Feel the Touch of São Tomé and Príncipe

Feel the Touch of São Tomé and Príncipe

Feel the Touch of São Tomé and Príncipe

By / Marine Ecosystem / Thursday, 25 May 2017 15:59

When I sat down at 4.14 AM today to start writing this article, the only two things that I knew about São Tomé and Príncipe were this: It is a Small Island State off the Coast of West Africa and it is one of the five African countries that speak Portuguese.

At least now I know that São Tomé and Príncipe has a population of about 200,000 people. This is double the population of Seychelles but fifty times less than Rwanda’s 12 million people. This tiny nation comprises of two islands – Sao Tome Island and Principe Island. They are 150 kilometres apart. The Sao T

I don’t know even know one of those 200,000 fellow Africans in São Tomé and Príncipe. They are a mix of different ethnic groups: Mestico (mixed Portuguesse-African ethnicity), Angolares (descendants of Angolan slaves), Foros (descendants of freed slaves), Serviçais (contract laborers from Angola, Mozambique, and Cape Verde) and Europeans (primarily Portuguese).

These resilient people are currently being led by President Evaristo Carvalho. On 6th June 2018, he hosted the African Development Bank President (ADB), Akinwumi Adesina for a meeting, that explored areas of collaboration.

During the meeting, ADB’s president said that, “We have long been a supporter of your country and have great hopes and expectations for it. You have a clear vision for the country. A new Country Strategy Paper was approved, defining our new collaboration. Together we will focus on agriculture, the blue economy, employment for women and youth, and the financial sector.”

I like the focus on the blue economy and youth. Although São Tomé and Príncipe’s size (1,001 km²) is almost six hundred times smaller than Kenya’s size, it’s Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ) of 131,397 square kilomtres is bigger than Kenya’s 116,942 square kilometers. This means that tiny São Tomé and Príncipe is the ‘owner’ of a massive ocean zone. This colossal marine ecosystem should provide sustainable blue jobs for the country’s entire youth population.

Considering its sheer size and beauty, São Tomé and Príncipe’s colossal marine ecosystem should also drive you to either visit it or at least know the zebra tilefish, one of the fish that is found there. But best of all, would be to know the fishermen and people who call this country home.

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DJ Bwakali

DJ Bwakali

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