mas)/female (2002 est.)
Infant mortality rate 
47.5 deaths/1,000 live births (2002 est.)
Life expectancy at birth 
total population: 65.93 years
female: 67.45 years (2002 est.)
male: 64.47 years
Total fertility rate 
5.95 children born/woman (2002 est.)
HIV/AIDS - adult prevalence rate 
NA%
HIV/AIDS - people living with HIV/AIDS 
NA
HIV/AIDS - deaths 
NA
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 
Christian 80% (Roman Catholic, Evangelical Protestant, Seventh-Day Adventist)
Languages 
Portuguese (official)
Literacy 
definition: age 15 and over can read and write
total population: 79.3%
male: 85%
female: 62% (1991 est.)
Sao Tome and Principe

Government

Country name 
conventional long form: Democratic Republic of Sao Tome and Principe
conventional short form: Sao Tome and Principe
local short form: Sao Tome e Principe
local long form: Republica Democratica de 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)
election results: Fradique DE MENEZES elected president in Sao Tome's third multiparty presidential election; percent of vote - NA%
elections: president elected by popular vote for a five-year term; election last held 29 July 2001 (next to be held NA July 2006); prime minister chosen by the National Assembly and approved by the president
head of government: Prime Minister Maria das NEVES (since 7 October 2002)
cabinet: Council of Ministers appointed by the president on the proposal of the prime minister
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 NA 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, CEEAC, CEMAC, ECA, FAO, G-77, IBRD, ICAO, ICRM, IDA, IFAD, IFRCS, ILO, IMF, IMO, Interpol, IOC, IOM (observer), ITU, NAM, OAU, UN, UNCTAD, UNESCO, UNIDO, UPU, WCL, WHO, WIPO, WMO, WToO, WTrO (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 accred 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
Sao Tome and Principe

Economy

Economy - overview 
This small poor island economy has become increasingly dependent on cocoa since independence 26 years ago. However, cocoa production has substantially declined because of drought and mismanagement. The resulting shortage of cocoa for export has created a persistent balance-of-payments problem. Sao Tome has to import all fuels, most manufactured goods, consumer goods, and a substantial amount of food. Over the years, it has been unable to service its external debt and has had to depend 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. Sao Tome's success in implementing structural reforms has been rewarded by international donors, who have pledged increased assistance in 2001. 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 also optimistic that substantial petroleum discoveries are forthcoming in its territorial waters in the oil-rich waters of the Gulf of Guinea. Corruption scandals continue to weaken the economy.
GDP 
purchasing power parity - $189 million (2001 est.)
GDP - real growth rate 
4% (2001 est.)
GDP - per capita 
purchasing power parity - $1,200 (2001 est.)
GDP - composition by sector 
agriculture: 25%
industry: 10%
services: 65% (1999 est.)
Population below poverty line 
NA%
Household income or consumption by percentage share 
lowest 10%: NA%
highest 10%: NA%
Inflation rate (consumer prices) 
7% (2001 est.)
Labor force 
NA
Labor force - by occupation 
population mainly engaged in subsistence agriculture and fishing
note: shortages of skilled workers
Unemployment rate 
NA%
Budget 
revenues: $58 million
expenditures: $114 million, including capital expenditures of $54 million
Industries 
light construction, textiles, soap, beer; fish processing; timber
Industrial production growth rate 
NA%
Electricity - production 
17 million kWh (2000)
Electricity - production by source 
fossil fuel: 41%
hydro: 59%
other: 0% (2000)
nuclear: 0%
Electricity - consumption 
15.81 million kWh (2000)
Electricity - exports 
0 kWh (2000)
Electricity - imports 
0 kWh (2000)
Agriculture - products 
cocoa, coconuts, palm kernels, copra, cinnamon, pepper, coffee, bananas, papayas, beans; poultry; fish
Exports 
$4.1 million f.o.b. (2000 est.)
Exports - commodities 
cocoa 90%, copra, coffee, palm oil
Exports - partners 
Portugal 33.3%, Netherlands 8.3%, Spain 8.3% (1999)
Imports 
$40 million f.o.b. (2000 est.)
Imports - commodities 
machinery and electrical equipment, food products, petroleum products
Imports - partners 
Portugal 43%, France 15.7%, UK 13.7% (1999)
Debt - external 
$253.8 million (2000) (2000)
Economic aid - recipient 
$200 million in December 2000 under the HIPC program
Currency 
dobra (STD)
Currency code 
STD
Exchange rates 
dobras per US dollar - 9,009.1 (December 2001), 8,842.1 (2001), 7,978.2 (2000), 7,119.0 (1999), 6,883.2 (1998), 4,552.5 (1997)
Fiscal year 
calendar year
Sao Tome and Principe

Communications

Telephones - main lines in use 
4,600 (2000)
Telephones - mobile cellular 
6,942 (1997)
Telephone system 
general assessment: adequate facilities
domestic: minimal system
international: 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 Service Providers (ISPs) 
1 (2002)
Internet users 
9,000 (2002)
Sao Tome and Principe

Transportation

Railways 
0 km
Highways 
total: 320 km
paved: 218 km
unpaved: 102 km (1996)
Waterways 
none
Ports and harbors 
Santo Antonio, Sao Tome
Merchant marine 
total: 41 ships (1,000 GRT or over) totaling 169,991 GRT/245,996 DWT
ships by type: bulk 6, cargo 23, chemical tanker 1, container 3, livestock carrier 1, petroleum tanker 3, refrigerated cargo 1, roll on/roll off 2, specialized tanker 1
note: includes some foreign-owned ships registered here as a flag of convenience: Egypt 1, Greece 1, Kenya 1, Portugal 1, Syria 1, Turkey 1 (2002 est.)
Airports 
2 (2001)
Airports - with paved runways 
total: 2
1,524 to 2,437 m: 1
914 to 1,523 m: 1 (2002)
Sao Tome and Principe

Military

Military branches 
Army, Navy, Security Police
Military manpower - availability 
males age 15-49: 35,524 (2002 est.)
Military manpower - fit for military service 
males age 15-49: 18,727 (2002 est.)
Military expenditures - dollar figure 
$400,000 (FY01)
Military expenditures - percent of GDP 
0.8% (FY01)
Sao Tome and Principe

Transnational Issues

Disputes - international 
none

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