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
Presidential Palace of São Tomé e Príncipe
The Presidential Palace of São Tomé e Príncipe is the official residence of the President of the Republic of Sao Tome and Principe and located in the capital, São Tomé. The structure was built in the mid-19th century as an administrative center for the governor of the colony, renovated in 1954, became the residence of the president of the country at the time of independence of São Tomé e Príncipe in 1975; the Presidential Palace is a L-shaped mansion surrounded by a large garden. The palace has a rose-pink façade with simple neoclassical elements, it is surrounded by pink concrete columns and a high iron fence with a guarded entrance. It is located next to Praça do Povo between Avenida da Independência and Avenida 12 de Julho with its principal façade facing Rua de St. António do Príncipe, it is in close proximity to Our Lady of a block from Ana Chaves Bay. The exact date of construction of the Presidential Palace is unknown, it is built on the site where Álvaro Caminha, an early administrator of Portuguese São Tomé and Príncipe, ordered the construction of the Torre do Capitão between 1492 and 1493.
The tower fell into ruin, Cunha Matos described a government building on the former tower site in 1835. A building appears in a drawing on the site in 1844 that corresponds to Cunha Matos' description, but of a different design than the current Presidential Palace; the current structure appears in a photograph dated 1885. João Sousa Morais and Joana Bastos Malheiro, researchers on the architectural history of São Tomé e Príncipe, propose that the structure was built in the intervening period; the building was known from its construction as the Palácio do Governo de São Tomé, or more as the Palácio do Governo and was one of the few buildings in the colony in workable condition at the end of the 18th century. It was built as a mansion in a simple classical style typical of the Portuguese overseas territories, with two stories and a rose-pink façade; the structure was upgraded during the Portuguese Estado Novo in the final stage of the colonial period. The Portuguese Town Planning Committee for the Overseas Territories carried out urban survey and constructed monuments and housing to promote the Portuguese state across all overseas colonies.
One project of the GUU was the upgrade of the Palácio. Eurico Pinto Lopes, a Portuguese architect, supervised the renovation of the palace in 1954; the addition of neoclassical building elements, which included window ornamentation, columns along the spans of the building, a main staircase at the entrance, were used "to give monumentality to the building." The Presidential Palace is not open to the public, photography of the building is not permitted
2011 São Toméan presidential election
A presidential election was held in São Tomé and Príncipe in 2011, the first round beginning on 17 July 2011 with a run-off held on 7 August 2011. Incumbent President Fradique de Menezes has served the maximum two terms and could not constitutionally seek a third term; the final result saw former president Manuel Pinto da Costa, aged 74, elected in a narrow victory against Speaker of Parliament Evaristo Carvalho. The first round was contested by 120 candidates; the candidate from President de Menezes' party, Force for Change Democratic Movement–Liberal Party, was Delfim Neves, who jointly represented the MDFM–PL and his own Democratic Convergence Party. Pinto da Costa, who ran independently, won the most votes but failed to receive the majority required to claim an outright victory. Carvalho, of the ruling party Independent Democratic Action, a former prime minister and the incumbent Speaker of the National Assembly, placed second. A run-off to be contested between Pinto da Costa and Carvalho was announced on the same day.
Pinto da Costa received the backing of the majority of eliminated candidates, he was expected to win comfortably. Pinto da Costa won the runoff, held 7 August, by five percentage points, he is scheduled to remain as president for a term of five years. Manuel Pinto da Costa served as São Tomé and Príncipe's first president from independence in 1975, he governed the islands as a one-party socialist state under the Movement for the Liberation of São Tomé and Príncipe. In 1991, the legalisation of opposition political parties led to the country's first election under a democratic system. Pinto da Costa was not a candidate in that election and instead announced he would retire from politics; the MLSTP did not present an alternative candidate and Miguel Trovoada was elected unopposed. Despite his previous declaration, Pinto da Costa returned to participate in the presidential elections of 1996, but was narrowly defeated by Trovoada. In 2001, he ran against incumbent president Fradique de Menezes, was again unsuccessful.
Pinto da Costa resigned from the MLSTP in 2005. The party is led by Aurélio Martins, who placed sixth in the first round vote count. Other major candidates included former prime minister Maria das Neves and former defence minister Elsa Pinto, both independents. Pinto da Costa's main rival, represented the ADI, which won the parliamentary elections in August 2010 and is the ruling party of incumbent Prime Minister Patrice Trovoada. A total of 92,639 citizens were registered to vote. In the first round, the national electoral commission, headed by Victor Correia, recorded a turnout of 68%. Of the 120 candidates, Da Costa and Carvalho won the most votes, but neither candidate received enough support to claim a majority. Delfim Neves and Maria das Neves both won substantial vote counts, but only the first two placeholders went through to the run-off. After the results were confirmed, most of the eliminated candidates, including Delfim Neves, Maria das Neves and Aurélio Martins, endorsed da Costa's bid for the run-off.
Missions from the African Union, Community of Portuguese Language Countries and the Economic Community of Central African States sent observers to monitor the election, declared free and fair. The only major controversy observed was a boycott by around 30,000 from five small villages on São Tomé's northern shore, in protest over grievances with living conditions that had not been addressed; the polls were re-opened in these villages on 20 July. Several analysts have raised concerns that Pinto da Costa's victory may trigger a return to the authoritarian rule seen during his previous period in power. Pinto da Costa's campaign website
São Tomé is the capital and largest city of São Tomé and Príncipe. Its name is Portuguese for "Saint Thomas", it had an estimated population of 71,868 in 2015, accounting for over a third of the total population of the country. Álvaro Caminha founded the colony of São Tomé in 1493. The Portuguese came to São Tomé in search of land to grow sugarcane; the island was uninhabited before the arrival of the Portuguese sometime around 1470. São Tomé, situated about 40 kilometres north of the equator, had a climate wet enough to grow sugarcane in wild abundance; the nearby African Kingdom of Kongo became a source of slave labourers to work the sugar plantations. São Tomé is centred on a sixteenth-century cathedral, rebuilt in the 19th century. Another early building is Fort São Sebastião, now the São Tomé National Museum. On July 9, 1595, a slave revolt led by Rei Amador took control of the capital. In 1599, the Dutch took the city as well as the islands for two days; the city served as the capital of the Portuguese colony of São Tomé and Príncipe and, from São Tomé and Príncipe's independence in 1975, as capital of the sovereign nation.
Important as a port, São Tomé is located on Ana Chaves Bay in the northeast of São Tomé Island, Ilhéu das Cabras lies nearby offshore. São Tomé is located northeast of Trindade, southeast of northwest of Santana, it is linked to these towns by a highway which encircles the entire island of São Tomé. It is linked to Cape Verde by a weekly ferry. Features of the town include the Presidential Palace, the cathedral, a cinema; the city is home to schools,and middle schools, high schools, one polytechnic, two markets, three radio stations, the public television station TVSP, several clinics and hospitals, the country's main airport - São Tomé International Airport, many squares. São Tomé serves as the centre of the island's road and bus networks; the town is well known for the tchiloli playing. São Tomé is served by São Tomé International Airport with regular flights to Europe and other African Countries. São Tomé features a tropical wet and dry climate with a lengthy wet season and a short dry season.
The wet season runs from October through May. São Tomé sees on average just under 1,000 mm of precipitation per year. Temperatures in the city are constant, with average high temperatures around 30 °C and average low temperatures around 22 °C. University of São Tomé and Príncipe, formed in 2016 National Lyceum Patrice Lumumba Preparatory School National Library of São Tomé and PríncipeThe following Portuguese international schools are in the city: Escola Portuguesa de S. Tomé Instituto Diocesano de Formação João Paulo II Escola Bambino Escola Internacional de S. Tomé e Príncipe The main hospital of the country is Hospital Ayres de Menezes. Sports clubs based in the city include Sporting Praia Cruz and Vitória FC based in the neighborhood of Riboque. All clubs play at Estádio Nacional 12 de Julho. José Vianna da Motta Portuguese pianist and composer Alfredo Azancot Portuguese architect who emigrated to Chile José de Almada Negreiros Portuguese artist, created literature and painting, developed ballet choreographies Francisco José Tenreiro geographer and writer of the colonial era Alda Neves da Graça do Espírito Santo poet working in Portuguese, who served in the Santomean government after independence Guadalupe de Ceita writer and a doctor and national hero Miguel Trovoada was Prime Minister 1975–1979 and President 1991–2001 of São Tomé and Príncipe Fradique de Menezes President of São Tomé and Príncipe from 2003 to 2011 Olinda Beja poet and narrator, emigrated to Portugal and moved to Viseu Tomé Vera Cruz Prime Minister of São Tomé and Príncipe from April 2006 to February 2008 Conceição Lima poet from the town of Santana Patrice Trovoada politician, Prime Minister of São Tomé and Príncipe 2008 to June 2008, 2010 to December 2012 and since November 2014 Aurélio Martins journalist and politician Nuno Espírito Santo retired Portuguese footballer, head coach of English club Wolverhampton Wanderers F.
C. Naide Gomes former heptathlete and long jumper, competed in 100 metres hurdles at the 2000 Summer Olympics Lasset dos Santos, footballer Yazaldes Nascimento Portuguese athlete, runs the 100 metres, competed in the 2004 Summer Olympics Alcino Silva sprint canoer, competed in the 2008 Summer Olympics in Beijing Harramiz professional footballer who plays in Portugal José da Silva local footballer Buly Da Conceição Triste sprint canoeist, competed at the 2016 Summer Olympics Faduley footballer in Portugal Charles Monteiro footballer who plays in Portugal Gilson Costa Portuguese professional footballer Romário Leitão long distance runner, competed at the 2016 Summer Olympics in the men's 5000 metres Gedson Fernandes Portuguese professional footballer São Tomé is twinned with: Kingstown, Saint Vincent and the Grenadines Luanda, Angola Libreville, Gabon Accra, Ghana Lisbon, Portugal Sao Tome and Principe at Curlie www.saotome.st - Facts about the country, how to get there, where to stay, what to do, images etc.
Local travel agency Navetur-Equatour - information&pictures http://www
Fradique de Menezes
Fradique Bandeira Melo de Menezes was the President of São Tomé and Príncipe from 2003 to 2011. Menezes was born on the Portuguese colony of São Tomé in 1942, the son of a Portuguese man and a local woman, he attended high school in Portugal. He studied at the Instituto Superior de Psicologia Aplicada in Lisbon and Free University of Brussels. Menezes is a successful businessman, he was Foreign Minister of São Tome and Príncipe from 1986 until 1987. He was elected President in July 2001 with about 55.2% of the vote, defeating Manuel Pinto da Costa, who received about 40%. Menezes took office on September 3, 2001, his eligibility as a candidate was questioned, since he held Portuguese citizenship, but he renounced this and his candidacy was approved. On July 16, 2003, while he was away in Nigeria, there was a military coup d'etat led by Fernando Pereira, but Menezes was restored to power on July 23, 2003, following an agreement. Menezes was re-elected on July 30, 2006, winning 60.58% of the vote and defeating Patrice Trovoada, son of former president Miguel Trovoada.
The discovery of a coup plot involving Christian Democratic Front leader Arlecio Costa was announced on February 12, 2009. Costa and more than 30 others were arrested. At a press conference on February 24, Menezes said that he was "touched" by the support of the security forces. President Menezes' address to the 63rd session of the United Nations General Assembly, September 26, 2008
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