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Sunday 14th April
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.

In February 2009 the Government announced that a coup plot had been foiled.

Tenders were opened for oil exploitation in 2010.

It was announced that another coup attempted was thwated in November 2022.

Sao Tome and Principe suffers from rising sea levels and an increasing frequency of storms.

In 2023 the United Nations published details of the High Seas Treaty:

"to ensure the conservation and sustainable use of marine biological diversity of areas beyond national jurisdiction, calling it a breakthrough after nearly two decades of talks."

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