The islands of São Tomé and Príncipe, situated in the equatorial Atlantic about 300 and 250 kilometers (200 and 150 miles), respectively, off the northwestern coast of Gabon, constitute one of Africa's smallest countries. Both are part of an extinct volcanic mountain range.

República Democrática de
São Tomé e Príncipe
Official language Portuguese
Capital São Tomé
PresidentFradique de Menezes
Prime MinisterMaria das Neves

 - Total
% water
Ranked 169th
1'001 km²
0% (islands)

 - Total (Year)
 - Density
Ranked 174th

Independence 12 July 1975 (from Portugal)
Currency Dobra (STD)
Time zone UTC
National anthem Independência total
Internet TLD .ST
Calling Code239

Table of contents
1 History
2 Politics
3 Provinces
4 Geography
5 Economy
6 Demographics
7 Culture
8 Miscellaneous topics
9 External link


Main article: History of São Tomé and Príncipe


Main article: Politics of São Tomé and Príncipe

In 1990, São Tomé became one of the first African countries to embrace democratic reform and changes to the constitution - the legalization of opposition political parties - led to elections in 1991 that were nonviolent, free, and transparent. Miguel Trovoada, a former prime minister who had been in exile since 1986, returned as an independent candidate and was elected president. Trovoada was re-elected in São Tomé's second multiparty presidential election in 1996. The Party of Democratic Convergence (PCD) toppled the MLSTP to take a majority of seats in the National Assembly, with the MLSTP becoming an important and vocal minority party.

Municipal elections followed in late 1992, in which the MLSTP came back to win a majority of seats on five of seven regional councils. In early legislative elections in October 1994, the MLSTP won a plurality of seats in the Assembly. It regained an outright majority of seats in the November 1998 elections. Presidential elections were held in July 2001. The candidate backed by the Independent Democratic Action Party, Fradique de Menezes, was elected in the first round and inaugurated on September 3. Parliamentary elections were held in March 2002.

On July 16, 2003, Maj. Fernando Pereira took over the government in a military coup. Prime Minister Maria das Neves and other ministers were detained by Pereira's forces. It is believed that the coup was, in part, a response to the administration's dealings with various oil corporations. After a week of negotiations Pereira's junta signed an accord with the former leaders and stepped down, and de Menezes and das Neves resumed power.


Main article: Provinces of São Tomé and Príncipe

São Tomé and Príncipe is divided into 2 provinces: Príncipe, São Tomé

note: Príncipe has had self-government since April 29, 1995


Main article: Geography of São Tomé and Príncipe

  • The island of São Tomé is 48 kilometers (30 miles) long and 32 kilometers (20 miles) wide and the more mountainous of the two islands. The capital, also named São Tomé, lies on this island.

  • The island of Príncipe is about 16 kilometers (10 miles) long and 6 kilometers (4 miles) wide.

Both islands are crossed by swift streams radiating down the mountains through lush forest and cropland to the sea.


Main article: Economy of São Tomé and Príncipe


Main article: Demographics of São Tomé and Príncipe

Of São Tomé and Príncipe's total population, about 131,000 live on São Tomé and 6,000 on Príncipe. All are descended from various ethnic groups that have migrated to the islands since 1485.

The islands are a former colony of Portugal. In the 1970s, there were two significant population movements -- the exodus of most of the 4,000 Portuguese residents and the influx of several hundred Sao Tomean refugees from Angola. The islanders have been absorbed largely into a common Luso-African culture. Almost all belong to the Roman Catholic, Evangelical Protestant, or Seventh-day Adventist Churches, which in turn retain close ties with churches in Portugal.


Main article: Culture of São Tomé and Príncipe

DateEnglish NameLocal NameRemarks

  • Music of São Tomé and Príncipe

Miscellaneous topics

External link

Community of Portuguese Language Countries  |  Countries of the world  |  Africa