General Information

Capital(s): São Tomé
Population: 187,410 (2007)
Area: 1,001 Km²
Currency: 1 dobra = 100 centimos
Language(s): Portuguese
Time Zone: GMT-2h00
ISO Code: ST
Dialing Code: +239


The two islands of São Tomé and Principé constitute a small independent island republic with a democratic government lying in the Gulf of Guinea off the coast of Gabon and forming part of the Atlantic Ocean Islands group associated with Africa. The capital city is São Tomé. Other towns are Santo Antonio and Neves.

The official language is Portugese. The local currency is the Dobra. (US$ / Dobra – current exchange rate).

The international time zone for São Tomé and Principé is GMT and the international dialling code is +23912. Air Portugal and some regional airlines fly to the islands. As at September 1995 all visitors to the islands require visas.

Malaria, dengue fever, hepatitis A, cholera, typhoid fever, schistosomiasis and yellow fever may be contracted while travelling in São Tomé and Principé. The risk of contraction is based on a number of factors including location, individual’s state of health, current immunisation status, and the local disease situation.


Upon attaining independence from Portugal in 1975, São Tomé and Príncipe inherited an economy based exclusively on agriculture and the production and export of a single crop, cocoa. A long period of decline in the world price of cocoa, combined with increased import prices, put severe strains on incomes and living standards. About one tenth of the working population is involved in the fishing industry and the forestry and tourism industries hold potential for development .

In the late 1990s Sao Tome and Principe began considering a structural adjustment programme in association with the World Bank. Economic growth was slow in 2002, after a poorly organised groundnut collection in the spring and weak rains in the summer, threatening agricultural growth.

The government has delayed structural reforms and there have been slippages in governance. Despite strong revenue mobilisation, spending overruns, partly financed out of an unprogrammed signing bonus related to an oil exploration option contract, resulted in a primary budget deficit. Despite this the government has implemented steps to ensure the downsizing of the civil service which placed a heavy burden on the national budget.

GDP in 2002 stood at US$50.2 million made up of agriculture 20%, industry 17% and services 63%. FDI in 2001 US$5.5 million.

Memberships (1)

Economic Community of Central African States

Facilities (22)

Block 01 – Sao Tome & Principe, Block 02 – Sao Tome & Principe, Block 03 – Sao Tome & Principe, Block 04 – Sao Tome & Principe, Block 05 – Sao Tome & Principe, Block 06 – Sao Tome & Principe, Block 07 – Sao Tome & Principe, Block 08 – Sao Tome & Principe, Block 09 – Sao Tome & Principe, Block 10 – Sao Tome & Principe, Block 11 – Sao Tome & Principe, Block 12 – Sao Tome & Principe, Block 13 – Sao Tome & Principe, Block 14 – Sao Tome & Principe, Block 15 – Sao Tome & Principe, Block 16 – Sao Tome & Principe, Block 17 – Sao Tome & Principe, Block 18 – Sao Tome & Principe, Block 19 – Sao Tome & Principe, Block 20 – Sao Tome & Principe

Travel Facilities

Accommodation (5): La Provence, Miramar, Pensao Residencial Palhota, Pensao Turismo, Pousada Boa Vista
Attractions (6): Cascadas da Sao Nicolau, Fort Sao Sebastiao, Lagoa Azul, Obo National Park, Praia das Sete Ondas, Praia Grande


Shaun Bakamoso

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