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Sao Tome & Principe Information - Page 2
The Portuguese discovered Sao Tome and Principe towards the end of the fifteenth century. Sugar plantations were established on the islands.

In the nineteenth century cocoa and coffee replaced sugar as the main crop. By 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.

A coup d'etat in Portugal, in 1974, led to former Portuguese possessions gaining independence. Sao Tome and Principe achieved independence in 1975.

The small country of Sao Tome and Principe has recently started to benefit from the commercial exploitation of offshore oil reserves.

Subsistence agriculture and fishing provide a livelihood for the majority of the working population.

The main crop is cocoa. Other agricultural crops include coffee, bananas, papayas, coconuts, copra, palm kernels, beans, cinnamon, pepper and coffee.

Agricultural products, fish and shrimps are processed. Beer is brewed. Other industries include soap, textiles, and light construction.

Services account for the largest percentage of the Gross Domestic Product.

Sao Tome and Principe has a small tourist industry. The islet of Bom Bom, off the coast of Principe, is an exclusive tourist destination.

Music, dance and drama are integral to the culture of Sao Tome and Principe. Performances can be seen by various groups throughout the year.

Poetry is a well developed art form, often reflecting the history of Sao Tome and Principe and its people.

Football is played in Sao Tome and Principe. Baskeball is also a popular team game.

Water sports include swimming, scuba diving and deep sea fishing.

All religious holidays are celebrated. Independence Day is commemorated on 12 July (1975 from Portugal).

News from Sao Tome and Pricipe is available in Newslink.

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