Sao Tome and Principe [sã  tu mε – pr ĩ sipə], officially Portuguese República Democrática de São Tomé e Príncipe, German Democratic Republic of Sao Tome and Principe, island nation in West Africa, about 220 to 250 km off the coast of Gabon / Equatorial Guinea, with (2019) 215 100 residents; The capital is São Tomé.

São Tomé and Príncipe includes the islands of São Tomé and Príncipe in the Gulf of Guinea as well as small rocky islands.

Country facts

  • Official name: Democratic Republic of Sao Tome and Principe
  • License plate: STP
  • ISO-3166: ST, STP (678)
  • Internet
  • Currency: 1 Dobra (STN) = 100 Céntimos
  • Area: 960 km²
  • Population (2019): 215 100
  • Capital: São Tomé
  • Official language (s): Portuguese
  • Form of government: Presidential Republic
  • Administrative division: 6 districts on São Tomé; Principe with autonomous status
  • Head of State: President Evaristo Carvalho (since September 3, 2016)
  • Head of Government: Jorge Bom Jesus (since December 3, 2018)
  • Religion (s) (2012): 72% Christians (Catholics; Protestants; other Christians), 21% non-denominational, 7% other / not specified
  • Time zone: Central European Time -1 hour
  • National holiday: July 12th

Location and infrastructure

  • Location (geographical): Central Africa
  • Position (coordinates): between 1 ° 44 ‘north and 0 ° 01’ south latitude and 6 ° 28 ‘and 7 ° 28’ east longitude
  • Climate: Tropical rainforest climate
  • Highest mountain: Pico de São Tomé (2,024 m)
  • Road network (2018): 230 km (paved), 1 070 km (unpaved)


  • Annual population growth (2020): 1.6%
  • Birth rate (2020): 29.7 per 1,000 residents.
  • Death rate (2020): 6.3 per 1000 residents.
  • Average age (2020): 19.3 years
  • Average life expectancy (2020): 66.3 years (men 64.9; women 67.8)
  • Age structure (2020): 39.8% younger than 15 years, 2.9% older than 65 years
  • Literacy rate (15-year-olds and older) (2018): 92.8%
  • Mobile phone contracts (pre-paid and post-paid) (2018): 77 per 100 residents
  • Internet users (2017): 30 per 100 residents


  • GDP per capita (2019): US $ 1,933
  • Total GDP (2019): $ 0.430 billion
  • GNI per capita (2018): US $ 1,890
  • Education expenditure (2018): 5.1% of GDP
  • Military expenditure: n / a
  • Unemployment rate (15 years and older) (2019): 13.4%


According to the constitution that came into force on September 10, 1990 (revised in 2003), which guarantees party pluralism, elementary human and civil rights and a market economy, São Tomé and Príncipe is a republic with a semi-presidential system of government. According to cancermatters, the head of state and commander-in-chief of the armed forces is the president, who is directly elected for a period of 5 years (re-election possible once). He appoints the Prime Minister and the other members of the Cabinet. The legislature lies with the National Assembly (55 members, elected for 4 years).

National symbols

The national flag is inspired by the Ghanaian model and was hoisted for the first time on November 5th, 1975. It is horizontally striped in green, yellow, and green with a red triangle on the leech. In the middle of the yellow stripe there are two black stars symbolizing the two islands. The colors and their interpretation correspond to the African colors.

The coat of arms was adopted in 1977. It shows a natural-colored coconut palm in the gold-colored, coconut-shaped shield. Two pigeons spreading their wings serve as shield holders. A blue and gold helmet bulge with a dark blue five-pointed star rests on the shield, which is rounded off at the top. The ribbons above and below the coat of arms bear the official name of the state at the top and the motto “Unidade, Disciplina, Trabalho” (unity, discipline, work) at the bottom.

The national holiday is July 12th. It commemorates the gaining of independence in 1975.


The most influential parties and alliances are the Acção Democrática Independente (ADI; German Independent Democratic Action; founded 1992), the former unity party Movimento de Libertação de São Tomé e Príncipe – Partido Social Democrata (MLSTP – PSD; German liberation movement for São Tomé and Príncipe – Social Democrats Party; founded 1972), the Partido da Convergência Democrática (PCD; German Party of Democratic Convergence; founded 1990) and the Movimento Democrático das Forcas da Mundenca – Partido Liberal (MDFM – PL; German Democratic Movement for Change – Liberal Party; founded 2001). MDFM – PL and PCD formed the MDFM – PCD alliance in 2002–08.


São Tomé and Príncipe is divided into seven districts, six of them on the island of São Tomé and one on Príncipe. The island of Príncipe has had a regional government and its own parliament since the Statute of Autonomy came into force (April 29, 1995).


The legal system is still clearly influenced by Portuguese law. At the head of the judicial organization, alongside the Constitutional Court, is the Supreme Court, whose judges are appointed by the National Assembly. Courts of first and second instance are subordinate to it.


General compulsory schooling (with free school attendance) exists from 6 to 14 years of age. The school system is divided into a four-year primary level and a seven-year secondary level (with two-year and five-year levels). The country relies on foreign study locations for higher education.


There are six newspapers in São Tomé and Príncipe that appear once a week or twice a month, including Correio da Semana, Diario Vitrina, O Parvo and Téla Nón (online only). Radio programs broadcast by the state “Rádio Nacional de São Tomé e Príncipe” (RNSTP) and “Televisão São Tomense” (TVS), “Rádio Jubilar” (Catholic), “Rádio Tropicana”, “Radio Viva FM” and some local radio stations. In addition, »RFI 1 Afrique« from France and »RTP Africa« from Portugal are received. The news agency is »Agência STP-Press«.

Sao Tome and Principe Politics

Sao Tome and Principe Politics and Law