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  Sao Tome and Principe  
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Coordinates:
01.00 N  07.00 E

 
 
Introduction  Geography  People  Government  Economy
 
Communications  Transportation  Military  Transnational Issues

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Legend: DefinitionDefinition Field ListingField Listing Rank OrderRank Order
   Introduction    Sao Tome and Principe Top of Page
Background:
Definition Field Listing
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 Top of Page
Location:
Definition Field Listing
Western Africa, islands in the Gulf of Guinea, straddling the Equator, west of Gabon
Geographic coordinates:
Definition Field Listing
1 00 N, 7 00 E
Map references:
Definition Field Listing
Africa
Area:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
total: 1,001 sq km
land: 1,001 sq km
water: 0 sq km
Area - comparative:
Definition Field Listing
more than five times the size of Washington, DC
Land boundaries:
Definition Field Listing
0 km
Coastline:
Definition Field Listing
209 km
Maritime claims:
Definition Field Listing
measured from claimed archipelagic baselines
territorial sea: 12 nm
exclusive economic zone: 200 nm
Climate:
Definition Field Listing
tropical; hot, humid; one rainy season (October to May)
Terrain:
Definition Field Listing
volcanic, mountainous
Elevation extremes:
Definition Field Listing
lowest point: Atlantic Ocean 0 m
highest point: Pico de Sao Tome 2,024 m
Natural resources:
Definition Field Listing
fish, hydropower
Land use:
Definition Field Listing
arable land: 8.33%
permanent crops: 48.96%
other: 42.71% (2005)
Irrigated land:
Definition Field Listing
100 sq km (2003)
Natural hazards:
Definition Field Listing
NA
Environment - current issues:
Definition Field Listing
deforestation; soil erosion and exhaustion
Environment - international agreements:
Definition Field Listing
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:
Definition Field Listing
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 Top of Page
Population:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
193,413 (July 2006 est.)
Age structure:
Definition Field Listing
0-14 years: 47.5% (male 46,478/female 45,302)
15-64 years: 48.8% (male 45,631/female 48,661)
65 years and over: 3.8% (male 3,368/female 3,973) (2006 est.)
Median age:
Definition Field Listing
total: 16.2 years
male: 15.6 years
female: 16.8 years (2006 est.)
Population growth rate:
Definition Field Listing
3.15% (2006 est.)
Birth rate:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
40.25 births/1,000 population (2006 est.)
Death rate:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
6.47 deaths/1,000 population (2006 est.)
Net migration rate:
Definition Field Listing
-2.32 migrant(s)/1,000 population (2006 est.)
Sex ratio:
Definition Field Listing
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: 0.98 male(s)/female (2006 est.)
Infant mortality rate:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
total: 41.83 deaths/1,000 live births
male: 43.74 deaths/1,000 live births
female: 39.86 deaths/1,000 live births (2006 est.)
Life expectancy at birth:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
total population: 67.31 years
male: 65.73 years
female: 68.95 years (2006 est.)
Total fertility rate:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
5.62 children born/woman (2006 est.)
HIV/AIDS - adult prevalence rate:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
NA
HIV/AIDS - people living with HIV/AIDS:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
NA
HIV/AIDS - deaths:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
NA
Major infectious diseases:
Definition Field Listing
degree of risk: high
food or waterborne diseases: bacterial diarrhea, hepatitis A, and typhoid fever
vectorborne disease: malaria (2005)
Nationality:
Definition Field Listing
noun: Sao Tomean(s)
adjective: Sao Tomean
Ethnic groups:
Definition Field Listing
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:
Definition Field Listing
Catholic 70.3%, Evangelical 3.4%, New Apostolic 2%, Adventist 1.8%, other 3.1%, none 19.4% (2001 census)
Languages:
Definition Field Listing
Portuguese (official)
Literacy:
Definition Field Listing
definition: age 15 and over can read and write
total population: 79.3%
male: 85%
female: 62% (1991 est.)
   Government    Sao Tome and Principe Top of Page
Country name:
Definition Field Listing
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:
Definition Field Listing
republic
Capital:
Definition Field Listing
Sao Tome
Administrative divisions:
Definition Field Listing
2 provinces; Principe, Sao Tome
note: Principe has had self-government since 29 April 1995
Independence:
Definition Field Listing
12 July 1975 (from Portugal)
National holiday:
Definition Field Listing
Independence Day, 12 July (1975)
Constitution:
Definition Field Listing
approved March 1990, effective 10 September 1990
Legal system:
Definition Field Listing
based on Portuguese legal system and customary law; has not accepted compulsory ICJ jurisdiction
Suffrage:
Definition Field Listing
18 years of age; universal
Executive branch:
Definition Field Listing
chief of state: President Fradique DE MENEZES (since 3 September 2001)
head of government: Prime Minister Tome Vera CRUZ (since 21 April 2006)
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 (eligible for a second 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:
Definition Field Listing
unicameral National Assembly or Assembleia Nacional (55 seats; members are elected by direct, popular vote to serve four-year terms)
elections: last held 26 March 2006 (next to be held March 2010)
election results: percent of vote by party - MDFM-PCD 37.2%, MLSTP 28.9%, ADI 20.0%, NR 4.7%, other 9.2%; seats by party - MDFM-PCD 23, MLSTP 19, ADI 12, NR 1
Judicial branch:
Definition Field Listing
Supreme Court (judges are appointed by the National Assembly)
Political parties and leaders:
Definition Field Listing
Democratic Renovation Party [Armindo GRACA]; Force for Change Democratic Movement or MDFM; 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; other small parties
Political pressure groups and leaders:
Definition Field Listing
NA
International organization participation:
Definition Field Listing
ACCT, ACP, AfDB, AU, FAO, G-77, IBRD, ICAO, ICCt (signatory), ICFTU, ICRM, IDA, IFAD, IFRCS, ILO, IMF, IMO, Interpol, IOC, IOM (observer), IPU, ITU, NAM, OIF, OPCW, UN, UNCTAD, UNESCO, UNIDO, UPU, WCL, WHO, WIPO, WMO, WToO, WTO (observer)
Diplomatic representation in the US:
Definition Field Listing
chief of mission: First Secretary Domingos Augusto FERREIRA
chancery: 400 Park Avenue, 7th Floor, New York, NY 10022
telephone: [1] (212) 317-0580
FAX: [1] (212) 935-7348
consulate(s): Atlanta
Diplomatic representation from the US:
Definition Field Listing
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:
Definition Field Listing
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 Top of Page
Economy - overview:
Definition Field Listing
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, and is expected to benefit from an additional round of HIPC debt relief in early 2006, to help bring down the country's $300 million debt burden. In August 2005, Sao Tome signed on to a new 3-year IMF Poverty Reduction and Growth Facility (PRGF) program worth $4.3 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, which are being jointly developed in a 60-40 split with Nigeria. The first production licenses were sold in 2004, though a dispute over licensing with Nigeria delayed Sao Tome's receipt of more than $20 million in signing bonuses for almost a year. Real GDP growth reached 6% in 2004, and also probably in 2005, as a result of increases in public expenditures and oil-related capital investment.
GDP (purchasing power parity):
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
$214 million (2003 est.)
GDP (official exchange rate):
Definition Field Listing
NA
GDP - real growth rate:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
6% (2004 est.)
GDP - per capita (PPP):
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
$1,200 (2003 est.)
GDP - composition by sector:
Definition Field Listing
agriculture: 16.7%
industry: 14.8%
services: 68.4% (2005 est.)
Labor force:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
NA
Labor force - by occupation:
Definition Field Listing
note: population mainly engaged in subsistence agriculture and fishing; shortages of skilled workers
Unemployment rate:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
NA%
Population below poverty line:
Definition Field Listing
54% (2004 est.)
Household income or consumption by percentage share:
Definition Field Listing
lowest 10%: NA%
highest 10%: NA%
Inflation rate (consumer prices):
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
15.2% (2005 est.)
Investment (gross fixed):
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
32.2% of GDP (2005 est.)
Budget:
Definition Field Listing
revenues: $26.39 million
expenditures: $59.48 million; including capital expenditures of $54 million (2004 est.)
Agriculture - products:
Definition Field Listing
cocoa, coconuts, palm kernels, copra, cinnamon, pepper, coffee, bananas, papayas, beans; poultry; fish
Industries:
Definition Field Listing
light construction, textiles, soap, beer, fish processing, timber
Industrial production growth rate:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
NA%
Electricity - production:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
15 million kWh (2003)
Electricity - consumption:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
13.95 million kWh (2003)
Electricity - exports:
Definition Field Listing
0 kWh (2003)
Electricity - imports:
Definition Field Listing
0 kWh (2003)
Oil - production:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
0 bbl/day (2003 est.)
Oil - consumption:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
650 bbl/day (2003 est.)
Oil - exports:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
NA bbl/day
Oil - imports:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
NA bbl/day
Natural gas - production:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
0 cu m (2003 est.)
Natural gas - consumption:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
0 cu m (2003 est.)
Current account balance:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
-$20 million (2005 est.)
Exports:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
$8 million f.o.b. (2005 est.)
Exports - commodities:
Definition Field Listing
cocoa 80%, copra, coffee, palm oil
Exports - partners:
Definition Field Listing
Netherlands 64.3%, Belgium 10.1%, Germany 3.2% (2005)
Imports:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
$38 million f.o.b. (2005 est.)
Imports - commodities:
Definition Field Listing
machinery and electrical equipment, food products, petroleum products
Imports - partners:
Definition Field Listing
UK 92.5%, Portugal 3.8%, US 1.3% (2005)
Reserves of foreign exchange and gold:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
$20 million (2005 est.)
Debt - external:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
$318 million (2002)
Economic aid - recipient:
Definition Field Listing
$200 million in December 2000 under the HIPC program
Currency (code):
Definition Field Listing
dobra (STD)
Exchange rates:
Definition Field Listing
dobras per US dollar - 9,900.4 (2005), (2004), 9,347.6 (2003), 9,088.3 (2002), 8,842.1 (2001)
Fiscal year:
Definition Field Listing
calendar year
   Communications    Sao Tome and Principe Top of Page
Telephones - main lines in use:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
7,000 (2003)
Telephones - mobile cellular:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
4,800 (2003)
Telephone system:
Definition Field Listing
general assessment: adequate facilities
domestic: minimal system
international: country code - 239; satellite earth station - 1 Intelsat (Atlantic Ocean)
Radio broadcast stations:
Definition Field Listing
AM 1, FM 5, shortwave 1 (2002)
Television broadcast stations:
Definition Field Listing
2 (2002)
Internet country code:
Definition Field Listing
.st
Internet hosts:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
1,021 (2005)
Internet users:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
20,000 (2005)
   Transportation    Sao Tome and Principe Top of Page
Airports:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
2 (2005)
Airports - with paved runways:
Definition Field Listing
total: 2
1,524 to 2,437 m: 1
914 to 1,523 m: 1 (2005)
Roadways:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
total: 320 km
paved: 218 km
unpaved: 102 km (1999)
Merchant marine:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
total: 10 ships (1000 GRT or over) 35,939 GRT/54,246 DWT
by type: bulk carrier 2, cargo 7, chemical tanker 1
foreign-owned: 2 (Egypt 1, Greece 1) (2005)
Ports and terminals:
Definition Field Listing
Sao Tome
   Military    Sao Tome and Principe Top of Page
Military branches:
Definition Field Listing
Armed Forces of Sao Tome and Principe (FASTP): Army, Coast Guard, Presidential Guard (2004)
Military service age and obligation:
Definition Field Listing
18 years of age (est.) (2004)
Manpower available for military service:
Definition Field Listing
males age 18-49: 33,438
females age 18-49: 35,279 (2005 est.)
Manpower fit for military service:
Definition Field Listing
males age 18-49: 25,950
females age 18-49: 28,660 (2005 est.)
Military expenditures - dollar figure:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
$581,729 (2005 est.)
Military expenditures - percent of GDP:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
0.8% (2005 est.)
Military - note:
Definition Field Listing
Sao Tome and Principe's army is a tiny force with almost no resources 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 initial steps towards the improvement of the army and its focus on realistic security concerns; command is exercised from the president, through the Minister of Defense, to the Chief of the Armed Forces staff (2005)
   Transnational Issues    Sao Tome and Principe Top of Page
Disputes - international:
Definition Field Listing
none

This page was last updated on 20 July, 2006


Source: CIA Factbook