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Sao Tome and Principe


Introduction: 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...

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People: Roughly 160,000 people live on Sao Tome and about 6,000 on Principe. All are descended from various ethnic groups that have migrated to the islands since 1485. Six groups are identifiable:Mestico, or mixed-blood, descendants of African slaves brought to the islands during the early years of settlement from Benin, Gabon, and Congo and Europeans (these people also are known as filhos da terra or ...

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International Relations: São Tomé and Principe’s initial post-independence relationships were forged with the Soviet Bloc and Cuba, but since the mid-1980s the country has sought to widen partnerships particularly with Western donor countries and institutions as part of its economic reform programme. Its closest friendships are with the other Portuguese-speaking African countries and with Portugal itself. Angola is considered a vital partner having maintained a battalion of soldiers to guard the Presidency following an alleged coup in 1978. Recently, São Tomé and Principe’s relationship with Nigeria has grown significantly as a result of their mutual oil ...

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(Db) Sao Tome Dobra (STD)
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