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  The World Factbook.  2008.
 
Sao Tome and Principe
 
Flag of Sao Tome and Principe                                Map of 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. While independence was achieved in 1975, democratic reforms were not instituted until the late 1980s. The country held its first free elections in 1991, but frequent internal wrangling between the various political parties precipitated repeated changes in leadership and two failed coup attempts in 1995 and 2003. The recent discovery of oil in the Gulf of Guinea promises to attract increased attention to the small island nation.
  
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
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: 8.33%
permanent crops: 48.96%
other: 42.71% (2005)
Irrigated land:100 sq km (2003)
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, Wetlands
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
  
Population:199,579 (July 2007 est.)
Age structure:0-14 years: 47.3% (male 47,796/female 46,589)
15-64 years: 49% (male 47,386/female 50,412)
65 years and over: 3.7% (male 3,383/female 4,013) (2007 est.)
Median age:total: 16.2 years
male: 15.7 years
female: 16.8 years (2007 est.)
Population growth rate:3.13% (2007 est.)
Birth rate:39.72 births/1,000 population (2007 est.)
Death rate:6.28 deaths/1,000 population (2007 est.)
Net migration rate:-2.14 migrant(s)/1,000 population (2007 est.)
Sex ratio:at birth: 1.03 male(s)/female
under 15 years: 1.026 male(s)/female
15-64 years: 0.94 male(s)/female
65 years and over: 0.843 male(s)/female
total population: 0.976 male(s)/female (2007 est.)
Infant mortality rate:total: 40.54 deaths/1,000 live births
male: 42.42 deaths/1,000 live births
female: 38.61 deaths/1,000 live births (2007 est.)
Life expectancy at birth:total population: 67.64 years
male: 66.03 years
female: 69.3 years (2007 est.)
Total fertility rate:5.53 children born/woman (2007 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 (2008)
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: 84.9%
male: 92.2%
female: 77.9% (2001 census)
  
Government
  
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:name: Sao Tome
geographic coordinates: 0 12 N, 6 39 E
time difference: UTC 0 (5 hours ahead of Washington, DC during Standard Time)
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 Patrice TROVOADA (since 14 February 2008)
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 30 July 2006 (next to be held July 2011); prime minister chosen by the National Assembly and approved by the president
election results: Fradique DE MENEZES elected president; percent of vote - Fradique DE MENEZES 60%, Patrice TROVOADA 38.5%
Legislative branch:unicameral National Assembly or Assembleia Nacional (55 seats; members are elected by popular vote to serve four-year terms)
elections: last held on 26 March 2006 (next to be held in March 2010)
election results: percent of vote by party - MDFM-PCD 37.2%, MLSTP 28.9%, ADI 20.0%, NR 4.7%, others 9.2%; seats by party - MDFM-PCD 23, MLSTP 19, ADI 12, NR 1
Judicial branch:Supreme Court (judges are appointed by the National Assembly)
Political parties and leaders:Force for Change Democratic Movement or MDFM [Tome Soares da VERA CRUZ]; Independent Democratic Action or ADI [[Patrice TROVOADA]; Movement for the Liberation of Sao Tome and Principe-Social Democratic Party or MLSTP-PSD [Rafael BRANCO]; New Way Movement or NR; Party for Democratic Convergence or PCD [Delfim NEVES]; Ue-Kedadji coalition; other small parties
Political pressure groups and leaders:NA
International organization participation:ACCT, ACP, AfDB, AU, CPLP, FAO, G-77, IBRD, ICAO, ICCt (signatory), ICRM, IDA, IFAD, IFRCS, ILO, IMF, IMO, Interpol, IOC, IOM (observer), IPU, ITU, ITUC, NAM, OIF, OPCW, UN, UNCTAD, UNESCO, UNIDO, Union Latina, UNWTO, UPU, WCL, WHO, WIPO, WMO, WTO (observer)
Diplomatic representation in the US: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: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
  
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. 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, which helped 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 exceeded 6% in 2007, as a result of increases in public expenditures and oil-related capital investment.
GDP (purchasing power parity):$278 million (2006 est.)
GDP (official exchange rate):$142 million (2007 est.)
GDP—real growth rate:6.5% (2007 est.)
GDP—per capita (PPP):$1,200 (2003 est.)
GDP—composition by sector:agriculture: 14.8%
industry: 14.2%
services: 71% (2007 est.)
Labor force:35,050 (1991)
Labor force—by occupation:note: population mainly engaged in subsistence agriculture and fishing; 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):17% (2007 est.)
Investment (gross fixed):43.7% of GDP (2007 est.)
Budget:revenues: $74.11 million
expenditures: $57.71 million (2007 est.)
Agriculture—products:cocoa, coconuts, palm kernels, copra, cinnamon, pepper, coffee, bananas, papayas, beans; poultry; fish
Industries:light construction, textiles, soap, beer, fish processing, timber
Industrial production growth rate:8.5% (2007 est.)
Electricity—production:18 million kWh (2005)
Electricity—consumption:16.74 million kWh (2005)
Electricity—exports:0 kWh (2005)
Electricity—imports:0 kWh (2005)
Oil—production:0 bbl/day (2005 est.)
Oil—consumption:650 bbl/day (2005 est.)
Oil—exports:0 bbl/day (2004)
Oil—imports:634.4 bbl/day (2004)
Oil—proved reserves:0 bbl (1 January 2006 est.)
Natural gas—production:0 cu m (2005 est.)
Natural gas—consumption:0 cu m (2005 est.)
Natural gas—exports:0 cu m (2005 est.)
Natural gas—imports:0 cu m (2005)
Natural gas—proved reserves:0 cu m (1 January 2006 est.)
Current account balance:$-58 million (2007 est.)
Exports:$4 million f.o.b. (2007 est.)
Exports—commodities:cocoa 80%, copra, coffee, palm oil
Exports—partners:Netherlands 47.9%, Belgium 19%, Portugal 9.3% (2006)
Imports:$73 million f.o.b. (2007 est.)
Imports—commodities:machinery and electrical equipment, food products, petroleum products
Imports—partners:Portugal 48.8%, France 19.7%, Belgium 5.1%, US 5.1% (2006)
Reserves of foreign exchange and gold:$36 million (31 December 2007 est.)
Debt—external:$318 million (2002)
Market value of publicly traded shares:$NA
Economic aid—recipient:$31.9 million in December 2000 under the HIPC program (2005)
Currency (code):dobra (STD)
Exchange rates:dobras per US dollar - 13,700 (2007), 12,050 (2006), 9,900.4 (2005), 9,902.3 (2004), 9,347.6 (2003)
Fiscal year:calendar year
  
Communications
  
Telephones—main lines in use:7,100 (2005)
Telephones—mobile cellular:12,000 (2005)
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 (2001)
Television broadcast stations:2 (2001)
Internet country code:.st
Internet hosts:996 (2007)
Internet users:23,000 (2005)
  
Transportation
  
Airports:2 (2007)
Airports—with paved runways:total: 2
1,524 to 2,437 m: 1
914 to 1,523 m: 1 (2007)
Roadways:total: 320 km
paved: 218 km
unpaved: 102 km (1999)
Merchant marine:total: 7 ships (1000 GRT or over) 20,455 GRT/27,871 DWT
by type: bulk carrier 1, cargo 6
foreign-owned: 2 (Egypt 1, Greece 1) (2007)
Ports and terminals:Sao Tome
  
Military
  
Military branches:Armed Forces of Sao Tome and Principe (FASTP): Army, Coast Guard of Sao Tome e Principe (Guarda Costeira de Sao Tome e Principe, GCSTP), Presidential Guard (2007)
Military service age and obligation:18 years of age (est.) (2004)
Manpower available for military service:males age 18-49: 33,438
females age 18-49: 35,279 (2005 est.)
Manpower fit for military service:males age 18-49: 25,950
females age 18-49: 28,660 (2005 est.)
Military expenditures—percent of GDP:0.8% (2006)
Military—note: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, working conditions, and alleged nepotism in the promotion of officers have been problems in the past, as reflected in the 1995 and 2003 coups; these issues are being addressed with foreign assistance aimed at improving 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
  
Disputes—international:none

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