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São Tomé & Principe

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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.



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: 964 sq km
country comparison to the world: 184
land: 964 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:
Current Weather
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, Climate Change-Kyoto Protocol, 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 mountainous



Population:
175,808 (July 2010 est.)
country comparison to the world: 186

Age structure:
0-14 years: 44.9% (male 40,134/female 38,762)
15-64 years: 51.8% (male 44,845/female 46,276)
65 years and over: 3.3% (male 2,684/female 3,107) (2010 est.)

Median age:
total: 17.5 years
male: 17 years
female: 17.9 years (2010 est.)

Population growth rate:
2.112% (2010 est.)
country comparison to the world: 46

Birth rate:
39.09 births/1,000 population (2010 est.)
country comparison to the world: 14

Death rate:
8.45 deaths/1,000 population (July 2010 est.)
country comparison to the world: 92

Net migration rate:
-9.52 migrant(s)/1,000 population (2010 est.)
country comparison to the world: 174

Urbanization:
urban population: 61% of total population (2008)
rate of urbanization: 3% annual rate of change (2005-10 est.)

Sex ratio:
at birth: 1.03 male(s)/female
under 15 years: 1.03 male(s)/female
15-64 years: 0.97 male(s)/female
65 years and over: 0.86 male(s)/female
total population: 1 male(s)/female (2010 est.)

Infant mortality rate:
total: 54.64 deaths/1,000 live births
country comparison to the world: 44
male: 56.75 deaths/1,000 live births
female: 52.46 deaths/1,000 live births (2010 est.)

Life expectancy at birth:
total population: 62.73 years
country comparison to the world: 176
male: 61.58 years
female: 63.91 years (2010 est.)

Total fertility rate:
5.21 children born/woman (2010 est.)
country comparison to the world: 16

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
animal contact disease: rabies (2009)

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)

School life expectancy (primary to tertiary education):
total: 10 years
male: 10 years
female: 10 years (2006)

Education expenditures:
NA



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 Bandiera Melo DE MENEZES (since 3 September 2001)
head of government: Prime Minister Joachim Rafael BRANCO (since 22 June 2008)
cabinet: Council of Ministers appointed by the president on the proposal of the prime minister
(For more information visit the World Leaders website )
elections: president elected by popular vote for a five-year term (eligible for a second term); election last held on 30 July 2006 (next to be held in 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 elected by popular vote to serve four-year terms)
elections: last held on on 26 March 2006 (next to be held on 21 February 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:
Association of Sao Tome and Principe NGOs or FONG
other: the media

International organization participation:
ACP, AfDB, AOSIS, AU, CPLP, FAO, G-77, IBRD, ICAO, ICCt (signatory), ICRM, IDA, IFAD, IFC, IFRCS, ILO, IMF, IMO, Interpol, IOC, IOM (observer), IPU, ITU, ITUC, NAM, OIF, OPCW, UN, UNCTAD, UNESCO, UNIDO, Union Latina, UNWTO, UPU, WFTU, WHO, WIPO, WMO, WTO (observer)

Diplomatic representation in the US:
chief of mission: Ambassador Ovidio PEQUENO
chancery: 400 Park Avenue, 7th Floor, New York, NY 10022
telephone: [1] (212) 317-0580
FAX: [1] (212) 935-7348

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; red symbolizes the struggle for independence, the two stars represent the two main islands
note: uses the popular Pan-African colors of Ethiopia



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. Potential exists for the development of petroleum resources in Sao Tome's territorial waters in the oil-rich Gulf of Guinea, which are being jointly developed in a 60-40 split with Nigeria, but any actual production is at least several years off. 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 averaged about 6% in 2006-07, as a result of increases in public expenditures and oil-related capital investment, but has been declining in the years since.

GDP (purchasing power parity):
$292.4 million (2009 est.)
country comparison to the world: 212
$280.4 million (2008 est.)
$265.8 million (2007 est.)
note: data are in 2009 US dollars

GDP (official exchange rate):
$191.2 million (2009 est.)

GDP - real growth rate:
4.3% (2009 est.)
country comparison to the world: 36
5.5% (2008 est.)
6% (2007 est.)

GDP - per capita (PPP):
$1,700 (2009 est.)
country comparison to the world: 191
$1,700 (2008 est.)
$1,600 (2007 est.)
note: data are in 2009 US dollars

GDP - composition by sector:
agriculture: 14.3%
industry: 15.1%
services: 70.6% (2009 est.)

Labor force:
52,490 (2007)
country comparison to the world: 188

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%

Investment (gross fixed):
34.5% of GDP (2009 est.)
country comparison to the world: 11

Budget:
revenues: $48.81 million
expenditures: $57.53 million (2009 est.)

Inflation rate (consumer prices):
19% (2009 est.)
country comparison to the world: 217
26% (2008 est.)

Central bank discount rate:
28% (31 December 2008)
country comparison to the world: 3
28% (31 December 2007)

Commercial bank prime lending rate:
32.4% (31 December 2008)
country comparison to the world: 5
32.4% (31 December 2007)

Stock of money:
$27.84 million (31 December 2008)
country comparison to the world: 160
$19.99 million (31 December 2007)

Stock of quasi money:
$36.95 million (31 December 2008)
country comparison to the world: 164
$33.5 million (31 December 2007)

Stock of domestic credit:
$20.42 million (31 December 2008)
country comparison to the world: 134
$31.84 million (31 December 2007)

Market value of publicly traded shares:
$NA

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% (2009 est.)
country comparison to the world: 11

Electricity - production:
19 million kWh (2007 est.)
country comparison to the world: 206

Electricity - consumption:
17.67 million kWh (2007 est.)
country comparison to the world: 208

Electricity - exports:
0 kWh (2008)

Electricity - imports:
0 kWh (2008 est.)

Oil - production:
0 bbl/day (2009 est.)
country comparison to the world: 133

Oil - consumption:
1,000 bbl/day (2009 est.)
country comparison to the world: 194

Oil - exports:
0 bbl/day (2007 est.)
country comparison to the world: 175

Oil - imports:
726 bbl/day (2007 est.)
country comparison to the world: 192

Oil - proved reserves:
0 bbl (1 January 2009 est.)
country comparison to the world: 126

Natural gas - production:
0 cu m (2008 est.)
country comparison to the world: 133

Natural gas - consumption:
0 cu m (2008 est.)
country comparison to the world: 153

Natural gas - exports:
0 cu m (2008 est.)
country comparison to the world: 131

Natural gas - imports:
0 cu m (2008 est.)
country comparison to the world: 136

Natural gas - proved reserves:
0 cu m (1 January 2009 est.)
country comparison to the world: 136

Current account balance:
-$58 million (2009 est.)
country comparison to the world: 69
-$53 million (2008 est.)

Exports:
$8 million (2009 est.)
country comparison to the world: 212
$8 million (2008 est.)

Exports - commodities:
cocoa 80%, copra, coffee, palm oil

Exports - partners:
UK 32.99%, Netherlands 26.93%, Belgium 21.04%, Portugal 4.31% (2009)

Imports:
$86 million (2009 est.)
country comparison to the world: 210
$73 million (2008 est.)

Imports - commodities:
machinery and electrical equipment, food products, petroleum products

Imports - partners:
Portugal 58.9%, Brazil 6.68%, US 4.71%, Japan 4.49% (2009)

Reserves of foreign exchange and gold:
$39 million (31 December 2009 est.)
country comparison to the world: 155
$34 million (31 December 2008 est.)

Debt - external:
$318 million (2002)
country comparison to the world: 167

Exchange rates:
dobras (STD) per US dollar - 16,000 (2009), 14,900 (2008), 13,700 (2007), 12,050 (2006), 9,900.4 (2005)



Telephones - main lines in use:
7,700 (2008)
country comparison to the world: 208

Telephones - mobile cellular:
49,000 (2008)
country comparison to the world: 194

Telephone system:
general assessment: local telephone network of adequate quality with most lines connected to digital switches
domestic: combined fixed-line and mobile-cellular teledensity approaching 30 telephones per 100 persons
international: country code - 239; satellite earth station - 1 Intelsat (Atlantic Ocean) (2008)

Radio broadcast stations:
AM 1, FM 5, shortwave 1 (2001)

Television broadcast stations:
2 (2001)

Internet country code:
.st

Internet hosts:
1,345 (2009)
country comparison to the world: 155

Internet users:
24,800 (2008)
country comparison to the world: 183



Airports:
2 (2009)
country comparison to the world: 203

Airports - with paved runways:
total: 2
1,524 to 2,437 m: 1
914 to 1,523 m: 1 (2009)

Roadways:
total: 320 km
country comparison to the world: 203
paved: 218 km
unpaved: 102 km (2000)

Merchant marine:
total: 6
country comparison to the world: 130
by type: bulk carrier 1, cargo 5
foreign-owned: 1 (Greece 1) (2008)

Ports and terminals:
Sao Tome



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 (2010)

Military service age and obligation:
18 years of age (est.) (2004)

Manpower available for military service:
males age 16-49: 38,211
females age 16-49: 38,929 (2010 est.)

Manpower fit for military service:
males age 16-49: 26,530
females age 16-49: 28,450 (2010 est.)

Manpower reaching militarily significant age annually:
male: 1,997
female: 1,922 (2010 est.)

Military expenditures:
0.8% of GDP (2006)
country comparison to the world: 147

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)



Disputes - international:
none

 

Information from the CIA's "The World Fact Book" 2010

 

 

 

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