Country Profile

Country Profile - Sao Tome and Principe

Country Profile Of Sao Tome and Principe

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. Although independence was achieved in 1975, democratic reforms were not instituted until the late 1980s. The first free elections were held in 1991.

Location: Western Africa, islands in the Gulf of Guinea, straddling the Equator, west of Gabon

Head of State: chief of state: President Manuel Pinto DA COSTA (since 3 September 2011)
head of government: Prime Minister Gabriel Arcanjo Ferreira DA COSTA (since 12 December 2012)

Capital: Sao Tome

Population: 186,817 (July 2013 est.)

Population growth rate: 1.94% (2013 est.)

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)

Languages: Portuguese (official)

Religions: Christian 80% (Roman Catholic, Evangelical Protestant, Seventh-Day Adventist)

Independence: 12 July 1975 (from Portugal)

Currency: dobra (STD)

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