Sao Tomé and Principe, formally the Democratic Republic of Sao Tomé and Principe, is a Portuguese-speaking island country off the western equatorial coast of Central Africa in the Gulf of Guinea. It is made up of two archipelagos centered on the two main islands of So Tomé and Prncipe, which are about 140 kilometers (87 miles) apart and around 250 and 225 kilometers (155 and 140 miles) off Gabon’s northern coast, respectively.
The islands were uninhabited until they were discovered in the 15th century by Portuguese explorers. Throughout the 16th century, they were gradually conquered and inhabited by Portugal and functioned as a key economic and trading hub for the Atlantic slave traffic. So Tomé and Prncipe’s fertile volcanic soil and closeness to the equator made it excellent for sugar farming, which was subsequently followed by cash crops like as coffee and cocoa; the wealthy plantation economy was highly reliant on imported African slaves. Throughout the nineteenth and twentieth centuries, cycles of social upheaval and economic insecurity culminated in peaceful independence in 1975. Since then, So Tomé and Prncipe has remained one of Africa’s most stable and democratic nations.
Sao Tomé and Principe, with a population of 192,993 (2013 Census), is the second-smallest African country after Seychelles, as well as the smallest Portuguese-speaking country. Its population are primarily of African and mestiço origin, with the majority practicing Roman Catholicism. The legacy of Portuguese control may also be seen in the country’s culture, customs, and music, which include European and African elements.