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keskiviikko 15. huhtikuuta 2015

São Tomé and Príncipe, Cool Facts #25

24. Angola <=                                                                                                           => 26. Mozambique 


1. The Story behind the Flag

The two black stars in the flag represent the two main islands which together form the state of São Tomé and Príncipe. The other island is São Tomé and the other one Príncipe. The colors have been inspired by the flag of Ghana with its panafrican colors.

Red: represents the fight for freedom
Green: represents the lush nature
Yellow: represents the cocoa plantations



2. Discovery of São Tomé and Príncipe

The Portuguese navigators João de Santarém and Pedro Escobar were the first Europeans in São Tomé and Príncipe which was at the time of the discovery uninhabited. The islands became bases for trade with the mainland. Slaves were imported to the sugar plantations at first, but later the plantations in the Caribbean became more important and São Tomé and Príncipe were used more for slave trade.



3. Batepá massacre 

This was an event occurred on February 3, 1953 which started the national sentiment in São Tomé and Príncipe. The reason was a shortage of labour and the native creoles feared that the Portuguese landowners would force them to work. Several hundred of African labourers were killed as a consequence. After this event the Portuguese farmers started importing paid labour from Angola, Mozambique and Cape Verde. This day is a national holiday nowadays.



4. 174th Safest Investment Destination 

In 2011 Euromoney Country Risk ranked São Tomé and Príncipe as the 174th safest investment destination. If you like to have a high risk on your investments São Tomé and Príncipe could be your place to be.
Cocoa represents 95% of the countries agricultural exports. They have also small oil deposits. Overall the economy isn't on a very safe foundation since the undeveloped education system can't produce a highly educated work force. Education is compulsory for only four years.



5. Democracy

In 1990 São Tomé and Príncipe became one of the first democratic African country. They changed the constitution and made a democratic reform, opposition political parties were legalized. São Tomé and Príncipe had nonviolent and free elections in 1991 and in 1996. So the country has functioned as a multiparty system since 1990. There are problems with the freedom of speech and some other human rights though.

Miguel Trovoada, president elected in 1991

São Tomé and Príncipe is famous for: 

Cocoa (World's largest producer in 1908)
Being the smallest Portuguese speaking country (population and land-area)
Being the second smallest African country
Safety (very low violence rates)
Nature



Timeline

1471 The Portuguese arrive at the uninhabited islands
1400s In the end of the century sugar cane plantations are created
1517 and 1595 Slave rebellions
1800s The sugar cane plantations are replaced with the coffee and cocoa plantations
1876 Portugal abolishes slavery
1951 São Tomé and Príncipe becomes a Portuguese province
1972 Freedom movement MLSTP starts an unarmed fight for freedom
1975 Independence from Portugal
1991 Opposition party PCD wins MLSTP
1995 Military coup, Angola helps to restore the civilian power
2003 Military coup

Resources: 
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/São_Tomé_and_Pr%C3%ADncipe
Maailman liput maat ja historia - Kimmo Kiljunen



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