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Thursday 23rd November
Sao Tome & Principe Facts
Sao Tome and Principe is one of Africa's smallest countries.

The islands of Sao Tome and Principe form part of a chain of extinct volcanoes.

The highest point in Sao Tome and Principe is Pico de Sao Tome (2,024 m).

The Portuguese discovered Sao Tome and Principe towards the end of the fifteenth century.

Portuguese explorers named Sao Tome after St Tomas' Day.

The Portuguese established sugar plantations on the islands.

Slaves from African countries such as Benin and Gabon were brought to work on the plantations.

Portugal officially abolished slavery in 1876. Slavery was replaced by forced paid labour.

Cocoa and coffee replaced sugar as the main crop in the nineteenth century.

At the beginning of the twentieth century Sao Tome was the world's largest cocoa producer.

In 1951 Sao Tome and Principe became an Overseas Province of Portugal.

In 1953 a number of African workers were killed during a dispute with the Portuguese - the Batepa Massacre is commemorated annually.

A coup d'etat in Portugal, in 1974, led to Portuguese possessions gaining independence.

Sao Tome and Principe achieved independence from Portugal in 1975.

In 1994 Principe was granted self-government for local affairs.

Coup attempts took place in 1995 and 2003.

In 2005 an agreement was signed with Nigeria to develop offshore oil in the Gulf of Guinea.

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