General information: The islands were discovered by the Portuguese and declared a confluence of Portugal at the end of the 15th century. The economy, which was based on the production of sugar, in the XIX century. switched to the production of coffee and cocoa; these crops were grown on plantations by slaves; remnants of this form of exploitation persisted until the beginning of the 20th century. Although the islands achieved independence in 1975, democratic reforms did not take place until the late 1980s. In 1991, the first free elections were held in the country.
Location: West Africa, islands in the Gulf of Guinea, near the equator, west of Gabon.
Geographical coordinates: 1° 00′ s. latitude, 7° 00′ E
Reference map: Africa.
Area: total: 1,001 square kilometers; land surface area: 1,001 km2; water surface area: 0 km2
Comparative area: slightly more than five times the area of Washington, DC.
Land borders: 0 km.
Coastline: 209 km.
Maritime claims: measured from the declared boundary of the archipelago. exclusive economic zone: 200 nautical miles. territorial waters: 12 nautical miles.
Climate: tropical; hot, humid; rainy season from October to May.
Terrain: volcanic, mountainous.
Maximum and minimum heights: lowest point: Atlantic Ocean 0 m; highest point: Sao Tome peak 2,024 m.
Natural resources: fish, hydroelectric resources.
Land use: arable land: 2%; cultivated land: 36%; pastures: 1%; forests and plantations: 0%; others: 61% (1993 est.).
Irrigated land: 100 km2 (1993 est.).
Natural hazards: no data available.
Current environmental issues: deforestation; erosion and soil degradation.
International agreements on environmental protection: member: Biodiversity, Climate Change, Desertification, Environmental Change, Law of the Sea, Ship Pollution; signed but not ratified: no.
Note to the section “Geography”:
Population: 165,034 (July 2001 est.).
Age structure: under 14: 47.7% (male 39,430; female 38,859); 15 to 64 years old: 48.28% (male 38,430; female 41,246); over 65: 4.02% (male 3,034; female 3,608) (2001 est.).
Population growth: 3.18% (2001 est.).
Birth rate: 42.74 newborns / 1000 people. (2001 est.).
Mortality: 7.54 deaths / 1000 people. (2001 est.).
Migration: -3.38 people / 1000 people (2001 est.).
Sex ratio: at birth: 1.03 male/female; up to 15 years: 1.03 male/female; 15 to 64 years old: 0.93 male/female; over 65: 0.84 male/female; for the general population: 0.97 male/female (2001 est.);
Child mortality: 48.96 deaths/1000 live births (2001 est.).
Life expectancy: for the general population: 65.59 years; men: 64.15 years; women: 67.07 years (2001 est.).
General birth rate: 6.02 children/wives. (2001 est.).
Proportion of the adult population infected with HIV: no data available.
Number of people infected with HIV: no data.
Mortality due to AIDS: no data available.
Nationality: noun: resident of Sao Tome and Principe; adjective: pertaining to Sao Tome and Principe.
Ethnic groups: Mestizos, Angolars (descendants of Angolan slaves), Forros (descendants of freed slaves), Serviquez (contract workers from Angola, Mozambique and Cape Verde), Tonga (children of Serviquez born on the islands), Europeans (mainly Portuguese).
Believers: Christian 80% (Catholics, Protestants, Seventh Day Adventists).
Language(s): Portuguese (official).
Literacy: definition: persons aged 15 and over who can read and write; for the general population: 73%; men: 85%; women: 62% (1991 est.).
conventional long form: Democratic Republic of Sao Tome and Principe;
Common short form: Sao Tome and Principe; local long form: Republica Democratica de Sao Tome e Principe; local short form: Sao Tome e Principe.
State structure: republic. See politicsezine.com to know more about Sao Tome and Principe Political System.
Capital: Sao Tome.
Administrative division: 2 provinces: Principe, Sao Tome; note: in the province of Principe, since April 29, 1995, self-government has been introduced.
Independence: from July 12, 1975 (until 1975 – a colony of Portugal).
National holiday: Independence Day, July 12 (since 1975).
Constitution: adopted in March 1990; became effective on September 10, 1990.
Legal system: based on the Portuguese legal system and customary law; does not accept the compulsory jurisdiction of the International Court of Justice.
Suffrage: from 18 years old; universal.
chief of state: President Miguel TROVOADA (since 4 April 1991);
head of government: Prime Minister Guilherma Posser da COSTA (since 30 December 1998);
government: a council of ministers appointed by the president on the advice of the prime minister; elections: the president is elected by popular vote for a five-year term; elections last held on 30 June and 21 July 1996 (next to be held in July 2001); the prime minister is nominated by the National Assembly and approved by the president; election results: Miguel TROVOADA re-elected president in the country’s second multi-party presidential election; percentage of votes – Miguel TROVOADA 52.74%, Manuel Pinto da COSTA 47.26%.
Legislature: unicameral National Assembly (55 members elected by direct universal suffrage for a five-year term); elections: last held 8 November 1998 (next to be held November 2003); election results: distribution of votes by parties – MLSTP-PSD 56%, PCD 14.5%, ADI 29%; seat distribution by party – MLSTP-PSD 31, ADI 16, PCD 8.
Judiciary: Supreme Court; judges are appointed by the National Assembly.
Political parties and leaders: Independent Democratic Action (ADI) (Carlos NEVES); Movement for the Liberation of Sao Tome and Principe-Social Democratic Party (MLSTP-PSD) (Manuel Pinto da COSTA); Party for Democratic Unification (PCD) (Aldo BANDEIRA); Democratic Renewal Party (Armindo GRACA); other small parties.
Political influence groups and their leaders:
Participation in international organizations: ACCT, ACCP, AfDB, CEEAC, ECA, FAO, G-77, IBRD, ICAO, ICRM, IDA, IFAD, IFRCS, ILO, IMF, IMO, Intelsat (nonsignatory user ), Interpol, IOC, IOM (observer), ITU, NAM, OAU, UN, UNCTAD, UNESCO, UNIDO, UPU, WCL, WHO, WIPO, WMO, WToO, WTrO (observer).
Diplomatic representation in the USA: Sao Tome and Principe does not have an embassy in the US, but has a Permanent Mission to the UN, headed by First Secretary Domingos Augusto FERREIRA; address – 122 East 42nd Street, Suite 1604, New York, New York 10168, tel.  (212) 317-0533.
US Diplomatic Mission: The US does not have an embassy in Sao Tome and Principe; The US Ambassador to Gabon is accredited to Sao Tome and Principe and visits the islands periodically.
Description of the flag: three horizontal stripes of green (top), yellow (this stripe is twice as wide) and green with two black five-pointed stars located in the center of the yellow stripe and a red isosceles triangle with a base at the pole; The colors of the Ethiopian flag, which are popular throughout Africa, are used.