OFFICIAL NAME: Democratic Republic of Sao Tome and Principe
CAPITAL: Sao Tome
SYSTEM OF GOVERNMENT: Multiparty Republic
AREA: 963 Sq Km (372 Sq Mi)
ESTIMATED 2000 POPULATION: 148,700
LOCATION & GEOGRAPHY: Sao Tome and Principe are islands
located in the Gulf of Guinea off the coast of West Africa.
Both islands are of volcanic origin and are characterized
by many craters and lava flows. Sao Tome has ten peaks over
1,067 metres (3,500 feet) while Principe has a larger and
flatter area than Sao Tome. Streams radiate throughout the
forest clad mountains to the sea on both islands. Major
Cities (pop. est.); Sao Tome 43,400 (1991). Land Use; pastures
1%, agricultural-cultivated 39%, forested and other 60%
CLIMATE: Sao Tome and Principe has a tropical climate characterized
by hot and humid conditions that are influenced and modified by the cold
Benguela current as well as by altitude. The dry season is from June to
September and the wet season from October to May. Average annual precipitation
varies from 500 mm (197 inches) on the southwest mountain slopes to 1,000
mm (394 inches) on the northern lowlands. Average temperature ranges in
Sao Tome are from 21 degrees Celsius (70 degrees Fahrenheit) to 31 degrees
Celsius (88 degrees Fahrenheit) with the temperature of the interior's
higher altitude around 20 degrees Celsius (68 degrees Fahrenheit) .
PEOPLE: The principal ethnic majority are the Black Africans.
Other ethnic minorities include Angolares who are descendants of Angolan
slaves and the Portuguese.
DEMOGRAPHIC/VITAL STATISTICS: Density; 123 persons per sq km
(319 persons per sq mi) (1991). Urban-Rural; 40.5% urban, 59.5% rural (1988).
Sex Distribution; 49.4% male, 50.6% female (1991). Life Expectancy at Birth;
64.0 years male, 67.0 years female (1990). Age Breakdown; 38% under 15,
22% 15 to 29, 17% 30 to 44, 12% 45 to 59, 8% 60 and over, 3% unspecified
(1989). Birth Rate; 38.0 per 1,000 (1992). Death Rate; 8.0 per 1,000 (1992).
Increase Rate; 30.0 per 1,000 (1992). Infant Mortality Rate; 58.0 per 1,000
live births (1992).
RELIGIONS: Mostly Christians with 84% of the population Roman
Catholic while the remainder follow local native tribal beliefs.
LANGUAGES: The official language is Portuguese which is spoken
in a heavy Creole dialect.
EDUCATION: Aged 25 or over and having attained: no formal schooling
56.6%, incomplete primary 18.0%, primary 19.2%, incomplete secondary 4.6%,
secondary 1.3%, higher 0.3% (1981). Literacy; literate population aged
15 or over 28,114 or 54.2% (1981).
MODERN HISTORY - WWII TO 1993: In 1953, several hundred Black
African workers were killed, in an event called the "Batepa Massacre",
by Portuguese landowners during labor riots. In 1960 a nationalist liberation
organization was established which demanded an end to Portuguese rule.
In 1972 the organization reorganized itself into the Sao Tome and Principe
Liberation Movement (MLSTP) and the islands gained full independence on
July 12, 1975 with Dr Manuel Pinto da Costa as the country's first President.
In Mar. 1978 there was an unsuccessful coup attempt by mercenaries organized
from Gabon. In Oct. 1987 constitutional changes that included universal
adult suffrage were introduced and in Mar. 1988 a faction of the exiled
Sao Tome National Resistance Front led by Afonso dos Santos attempted to
overthrow the government. All of the 46 armed men were subsequently arrested
and imprisoned. In Jan. 1991 the ruling MLSTP were defeated by the Party
of Democratic Convergence-Reflection Group (PCD-GR) in the country's first
free multiparty elections since independence and Daniel Lima dos Santos
Daio was elected Prime Minister. On March 3, 1991 Miguel Trovoada won Presidential
elections and was inaugurated on April 3, 1991. Former President Manuel
Pinto da Costa retired from politics after serving his country since independence.
On April 7, 1992 following the Prime Minister's criticism of the President
and a a result of his government's austerity measures some 7,000 people
protested outside the presidential palace calling for the government's
dismissal. On April 22, 1992 Pres. Trovoada dismissed Prime Minister Daniel
Lima dos Santos Daio's government and invited the PCD-GR to form a new
government. On May 16, 1992 Norberto Jose d'Alva Costa Alegre was appointed
Prime Minister and named his Cabinet. Also in 1992 there were clashes between
police and the army following the arrest by police of two soldiers. In
1993 the IMF insisted the government freeze wages for civil servants until
1994 as well as reduce the public work force by one-third. France also
agreed to provide F 75 million to finance several agricultural, water and
energy projects while the a joint banking venture between two Portuguese
banks and the government resulted in the International Bank of Sao Tome
and Principe being established with capital of US $1.8 million. Also in
1993 the EU provided a grant for the upgrade of the country's road infrastructure
and to renovate the country's water-supply system.
CURRENCY: The official currency is the Dobra (Db) divided into
ECONOMY: Gross National Product; USD $41,000,000 (1993). Public
Debt; USD $225,800,000 (1993). Imports; USD $30,400,000 (1994). Exports;
USD $6,500,000 (1994). Tourism Receipts; USD $1,000,000 (1990). Balance
of Trade; USD -$23,900,000 (1994). Economically Active Population; 49,216
or 41.0% of total population (1991). Unemployed; 22.0% (1994).
MAIN TRADING PARTNERS: Its main trading partners are Portugal,
Angola, the Netherlands, the USA, Germany and the UK.
MAIN PRIMARY PRODUCTS: Bananas, Cocoa, Coconuts, Coffee, Fish, Palm
MAJOR INDUSTRIES: Agriculture, Food Processing, Light Construction,
MAIN EXPORTS: Cocoa, Coffee, Copra, Palm Kernels and Nuts.
TRANSPORT: Railroads; nil. Roads; length 380 km (236 mi) (1988).
Vehicles; cars 1,774 (1975), trucks and buses 265 (1975). Merchant Marine;
vessels 3 (1990), deadweight tonnage 1,172 (1990). Air Transport; passenger-km
6,100,000 (3,790,000 passenger-mi) (1985), cargo ton-km 100,000 (68,490
short ton-mi) (1985).
COMMUNICATIONS: Weekly Newspapers; total of 2 with a total circulation
of N/A . Radio; receivers 31,000 (1994). Television; 21,000 (1994). Telephones;
units 2,400 (1993).
MILITARY: N/A. Military expenditure accounts for 1.6% (1980)
of the Gross National Product (GNP).