Geography of São Tomé and Príncipe
São Tomé and Príncipe is a small nation composed of an archipelago located in the Gulf of Guinea of equatorial Atlantic Ocean. The nation's main islands are São Tomé Príncipe Island, for which the country is named; these are located about 300 and 250 kilometres off the northwest coast of Gabon in Central Africa. The nation's geographic coordinates are a latitude of 1°00′N and a longitude of 7°00′E. São Tomé and Príncipe constitute one of Africa's smallest countries, with 209 km of coastline. Both are part of an extinct volcanic mountain range, which includes the island of Bioko in Equatorial Guinea to the northeast and Mount Cameroon on the mainland coast further northeast. São Tomé is the more mountainous of the two islands, its peaks reach 2,024 m - Pico de São Tomé. Principe is 6 km wide, making it the smaller of the two, its peaks reach 948 m - Pico de Príncipe. This makes the total land area of the country 1,001 km2, about five times the size of Washington, D. C.. Both islands are crossed by swift streams radiating down the mountains through lush forest and cropland to the sea.
Both islands at a distance of 150 km2. The equator lies south of São Tomé Island, passing through an islet Ilhéu das Rolas; the Pico Cão Grande is a landmark volcanic plug peak, located at 0°7′0″N 6°34′00″E in southern São Tomé. It rises over 300 m above the surrounding terrain and the summit is 663 m above sea level. At sea level, the climate is tropical—hot and humid with average yearly temperatures of about 27 °C and little daily variation. At the interior's higher altitudes, the average yearly temperature is 20 °C, nights are cool. Annual rainfall varies from 5,000 mm on the southwestern slopes to 1,000 mm in the northern lowlands; the rainy season runs from October to May. The two islands are oceanic islands which have always been separate from mainland Central Africa and so there is a low diversity of species, restricted to those that have managed to cross the sea to the islands; however the level of endemism is high with many species occurring nowhere else in the world. Maritime claims: Measured from claimed archipelagic baselines Exclusive economic zone: 200 nmi Territorial sea: 12 nmi Climate Tropical.
Northernmost point - unnamed headland on Ilheu Bom Bom Easternmost point - Ponta Capitão, Príncipe Southernmost point - unnamed headland on Ilhéu das Rolas Westernmost point - Ponta Azeitona São Tomé and Príncipe
Pedro Escobar known as Pêro Escobar, was a 15th-century Portuguese navigator who discovered São Tomé, Annobon, Príncipe islands, together with João de Santarém c. 1470. He is recorded sailing with Diogo Cão on his first voyage in 1482, as the pilot of the famous Bérrio caravel on Vasco da Gama’s first expedition in 1497 to sail directly from Europe to India, he was on Pedro Álvares Cabral’s discovery of Brazil in 1500. In 1471, working in the service of Lisbon merchant Fernão Gomes, who had a concession for the exploration and trade in the Gulf of Guinea, Pedro Escobar helped to discover the gold industry that would grow around Elmina in 1471
Gulf of Guinea
The Gulf of Guinea is the northeasternmost part of the tropical Atlantic Ocean between Cape Lopez in Gabon and west to Cape Palmas in Liberia. The intersection of the Equator and Prime Meridian is in the gulf. Among the many rivers that drain into the Gulf of Guinea are the Volta; the coastline on the gulf includes the Bight of Bonny. The origin of the name Guinea is thought to be an area in the region, although the specifics are disputed. Bovill gives a thorough description: The name Guinea is said to have been a corrupt form of the name Ghana, picked up by the Portuguese in the Maghrib; the present writer finds this unacceptable. The name Guinea has been in use both in Europe long before Prince Henry's time. For example, on a map dated about 1320 by the Genoese cartographer Giovanni di Carignano, who got his information about Africa from a fellow-countryman in Sijilmas, we find Gunuia, in the Catalan atlas of 1375 as Ginyia. A passage in Leo points to Guinea having been a corrupt form of Jenne, less famous than Ghana but for many centuries famed in the Maghrib as a great market and a seat of learning.
The relevant passage reads: "The Kingdom of Ghinea... called by the merchants of our nation Gheneoa, by the natural inhabitants thereof Genni and by the Portugals and other people of Europe Ghinea." But it seems more probable that Guinea derives from the Berber for Negro. Marrakech has a gate, built in the twelfth century, called the Bab Aguinaou, the Gate of the Negro; the modern application of the name Guinea to the coast dates only from 1481. In that year the Portuguese built a fort, São Jorge da Mina, on the Gold Coast region, their king, John II, was permitted by the Pope to style himself Lord of Guinea, a title that survived until the recent extinction of the monarchy; the name "Guinea" was applied to south coast of West Africa, north of the Gulf of Guinea, which became known as "Upper Guinea", the west coast of Southern Africa, to the east, which became known as "Lower Guinea". The name "Guinea" is still attached to the names of three countries in Africa: Guinea, Guinea-Bissau, Equatorial Guinea, as well as New Guinea in Melanesia.
The main river shedding its waters in the gulf is the Niger River. Different definitions of the geographic limits of the Gulf of Guinea are given; the Gulf of Guinea contains a number of islands, the largest of which are in a southwest-northeast chain, forming part of the Cameroon line of volcanoes. Annobón known as Pagalu or Pigalu, is an island, part of Equatorial Guinea. Bobowasi Island is an island off the west coast of Africa in the Gulf of Guinea, part of Western region Ghana. Bioko is an island off the west coast of Africa in the Gulf of Guinea, part of Equatorial Guinea. Corisco is an island belonging to Equatorial Guinea. Elobey Grande and Elobey Chico are two small islands belonging to Equatorial Guinea. São Tomé and Príncipe is a Portuguese-speaking island nation in the Gulf of Guinea that became independent from Portugal in 1975, it is located off the western equatorial coast of Africa and consists of two islands, São Tomé and Príncipe. They are located about 140 kilometres apart and about 250 and 225 kilometres off the northwestern coast of Gabon.
Both islands are part of an extinct volcanic mountain range. São Tomé, the sizeable southern island, is situated just north of the Equator. Media related to Gulf of Guinea at Wikimedia Commons The Gulf of Guinea Commission - CGG - GGC
São Tomé and Príncipe
São Tomé and Príncipe the Democratic Republic of São Tomé and Príncipe, is an island country in the Gulf of Guinea, off the western equatorial coast of Central Africa. It consists of two archipelagos around the two main islands of São Tomé and Príncipe, about 140 kilometres apart and about 250 and 225 kilometres off the northwestern coast of Gabon, respectively; the islands were uninhabited until their discovery by Portuguese explorers in the 15th century. Colonised and settled by the Portuguese throughout the 16th century, they collectively served as a vital commercial and trade center for the Atlantic slave trade; the rich volcanic soil and close proximity to the Equator made São Tomé and Príncipe ideal for sugar cultivation, followed by cash crops such as coffee and cocoa. Cycles of social unrest and economic instability throughout the 19th and 20th centuries culminated in peaceful independence in 1975. São Tomé and Príncipe has since remained one of Africa's most democratic countries. With a population of 199,910, São Tomé and Príncipe is the second-smallest African sovereign state after Seychelles, as well as the smallest Portuguese-speaking country.
Its people are predominantly with most practising Roman Catholicism. The legacy of Portuguese rule is visible in the country's culture and music, which fuse European and African influences. São Tomé and Príncipe is a founding member state of the Community of Portuguese Language Countries; the islands of São Tomé and Príncipe were uninhabited when the Portuguese arrived sometime around 1470. The islands were discovered by João de Pêro Escobar. Portuguese navigators explored the islands and decided that they would be good locations for bases to trade with the mainland; the dates of discovery are sometimes given as 21 December 1471, for São Tomé. Príncipe was named Santo Antão, changing its name in 1502 to Ilha do Príncipe, in reference to the Prince of Portugal to whom duties on the island's sugar crop were paid; the first successful settlement of São Tomé was established in 1493 by Álvaro Caminha, who received the land as a grant from the crown. Príncipe was settled in 1500 under a similar arrangement.
Attracting settlers proved difficult and most of the earliest inhabitants were "undesirables" sent from Portugal Jews. In time these settlers found the volcanic soil of the region suitable for agriculture the growing of sugar. By 1515, São Tomé and Príncipe had become slave depots for the coastal slave trade centered at Elmina; the cultivation of sugar was a labour-intensive process and the Portuguese began to enslave large numbers of Africans from the mainland. By the mid-16th century the Portuguese settlers had turned the islands into Africa's foremost exporter of sugar. São Tomé and Príncipe were taken over and administered by the Portuguese crown in 1522 and 1573, respectively. However, competition from sugar-producing colonies in the Western Hemisphere began to hurt the islands; the large enslaved population proved difficult to control, with Portugal unable to invest many resources in the effort. Sugar cultivation thus declined over the next 100 years, by the mid-17th century, the economy of São Tomé had changed.
It was now a transit point for ships engaged in the slave trade between the West and continental Africa. In the early 19th century, two new cash crops and cocoa, were introduced; the rich volcanic soils proved well suited to the new cash crop industry, soon extensive plantations, owned by Portuguese companies or absentee landlords, occupied all of the good farmland. By 1908, São Tomé had become the world's largest producer of cocoa, which remains the country's most important crop; the roças system, which gave the plantation managers a high degree of authority, led to abuses against the African farm workers. Although Portugal abolished slavery in 1876, the practice of forced paid labour continued. Scientific American magazine documented in words and pictures the continued use of slaves in São Tomé in its 13 March 1897 issue. In the early 20th century, an internationally publicized controversy arose over charges that Angolan contract workers were being subjected to forced labour and unsatisfactory working conditions.
Sporadic labor unrest and dissatisfaction continued well into the 20th century, culminating in an outbreak of riots in 1953 in which several hundred African laborers were killed in a clash with their Portuguese rulers. This "Batepá Massacre" remains a major event in the colonial history of the islands, its anniversary is observed by the government. By the late 1950s, when other emerging nations across the African Continent demanded their independence, a small group of São Toméans had formed the Movement for the Liberation of São Tomé and Príncipe, which established its base in nearby Gabon. Picking up momentum in the 1960s, events moved after the overthrow of the Caetano dictatorship in Portugal in April 1974; the new Portuguese regime was committed to the dissolution of its overseas colonies. In November 1974, their representatives met with the MLSTP in Algiers and worked out an agreement for the transfer of sovereignty. After a period of transitional government, São Tomé and Príncipe achieved independence on 12 July 1975, choosing as the first president the MLSTP Secretary General
The cocoa bean or cocoa, called the cacao bean or cacao, is the dried and fermented seed of Theobroma cacao, from which cocoa solids and cocoa butter can be extracted. Cocoa beans are the basis of chocolate, Mesoamerican foods including tejate, a pre-Hispanic drink that includes maize; the word "cocoa" comes from the Spanish word cacao, derived from the Nahuatl word cacahuatl. The Nahuatl word, in turn derives from the reconstructed Proto Mije-Sokean word kakawa; the term cocoa means the drink, called hot cocoa or hot chocolate cocoa powder, the dry powder made by grinding cocoa seeds and removing the cocoa butter from the cocoa solids, which are dark and bitter a mixture of cocoa powder and cocoa butter – a primitive form of chocolate. The cacao tree is native to the Amazon Basin, it was domesticated by the Mocayas. More than 4,000 years ago, it was consumed by pre-Columbian cultures along the Yucatán, including the Mayans, as far back as Olmeca civilization in spiritual ceremonies, it grows in the foothills of the Andes in the Amazon and Orinoco basins of South America, in Colombia and Venezuela.
Wild cacao still grows there. Its range may have been larger in the past; as of November 2018, evidence suggests that cacao was first domesticated in equatorial South America, before being domesticated in Central America 1,500 years later. Artifacts found at Santa-Ana-La Florida, in Ecuador, indicate that the Mayo-Chinchipe people were cultivating cacao as long as 5,300 years ago. Chemical analysis of residue extracted from pottery excavated at an archaeological site at Puerto Escondido, in Honduras, indicates that cocoa products were first consumed there sometime between 1500 and 1400 BC. Evidence indicates that, long before the flavor of the cacao seed became popular, the sweet pulp of the chocolate fruit, used in making a fermented beverage, first drew attention to the plant in the Americas; the cocoa bean was a common currency throughout Mesoamerica before the Spanish conquest. Cacao trees grow in a limited geographical zone, of about 20 ° to the south of the Equator. Nearly 70% of the world crop today is grown in West Africa.
The cacao plant was first given its botanical name by Swedish natural scientist Carl Linnaeus in his original classification of the plant kingdom, where he called it Theobroma cacao. Cocoa was an important commodity in pre-Columbian Mesoamerica. A Spanish soldier, part of the conquest of Mexico by Hernán Cortés tells that when Moctezuma II, emperor of the Aztecs, dined, he took no other beverage than chocolate, served in a golden goblet. Flavored with vanilla or other spices, his chocolate was whipped into a froth that dissolved in the mouth. No fewer than 60 portions each day may have been consumed by Moctezuma II, 2,000 more by the nobles of his court. Chocolate was introduced to Europe by the Spaniards, became a popular beverage by the mid-17th century. Spaniards introduced the cacao tree into the West Indies and the Philippines, it was introduced into the rest of Asia and into West Africa by Europeans. In the Gold Coast, modern Ghana, cacao was introduced by Tetteh Quarshie; the three main varieties of cocoa plant are Forastero and Trinitario.
The first is the most used, comprising 80–90% of the world production of cocoa. Cocoa beans of the Criollo variety considered a delicacy. Criollo plantations have lower yields than those of Forastero, tend to be less resistant to several diseases that attack the cocoa plant, hence few countries still produce it. One of the largest producers of Criollo beans is Venezuela. Trinitario is a hybrid between Forastero varieties, it is considered to be of much higher quality than Forastero, has higher yields, is more resistant to disease than Criollo. A cocoa pod has a rough, leathery rind about 2 to 3 cm thick filled with sweet, mucilaginous pulp with a lemonade-like taste enclosing 30 to 50 large seeds that are soft and a pale lavender to dark brownish purple color. During harvest, the pods are opened, the seeds are kept, the empty pods are discarded and the pulp made into juice; the seeds are placed. Due to heat buildup in the fermentation process, cacao beans lose most of the purplish hue and become brown in color, with an adhered skin which includes the dried remains of the fruity pulp.
This skin is released by winnowing after roasting. White seeds are found in some rare varieties mixed with purples, are considered of higher value. Cocoa trees grow in rainy tropical areas within 20 ° of latitude from the Equator. Cocoa harvest is not restricted to one period per year and a harvest occurs over several months. In fact, in many countries, cocoa can be harvested at any time of the year. Pesticides are applied to the trees to combat capsid bugs, fungicides to fight black pod disease. Immature cocoa pods have a variety of colours, but most are green, red, or purple, as they mature, their colour tends towards yellow or orange in the creases. Unlike most fruiting trees, the cacao pod grows directly from the trunk or large branch of a tree rather than from the end of a branch, similar to jackfruit; this makes harvesting by hand easier. The po
Estado Novo (Portugal)
The Estado Novo, or the Second Republic, was the corporatist totalitarian regime installed in Portugal in 1933. It was rooted in Catholic social thought, influential among both liberals and conservatives in Portugal, it evolved from the Ditadura Nacional formed after the coup d'état of 28 May 1926 against the democratic and unstable First Republic. Together, the Ditadura Nacional and the Estado Novo are recognised as the Second Portuguese Republic; the Estado Novo inspired by conservative and authoritarian ideologies, was developed by António de Oliveira Salazar, President of the Council of Ministers of Portugal from 1932 to 1968, when illness illness forced him out of office. After 1945, his corporatist economic model was less and less useful and it retarded economic modernization. Opposed to communism, anarchism, fascism. Liberalism and anti-colonialism, the regime was corporatist and nationalist in nature, defending Portugal's traditional Catholicism, its policy envisaged the perpetuation of Portugal as a pluricontinental nation under the doctrine of lusotropicalism, with Angola and other Portuguese territories as extensions of Portugal itself, it being a supposed source of civilization and stability to the overseas societies in the African and Asian possessions.
Under the Estado Novo, Portugal tried to perpetuate a vast, centuries-old empire with a total area of 2,168,071 square kilometres, while other former colonial powers had already acceded to global calls for self-determination and independence. Portugal joined the United Nations in 1955, was a founding member of NATO, OECD, EFTA. In 1968 Marcello Caetano was appointed the new head of government. On 25 April 1974, the Carnation Revolution in Lisbon, a military coup organised by left-wing Portuguese military officers – the Armed Forces Movement – overthrew the Estado Novo regime. Fiercely criticised by most of the international community after World War II and decolonisation, it was one of the longest-surviving authoritarian regimes in Europe. By the fall of the Estado Novo in 1974, Portugal had the lowest per capita income in Western Europe, as well as the highest rate of preventable deaths and infant mortality rate in Europe. King Carlos I of Portugal confirmed colonial treaties of the 19th century that stabilized the situation in Portuguese Africa.
These agreements were, unpopular in Portugal, where they were seen as being to the disadvantage of the country. In addition, Portugal was declared bankrupt twice—first on 14 June 1892 and again on 10 May 1902—causing industrial disturbances and republican antagonism, press criticism of the monarchy. Carlos responded by appointing João Franco as Prime Minister and subsequently accepting Parliament's dissolution. In 1908, Carlos I was assassinated in Lisbon; the Portuguese monarchy lasted until 1910 when, through the 5 October revolution, it was overthrown and Portugal was proclaimed a republic. The overthrow of the Portuguese monarchy in 1910 led to a 16-year struggle to sustain parliamentary democracy under republicanism – the Portuguese First Republic; the 28 May 1926 coup d'état or, during the period of Estado Novo, the National Revolution, was a military action that put an end to the chaotic Portuguese First Republic and initiated the Ditadura Nacional. With fascist organizations being popular and supported across many countries as an antagonist of communist ideologies, António de Oliveira Salazar developed the Estado Novo which can be described as a right leaning corporatist regime of para-fascist inspiration.
The basis of his regime was a platform of stability, in direct contrast to the unstable environment of the First Republic. According to some Portuguese scholars like Jaime Nogueira Pinto and Rui Ramos, his early reforms and policies changed the whole nation since they allowed political and financial stability and therefore social order and economic growth, after the politically unstable and financially chaotic years of the Portuguese First Republic. After the First Republic, when not public order was achieved, this looked like an impressive breakthrough to most of the population; this transfiguration of Portugal was known as A Lição de Salazar – "Salazar's Lesson". Salazar's program was opposed to communism and liberalism, it was pro-Catholic and nationalistic. Its policy envisaged the perpetuation of Portugal as a pluricontinental empire, financially autonomous and politically independent from the dominating superpowers, a source of civilization and stability to the overseas societies in the African and Asian possessions.
The Estado Novo was an authoritarian regime with an integralist orientation, which differed from fascist and clerical fascist regimes by its lack of expansionism, lack of a fanatical leader, lack of dogmatic party structure, more moderate use of state force. Salazar was a Catholic traditionalist who believed in the necessity of control over the forces of economic modernization in order to defend the religious and rural values of the country, which he perceived as being threatened. One of the pillars of the regime was the secret police. Many political dissidents were imprisoned at the Tarrafal prison in the African archipelago of Cape Verde, on the capital island of Santiago, or in local jails. Strict state censorship was in place. Executive authority was nominally vested in a president, elected by popular vote for a five-
Wildlife of São Tomé and Príncipe
The wildlife of São Tomé and Príncipe is composed of its flora and fauna. São Tomé and Príncipe are oceanic islands which have always been separate from mainland West Africa and so there is a low diversity of species, restricted to those that have managed to cross the sea to the islands; however the level of endemism is high with many species occurring nowhere else in the world. The four islands are volcanic, part of the Cameroon Line of volcanoes that extends from Annobón in the southwest, through the islands of São Tomé, Príncipe, Bioko, onto the mainland as Mount Cameroon and the volcanoes of the Cameroon Highlands; the rainfall precipitation is due in part to condensation of the ocean mist. São Tomé and Príncipe consists of two volcanic islands in the Gulf of Guinea. Rain forests cover three quarters of the total area and can be divided into three zones, named low altitude rainforest, submontane rain forest and evergreen cloud forest. Much of the moist lowland forest has been cleared and comprises savannah vegetation in the north and palm plantations and coconut tree plantations in the south.
Still, the tropical montane cloud forest remains unchanged. The cloud forest is home to low tree of open canopy. São Tomé and Príncipe do not have any protected area. Most primary forests are still survived thanks to the inaccessibility of the steep slopes in the humid and inhospitable island, which are not suitable for farming activities or for humans to inhabit them. In fact, the primary forest has few exploitable timber resources, in terms of species and size, not have any pressure for firewood recollection. Príncipe is the northernmost island of this two, lies closest to the African mainland, with an area of 128 km2. São Tomé is the larger of the two islands 836 km2, lies southwest of Príncipe. Annobón is the southernmost island and lies furthest from the African coast, with an area of 17 km2; the islands are mountainous, with the highest peaks reaching to 2,024 meters on São Tomé, 948 meters on Príncipe, 598 meters on Annobón. Príncipe is the oldest of the islands, with the oldest rocks dating back 31 million years.
São Tomé is 14 million years old, Annobón 4.8 million years old. None of the islands have been connected to mainland Africa; the Tinhosas islands are two unvegetated rocky islets lying 22 km south of Príncipe. Tinhosa Grande has an area of 22 hectares, reaches 56 meters elevation, Tinhosa Pequena is 3 hectares in area and 65 meters elevation. Bioko and Annobón areextinct volcanos of which Annobon just rises above sea level 598 m, although politically belongs to Equatorial guinea ecologically it's included; the diversity of mammals is low and there is only one endemic terrestrial mammal, the São Tomé shrew. There are several bats, including the described São Tomé free-tailed bat. Various cetaceans such as the humpback whale occur offshore and whaling took place. A number of species have been introduced by man such as the mona monkey and feral pigs. At least 114 bird species have occurred on the islands and there are about 26 endemics, depending on taxonomy. At least three have no close relatives and are classified in genera of their own, the São Tomé short-tail, São Tomé grosbeak and Dohrn's thrush-babbler.
The islands' birds include the smallest ibis. Large seabird colonies are found on some of the smaller islets. Several of the country's birds are considered to be threatened with extinction and three, the dwarf olive ibis, São Tomé fiscal and São Tomé grosbeak, are critically endangered. There are seven amphibian species native to São Tomé and Príncipe, all of them endemic: six frogs and one caecilian, the cobra bobo Schistometopum thomense. How these species have managed to colonize the islands is not obvious as amphibians have low tolerance to sea water. Dispersal by birds or storms seems unlikely for the subterranean caecilian. Instead, it has been suggested that the most plausible explanation is rafting, with floating conglomerations of tree trunks, freshwater aquatic plants, soil, during periods when sea surface salinity was lower. A possible source of suitable rafts and freshwater plumes is the Congo River. There are about 895 species of vascular plant native to the islands, of which 95 are restricted to São Tomé and 37 occur only on Príncipe.
The families Orchidaceae and Euphorbiaceae are well represented, as are the genera Calvoa and Begonia. The giant endemic begonias Begonia crateris and Begonia baccata can reach three metres in height; the islands are rich in ferns. The only gymnosperm is a single endemic species from Podocarpus mannii. Other endemic plants include: Leea tinctoria, from the grape family VitaceaeRainforest covers about 74% of the country. Much of this is secondary forest. A large area of forest is protected by Obo National Park. Other habitats mangroves. African Bird Club Birding São Príncipe. Accessed 1 July 2008. Gulf of Guinea Conservation Group Gulf of Guinea Biodiversity Network. Accessed 1 July 2008. Warne, Sophie Gabon, São Tomé and Príncipe: the Bradt Travel Guide, Bradt. ISBN 1-84162-073-4 "Sao Tome and Annobon moist lowland forests". Terrestrial Ecoregions. World Wildlife Fund. Accessed 1 July 2008