Sao Tome and Principe is an independent nation in Central Africa. With the capital city of Sao Tome, Sao Tome and Principe 2020 population is estimated at 219,170 according to countryaah. São Tomé and Príncipe were uninhabited when Portuguese sailors discovered them in the late 1400s. The islands became an official Portuguese colony in 1522.
The Portuguese built sugar plantations and used imported slaves as labor. A slave uprising in 1530 frightened most plantation owners, and eventually Brazil competed out São Tomé and Príncipe in the sugar market. Subsequently, the islands once served as an intermediate station in the slave trade across the Atlantic, but the colony slowly decayed until the 19th century, when new crops such as cocoa and coffee gave it a boost.
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Slavery was officially abolished in 1869. The plantation owners then began to recruit contract workers from mainly Cape Verde, Angola and Mozambique. Their conditions were not much better than those of the slaves. Protests against colonial power and harsh conditions on the plantations grew during the 20th century. In 1953, more than 1,000 plantation workers were killed in connection with a strike. For Sao Tome and Principe political system, please check cancermatters.
But the struggle for liberation continued. In 1960, a nationalist party was formed, which was later named the Freedom Movement for São Tomé and Príncipe (in Portuguese abbreviated to MLSTP). The party had its headquarters in Gabon and was led by Manuel Pinto da Costa.
Following the fall of the Portuguese dictatorship in 1974, São Tomé and Príncipe became an independent state on July 12, 1975. Manuel Pinto da Costa was named president and party mate Miguel Trovoada became his prime minister.
China opens commercial affairs offices
China decides to set up a Trade Liaison Office in São Tomé. The office is housed in the building that was China’s embassy until 1997, which was then closed as a result of São Tomé’s decision to establish diplomatic relations with Taiwan.
Swedish vessels are detained
The country’s coast guard retains two vessels owned by the Swedish company Stena Oil. The vessels are said to have carried goods through São Tomé’s territorial waters without permission. A local court confiscates the vessels and sentenced the captains to three years in prison for smuggling. Stena Oil denies the allegations and claims that the Tomean authorities acted illegally. The captains are pardoned after a few months for “humanitarian reasons” and the ships are allowed to leave the country.