São Tomé and Príncipe

São Tomé and Príncipe, officially the Democratic Republic of São Tomé and Príncipe, is a country in Central Africa. The island nation sits in the Gulf of Guinea near the western equatorial coast of the continent.

Country Profile

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The country consists of two main islands (São Tomé and Príncipe) and two archipelagos with several rocky islets, approximately 150 km apart. The Portuguese settled on the islands in 1470; the islands were previously uninhabited. Portugal colonized the islands in the 16th century, and São Tomé and Príncipe soon became an essential stop on the Atlantic slave trade route. The country gained independence from Portugal in 1975.

São Tomé is the country’s capital and largest city. It was founded in the 15th century and is one of the oldest colonial cities in Africa. Other major towns in the country include Santo Amaro, Neves and Santana.

The country’s climate is tropical, with consistently hot weather throughout the year. Higher elevations in the interior regions are slightly cooler than the coastal regions. São Tomé and Príncipe’s wet season lasts from October through to May.

São Tomé Peak is the highest point in the country, with an elevation of 2,024 meters (6,640 ft) above sea level. The mountain sits just west of the center on São Tomé Island. 

São Tomé and Príncipe is a democratic republic with a president who serves as head of state and a prime minister who serves as head of government. The president is elected by public popular vote and a secret ballot. They can serve a maximum of two terms, with each term lasting five years. The president selects the prime minister, but the majority party must also give consent.

São Tomé and Príncipe: Stats and Facts

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