São Tomé e Príncipe

  • Barry Turner
Part of the The Statesman’s Yearbook book series (SYBK)


The islands of São Tomé and Príncipe off the west coast of AfricE were colonized by Portugal in the fifteenth century. There ma) have been a few African inhabitants earlier but most of the population arrived during the centuries when the islands servec as a slave-trading depot for South America. In the 19th centur) the islands became the first parts of Africa to grow cocoa. In 1876 Portugal officially abolished slavery but in practice it continued with many Angolans, Mozambicans and Cape Verdiam brought in to work on the cocoa plantations. Because the slave-descended population was cut off from African culture, São Tomé had a higher proportion than other Portuguese colonies, of assimilados (Africans acquiring full Portuguese culture anc some rights). São Tomé saw serious riots against Portuguese rule in 1953. From 1960 a Movement for the Liberation of São Tomé e Príncipe operated from neighbouring African territories. In 1970 Portugal formed a 16-member legislative council and a provincia consultative council. Following the Portuguese revolution of 1974 a transitional government was formed. Independence came on 12 July 1975. Independent São Tomé e Príncipe officially proclaimec Marxist-Leninist policies but maintained a non-aligned foreign policy and has received aid from Portugal.


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Further Reading

  1. National Statistical Office: Instituto Nacional de Estatistica, Largo das Alf an degas, Cx. Postal 256, Sào Tome.Google Scholar
  2. Website (Portuguese only):

Copyright information

© Palgrave Macmillan, a division of Macmillan Publishers Limited 2011

Authors and Affiliations

  • Barry Turner

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