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Sao Tome and Principe

Everything you need to know about Sao Tome and Principe: news, reviews, in-depth analysis, opinion and more

Sao Tome and Principe: Africa's Least Populated Country and former Portuguese Colony

The Islands of Sao Tome and Principe were first explored by the Portuguese explorers in the 14th Century who sent African slaves and convicts to these islands to work as labourers on the sugar plantations. The island was also used for the transhipment of slaves. The country remained under Portuguese occupation until 1975 when it gained independence. The country ushered in multi-party democracy in 1990 and in 1995 the island of Principe was granted autonomy. The country’s economy is largely dependent in the export of Cocoa but it is clearly inadequate to meet the growing needs of a developing economy and hence the government has decided to exploit the country’s considerable mineral oil reserves off the coast.

Sao Tome and Principe Facts and Figures:

    · National Name: Democratic Republic of Sao Tome and Principe
    · Capital: Sao Tome
    · Total area: 1,001 sq km (386 sq miles)
    · Population: 160,000 (UN, 2008)
    · Currency: Dobra
    · Languages: Portuguese
    · Ethnicity/ Races: mestico (mixed European and native African), 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)
    · Religion: Catholic 70%, Evangelical 3%, New Apostolic 2%, Adventist 2%, other 3%, none 19% (2001)
    · GDP (Per Capita): $1,400 (2008 est.)
    · Life Expectancy: 64 years (men), 67 years (women) (UN)
    · Literacy: 84.9% (2001 census)

Sao Tome and Principe Geography and Climate:
Sao Tome and Principe islands have a volcanic origin located in the equatorial Atlantic Ocean about 250-300 Kms from Gabon. The two islands themselves are separated by 140 kms and out of the two the southern island of Sao Tome is the bigger, both population and area wise. While Sao Tome is the more mountainous island, Principe consists of lush forests and croplands.

The islands enjoy a tropical climate with maximum temperatures of around 32°C and annual average temperature of 27°C. Being located close to the equator Sao Tome and Principe remain hot and humid throughout the year. The islands receive rainfall from October to May.

Sao Tome and Principe Economy:
Sao Tome and Principe is largely an agricultural economy with Cocoa plantations dominating the economy since the 1800s and Cocoa makes up for 95% of the country’s total exports. Besides Cocoa other major crops produced include copra, coffee and palm kernels. In spite of this domestic production cannot meet the complete food demand and hence food grains have to be imported from outside making Sao Tome and Principe dependent on aid from foreign donors. The government of the island state has embraced structural reforms and many public enterprises have been privatised since the 1990s.

Sao Tome and Principe Culture:
Sao Tome and Principe exhibits a mixed African and European culture owing to the centuries of Portuguese colonial rule and the culture brought by the African slaves who worked on the sugar and cocoa plantations. The cultural landscape of Sao Tome and Principe is quite vibrant with performance like tchiloli and Auto de Floripes that have been adapted from European culture and modified according to African conditions.

Sao Tome and Principe cuisine is mouth watering to say the least and the traditional Sao Tome and Principe stews have more than 20 flavours of various aromatic and medicinal plants. The staple diet of the Santomeans includes fish, goat, pork and chicken that are usually accompanied by rice, beans, bananas and breadfruit.

Sao Tome and Principe Tourist Attractions:
Sao Tome is the main tourist hub out of the various islands that comprise the country. The various cocoa plantations on Sao Tome are definitely worth visiting especially Agostinho Neto, which is the largest coca plantation on Sao Tome and Principe. Tourists can also revel in the Boca de Inferno, which is a seawater fountain rising several feet skywards.

Other Sao Tome and Principe Tourist Attractions include:

    · Ilheu Bom Bom
    · Pico de Principe
    · Cascada São Nicolãu
    · Pico de São Tomé
    · Porto Alegre

Where's bachelor party? On foreign shores, say desi boys (Feature)

April 25, 2012 at 1:20 PM

New Delhi, April 25 (IANS) Who doesn't want some fun before entering wedlock? Traditional pre-wedding sangeet and mehndi celebrations notwithstanding, young Indian bridegrooms, inspired by movies like "Hangover" and "Zindagi Na Milegi Dobara", are heading to international destinations with their gang of boys for that last fling.

Lusofonia Games in Goa in November 2013

March 31, 2012 at 8:40 PM

Panaji, March 31 (IANS) Organisers of the Lusofonia Games 2013 Saturday said the Portuguese version of the British Commonwealth Games would be held in Goa Nov 2-10, 2013.

Sloppy Goa shocks Portuguese Lusofonia Games organisers

March 30, 2012 at 7:34 PM

Panaji, March 30 (IANS) In a major embarrassment for the Goa government, the organisers of the Lusofonia Games, a multi-disciplinary sports tourney of former Portuguese-ruled colonies have expressed "shock and surprise" as virtually no infrastructure development has taken place for hosting the event next year.


UK teacher splashes 20k pounds to amass official shirt from every FIFA team

January 21, 2012 at 8:08 PM

London, Jan 21 (ANI): A maths teacher has become the best-dressed man in football after he splashed out 20,000 pounds on a collection of 300 official football shirts.

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