Sao Tome and Principe

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Introduction - Sao Tome and Principe:
CountrySao Tome and Principe
BackgroundDiscovered 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. Although the first free elections were held in 1991, the political environment has been one of continued instability with frequent changes in leadership and coup attempts in 1995 and 2003. The recent discovery of oil in the Gulf of Guinea promises to have a significant impact on the countrys economy.
Location - Sao Tome and Principe:
LocationWestern Africa, islands in the Gulf of Guinea, straddling the Equator, west of Gabon
Geographic coordinates1 00 N, 7 00 E
Map referencesAfrica
Areatotal: 1,001 sq km
land: 1,001 sq km
water: 0 sq km
Area comparativemore than five times the size of Washington, DC
Land boundaries0 km
Coastline209 km
Maritime claimsmeasured from claimed archipelagic baselines
territorial sea: 12 nm
exclusive economic zone: 200 nm
Climatetropical; hot, humid; one rainy season (October to May)
Terrainvolcanic, mountainous
Elevation extremeslowest point: Atlantic Ocean 0 m
highest point: Pico de Sao Tome 2,024 m
Natural resourcesfish, hydropower
Land usearable land: 8.33%
permanent crops: 48.96%
other: 42.71% (2005)
Irrigated land100 sq km (2003)
Natural hazardsNA
Environment current issuesdeforestation; soil erosion and exhaustion
Environment international agreementsparty to: Biodiversity, Climate Change, 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 notethe smallest country in Africa; the two main islands form part of a chain of extinct volcanoes and both are fairly mountainous
People - Sao Tome and Principe:
Population199,579 (July 2007 est.)
Age structure0-14 years: 47.3% (male 47,796/female 46,589)
15-64 years: 49% (male 47,386/female 50,412)
65 years and over: 3.7% (male 3,383/female 4,013) (2007 est.)
Median agetotal: 16.2 years
male: 15.7 years
female: 16.8 years (2007 est.)
Population growth rate3.13% (2007 est.)
Birth rate39.72 births/1,000 population (2007 est.)
Death rate6.28 deaths/1,000 population (2007 est.)
Net migration rate-2.14 migrant(s)/1,000 population (2007 est.)
Sex ratioat birth: 1.03 male(s)/female
under 15 years: 1.026 male(s)/female
15-64 years: 0.94 male(s)/female
65 years and over: 0.843 male(s)/female
total population: 0.976 male(s)/female (2007 est.)
Infant mortality ratetotal: 40.54 deaths/1,000 live births
male: 42.42 deaths/1,000 live births
female: 38.61 deaths/1,000 live births (2007 est.)
Life expectancy at birthtotal population: 67.64 years
male: 66.03 years
female: 69.3 years (2007 est.)
Total fertility rate5.53 children born/woman (2007 est.)
Hiv aids adult prevalence rateNA
Hiv aids people living with hiv aidsNA
Hiv aids deathsNA
Nationalitynoun: Sao Tomean(s)
adjective: Sao Tomean
Major infectious diseasesdegree of risk: high
food or waterborne diseases: bacterial diarrhea, hepatitis A, and typhoid fever
vectorborne disease: malaria (2007)
Ethnic groupsmestico, 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)
ReligionsCatholic 70.3%, Evangelical 3.4%, New Apostolic 2%, Adventist 1.8%, other 3.1%, none 19.4% (2001 census)
LanguagesPortuguese (official)
Literacydefinition: age 15 and over can read and write
total population: 84.9%
male: 92.2%
female: 77.9% (2001 census)
Government - Sao Tome and Principe:
Country nameconventional 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 typerepublic
Capitalname: Sao Tome
geographic coordinates: 0 12 N, 6 39 E
time difference: UTC 0 (5 hours ahead of Washington, DC during Standard Time)
Administrative divisions2 provinces; Principe, Sao Tome
note: Principe has had self government since 29 April 1995
Independence12 July 1975 (from Portugal)
National holidayIndependence Day, 12 July (1975)
Constitutionapproved March 1990, effective 10 September 1990
Legal systembased on Portuguese legal system and customary law; has not accepted compulsory ICJ jurisdiction
Suffrage18 years of age; universal
Executive branchchief of state: President Fradique DE MENEZES (since 3 September 2001)
head of government: Prime Minister Tome Soares da VERA CRUZ (since 21 April 2006)
cabinet: Council of Ministers appointed by the president on the proposal of the prime minister
elections: president elected by popular vote for a five-year term (eligible for a second term); election last held 30 July 2006 (next to be held 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 branchunicameral National Assembly or Assembleia Nacional (55 seats; members are elected by popular vote to serve four-year terms)
elections: last held on 26 March 2006 (next to be held in March 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 branchSupreme Court (judges are appointed by the National Assembly)
Political parties and leadersDemocratic Renovation Party [Armindo GRACA]; Force for Change Democratic Movement or MDFM; Independent Democratic Action or ADI [Carlos NEVES]; Movement for the Liberation of Sao Tome and Principe-Social Democratic Party or MLSTP-PSD [Manuel Pinto Da COSTA]; New Way Movement or NR; Party for Democratic Convergence or PCD [Aldo BANDEIRA]; Ue-Kedadji coalition; other small parties
Political pressure groups and leadersNA
International organization participationACCT, ACP, AfDB, AU, CPLP, FAO, G-77, IBRD, ICAO, ICCt (signatory), ICRM, IDA, IFAD, IFRCS, ILO, IMF, IMO, Interpol, IOC, IOM (observer), IPU, ITU, ITUC, NAM, OIF, OPCW, UN, UNCTAD, UNESCO, UNIDO, Union Latina, UNWTO, UPU, WCL, WHO, WIPO, WMO, WTO (observer)
Diplomatic representation in the uschief of mission: First Secretary Domingos Augusto FERREIRA
chancery: 400 Park Avenue, 7th Floor, New York, NY 10022
telephone: [1] (212) 317-0580
FAX: [1] (212) 935-7348
consulate(s): Atlanta
Diplomatic representation from the usthe 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 descriptionthree 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; uses the popular pan-African colors of Ethiopia
Economy - Sao Tome and Principe:
Economy overviewThis 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, but strengthening prices helped boost export earnings in 2003. 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 countrys $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. Sao Tome is optimistic about the development of petroleum resources in its territorial waters in the oil-rich Gulf of Guinea, which are being jointly developed in a 60-40 split with Nigeria. The first production licenses were sold in 2004, though a dispute over licensing with Nigeria delayed Sao Tomes receipt of more than $20 million in signing bonuses for almost a year. Real GDP growth exceeded 4% in 2006, as a result of increases in public expenditures and oil-related capital investment.
Gdp purchasing power parity $278 million (2006 est.)
Gdp official exchange rate $71.38 million (2005 est.)
Gdp real growth rate4.4% (2006 est.)
Gdp per capita ppp $1,200 (2003 est.)
Gdp composition by sectoragriculture: 16.6%
industry: 15.3%
services: 68.1% (2006 est.)
Labor force35,050 (1991)
Labor force by occupationnote: population mainly engaged in subsistence agriculture and fishing; shortages of skilled workers
Unemployment rateNA%
Population below poverty line54% (2004 est.)
Household income or consumption by percentage sharelowest 10%: NA%
highest 10%: NA%
Inflation rate consumer prices 15% (2006 est.)
Investment gross fixed 35.2% of GDP (2006 est.)
Budgetrevenues: $102.1 million
expenditures: $61.43 million; including capital expenditures of $54 million (2006 est.)
Agriculture productscocoa, coconuts, palm kernels, copra, cinnamon, pepper, coffee, bananas, papayas, beans; poultry; fish
Industrieslight construction, textiles, soap, beer, fish processing, timber
Industrial production growth rateNA%
Electricity production18 million kWh (2004)
Electricity consumption16.74 million kWh (2004)
Electricity exports0 kWh (2004)
Electricity imports0 kWh (2004)
Oil production0 bbl/day (2004 est.)
Oil consumption660 bbl/day (2004 est.)
Oil exportsNA bbl/day
Oil importsNA bbl/day
Oil proved reserves0 bbl
Natural gas production0 cu m (2004 est.)
Natural gas consumption0 cu m (2004 est.)
Current account balance-$24.4 million (2006 est.)
Exports$9.773 million f.o.b. (2006 est.)
Exports commoditiescocoa 80%, copra, coffee, palm oil
Exports partnersNetherlands 41.9%, Belgium 16.6%, South Korea 9%, Portugal 8.1% (2006)
Imports$48.87 million f.o.b. (2006 est.)
Imports commoditiesmachinery and electrical equipment, food products, petroleum products
Imports partnersPortugal 48.7%, France 19.8%, US 5.1%, Belgium 4.8% (2006)
Reserves of foreign exchange and gold$25.47 million (2006 est.)
Debt external$318 million (2002)
Economic aid recipient$200 million in December 2000 under the HIPC program
Currency code dobra (STD)
Exchange ratesdobras per US dollar - 12,050 (2006), 9,900.4 (2005), NA 9,902.3 (2004), 9,347.6 (2003), 9,088.3 (2002)
Communications - Sao Tome and Principe:
Fiscal yearcalendar year
Telephones main lines in use7,100 (2005)
Telephones mobile cellular12,000 (2005)
Telephone systemgeneral assessment: adequate facilities
domestic: minimal system
international: country code - 239; satellite earth station - 1 Intelsat (Atlantic Ocean)
Radio broadcast stationsAM 1, FM 5, shortwave 1 (2001)
Television broadcast stations2 (2001)
Internet country code.st
Internet hosts735 (2006)
Internet users23,000 (2005)
Transportation - Sao Tome and Principe:
Airports2 (2006)
Airports with paved runwaystotal: 2
1,524 to 2,437 m: 1
914 to 1,523 m: 1 (2006)
Roadwaystotal: 320 km
paved: 218 km
unpaved: 102 km (1999)
Merchant marinetotal: 8 ships (1000 GRT or over) 21,527 GRT/29,823 DWT
by type: bulk carrier 1, cargo 7
foreign-owned: 3 (Egypt 1, Greece 1, Lebanon 1) (2006)
Ports and terminalsSao Tome
Military - Sao Tome and Principe:
Military branchesArmed Forces of Sao Tome and Principe (FASTP): Army, Navy, Presidential Guard (2007)
Military service age and obligation18 years of age (est.) (2004)
Manpower available for military servicemales age 18-49: 33,438
females age 18-49: 35,279 (2005 est.)
Manpower fit for military servicemales age 18-49: 25,950
females age 18-49: 28,660 (2005 est.)
Military noteSao Tome and Principes 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)
Military expenditures percent of gdp0.8% (2006)
This page was last updated on 16 September, 2007
Source: CIA >>>


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