Sao Tome and Principe

Sao Tome and PrincipeSao Tome and PrincipeSão Tomé and Príncipe, an African island nation close to the equator, is part of a volcano chain featuring striking rock and coral formations, rainforests and beaches. On the larger island, São Tomé is the Lagoa Azul lagoon. Ôbo Natural Park, a biodiverse jungle preserve, covers much of São Tomé and is distinguished by Pico Cão Grande, a skyscraper-like volcanic rock. Located off of the northwest coast of Gabon, the islands of Sao Tome and Principe make up the smallest country of Africa. The islands are composed of an extinct volcanic mountain range that also encompasses the island of Bioko in the north and Mount Cameroon in the west.

Key Cities

Key cities in Sao Tome and Principe include Sao Tome, Santo Antonio.

Historical, Cultural facts & Religion

The first successful settlement of São Tomé was established in 1493 by Álvaro Caminha, who received the land as a grant from the crown. By the mid-16th century, the Portuguese settlers had turned the islands into Africa’s foremost exporter of sugar. The music and dance scene of the country is heavily influenced by the Portuguese and African cultures. Principe is the home to the dêxa beat while ússua and socopé rhythms of Sao Tome are well-known. These rhythms and their dances were influenced by Portuguese ballroom dancing.

Brief Country History

The second smallest African state of Sao Tome and Principe came to life only after the Portuguese set soil and claimed the land at around 1470. The Portuguese saw the commercial potential of the islands and so they inhabited and made a base out of it. Originally, the island was named as Santo Antäo but was later renamed Ilha do honor of the crowned prince who happens to be the beneficiary of the duties from Portugal’s offshore sugar plantations.

The first settlement was erected by Alvaro Caminha in what is now the island of Sao Tome through a grant from the crown in 1493. The island of Principe was also later populated in a similar arrangement at around 1950. The desolation of the island proved to be the primary difficulty in attracting settlers and so the first wave of inhabitants of the islands were mostly convicts from the mainland or the undesirables as they call them. These unwanted segments of society also consisted of Jews as Catholicism in Portugal back then was in a fever pitch. Soon thereafter, the settlers found the volcanic soil to be good for growing sugar and so it wasn’t long before that sugar was cultivated. By the middle of the 16th century, the island became Africa’s top sugar exporter. Because the economy of the two islands became so large, Sao Tome and Principe’s administration were turned over to the Portuguese crown in 1522 and 1573 respectively.

Sao Tome and Principe’s sugar economy however was challenged heavily by other colonies from the Western Hemisphere leading to its gradual decline for the next 100 years. Because sugar was no longer that profitable, the Portuguese transformed the island into a slave trade hub during the 17th century. By the 19th century, coffee and cocoa became the new cash crops. By 1908, Sao Tome became the undisputed largest producer of cocoa in the world.

Although slavery was abolished in 1876, Sao Tome and Principe’s plantations were still using slaves. Just like any culture that pushed their slaves too hard, riots erupted here and there until in 1953 a major outbreak happened. The slaves were unsuccessful though but this gave rise to the Movement for the Liberation of Sao Tome and Principe (MLSTP).

In 1974, the liberation of Sao Tome and Principe became a near reality as politics in Portugal changed color as a result of the ouster of Caetano in power. Quickly, the new government met with the MLSTP to work out the transfer of sovereignty as the new government was committed to dissolving its offshore colonies.

In 1975, Sao Tome and Principe finally got their taste of independence as the first president got elected in the person of Manuel Pinto de Costa. Currently, the country is under the leadership of Fradique de Menezes who has been president since 2001.

Language (s) Written & Spoken

Languages of São Tomé and Príncipe. São Tomé and Príncipe have Portuguese as the official and national language. It is spoken by virtually all of the population. Locally developed restructured varieties of Portuguese or Portuguese creoles are also spoken: Forro, Angolar, and Principense.

Important Types of Commerce in Sao Tome and Principe

Sao Tome and Principe is an island country in the Gulf of Guinea, located off the western coast of Central Africa. It is made up of two archipelagoes around two main islands; Sao Tome and Principe. These two islands are about 87 miles apart. The country covers a total area of approximately 386 square miles. The islands were discovered by the Portuguese in the 15th century and settled there throughout the 16th century. With a population of just over 200,000 people, Sao Tome and Principe are the 2nd smallest country in Africa and the smallest Portuguese-speaking nation in the world. The majority of the population (193,000) live on Sao Tome and the rest on Principe. The effects of the Portuguese rule on the islands are still visible in the customs, culture, and way of life of the people.

Although the economy of Sao Tome and Principe has traditionally depended on cocoa, it is experiencing a lot of changes due to the investment in the development of the petroleum industry in the oil-rich Gulf of Guinea. It is estimated that the zone contains up to 10 billion barrels of oil. However, no single reserve has been proven yet.

Language Services US and others will provide working with Sao Tome and Principe

People can move from one place to another due to various reasons. Therefore, interpreting is necessary to ease understanding in communication. Some of the reasons may be an adventure, fleeing wars, employment, business, and many others. Business, law, education, research, engineering, manufacturing, medical, and some of the many fields that require professional translation and interpretation services when doing business in Sao Tome and Principe. Proper understanding and knowledge of the local terminologies used are highly essential for essential and quality language service. French and Arabic are two major languages spoken in Sao Tome and Principe. Industry doing business with Sao Tome and Principe will require accurate and consistent French and Arabic language services to grasp the wider market.

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