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República Democrática de São Tomé e Príncipe
Democratic Republic of São Tomé and Príncipe

Flag of São Tomé and Príncipe Coat of Arms of São Tomé and Príncipe
Anthem
Independência total
Map of São Tomé and Príncipe
CapitalSão Tomé
Government Semi-presidential republic
President
- From 2003Fradique de Menezes
Prime Minister
- From 2010Patrice Trovoada
Legislature Parliament
History
July 12, 1975Date
Area1,001 km²
Population
- 2009163,000
 Density162.8/km²
GDP2009 (PPP)
- TotalUS$ 0.3 billion
- Per capitaUS$ 1,880
CurrencyDobra
Flag of None Province of São Tomé and Príncipe
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The Democratic Republic of São Tomé and Príncipe is a semi-presidential republic in Middle Africa.


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.[1]

Economy

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 and Principe 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 and Principe 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, the government 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 and Principe'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 the country's receipt of more than $20 million in signing bonuses for almost a year.[2]

President

  • Fradique de Menezes () (July 23, 2003 - )


Prime Minister

  • Patrice Trovoada () (August 14, 2010 - )

Nation

Santomean Polities

Neighbouring Nations

References

  1. The CIA World Factbook: Introduction - Background
  2. The CIA World Factbook: Economy - Overview

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