São Tomé and Príncipe

Monday, 19 December 2022 - 11:00 am (CET/MEZ) Berlin | Author/Destination:
Category/Kategorie: General
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Praia Inhame © flickr.com - Chuck Moravec/cc-by-2.0

Praia Inhame © flickr.com – Chuck Moravec/cc-by-2.0

São Tomé and Príncipe, officially the Democratic Republic of São Tomé and Príncipe, is a Portuguese-speaking island country in the Gulf of Guinea, off the western equatorial coast of Central Africa. It consists of two archipelagos around the two main islands of São Tomé and Príncipe, about 150 km (93.21 mi) apart and about 250 and 225 km (155 and 140 mi) off the north-western coast of Gabon. With a population of 201,800 (2018 official estimate), São Tomé and Príncipe is the second-smallest and second-least populous African sovereign state after Seychelles.

The islands were uninhabited until their discovery by Portuguese explorers in the 15th century. Gradually colonized and settled throughout the 16th century, they collectively served as a vital commercial and trade centre for the Atlantic slave trade. The rich volcanic soil and proximity to the equator made São Tomé and Príncipe ideal for sugar cultivation, followed later by cash crops such as coffee and cocoa; the lucrative plantation economy was heavily dependent upon African slaves. Cycles of social unrest and economic instability throughout the 19th and 20th centuries culminated in peaceful independence in 1975. São Tomé and Príncipe has since remained one of Africa’s most stable and democratic countries.

Presidential Palace of São Tomé e Príncipe © Ji-Elle/cc-by-sa-4.0 Santomeans on the beach © Ji-Elle/cc-by-sa-4.0 São Sebastião Museum in São Tomé © flickr.com - Helena Van Eykeren/cc-by-2.0 The Our Lady of Grace Cathedral of São Tomé © flickr.com - Chuck Moravec/cc-by-2.0 Palm Tree Plantations in Ribeira Peixe © Ji-Elle/cc-by-sa-4.0 Praia Inhame © flickr.com - Chuck Moravec/cc-by-2.0
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The Our Lady of Grace Cathedral of São Tomé © flickr.com - Chuck Moravec/cc-by-2.0
The people of São Tomé and Príncipe are predominantly of African and mestiço descent, with most practicing Catholicism. The legacy of Portuguese rule is also visible in the country’s culture, customs, and music, which fuse European and African influences. São Tomé and Príncipe is a founding member state of the Community of Portuguese Language Countries.

In the past few years, the economy of São Tomé and Príncipe has grown, driven by agriculture, tourism and foreign investments, but mainly grew due to government spending driven by foreign loans. Gross domestic product (GDP) grew at an average rate of 5.5% between 2009 and 2017, but has slowed since 2014. The slowdown in economic growth was caused by lower government spending due to decreased foreign loans and decreased revenue government tax. The biggest challenges for the economy of São Tomé and Príncipe are limited workforce, the fact that São Tomé and Príncipe is an archipelago, a small domestic market, climatic fluctuations, global warming, scarce diplomatic resources and poverty. For long-term economic growth, the government is trying to stimulate various sectors of the economy, diversify the economy, cut government spending and encourage private sector and foreign investment.

Read more on History of São Tomé and Príncipe, Music of São Tomé and Príncipe, Literature of São Tomé and Príncipe, Cuisine of São Tomé and Príncipe, Wikivoyage São Tomé and Príncipe and Wikipedia São Tomé and Príncipe (Smart Traveler App by U.S. Department of State - Weather report by weather.com - Global Passport Power Rank - Travel Risk Map - Democracy Index - GDP according to IMF, UN, and World Bank - Global Competitiveness Report - Corruption Perceptions Index - Press Freedom Index - World Justice Project - Rule of Law Index - UN Human Development Index - Global Peace Index - Travel & Tourism Competitiveness Index). Photos by Wikimedia Commons. If you have a suggestion, critique, review or comment to this blog entry, we are looking forward to receive your e-mail at comment@wingsch.net. Please name the headline of the blog post to which your e-mail refers to in the subject line.




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