#COUNTRY Main Index
Sao Tome and Principe Introduction - 2004
SOURCE: 2004 CIA WORLD FACTBOOK
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. Although independence was achieved in 1975, democratic reforms were not instituted until the late 1980s. Though the first free elections were held in 1991, the political environment has been one of continued instability with frequent changes in leadership and coup attempts in 1995 and 2003. The recent discovery of oil in the Gulf of Guinea is likely to have a significant impact on the country's economy.
NOTE: The information regarding Sao Tome and Principe on this page is re-published from the 2004 World Fact Book of the United States Central Intelligence Agency. No claims are made regarding the accuracy of Sao Tome and Principe Introduction 2004 information contained here. All suggestions for corrections of any errors about Sao Tome and Principe Introduction 2004 should be addressed to the CIA.