Sao Tome and Principe and Germany enjoy good and untroubled political relations. The island country has traditionally shown a keen interest in relations with Germany. Many of Sao Tome and Principe’s leaders – including former President Manuel Pinto da Costa – studied in the former GDR and still feel a strong affinity with Germany, though fewer and fewer of them remain in leadership positions for reasons of age. There is close cooperation with Sao Tome and Principe in international organisations. Relations with Sao Tome and Principe are looked after by the German Embassy in Libreville, Gabon and locally by the German Honorary Consul.
The country’s most important economic activity is agriculture (coffee, cocoa and cotton). 54 percent of the population still live below the poverty line. 90 percent of the national budget is financed by international donor assistance (IMF, World Bank, UNDP, the United States, the European Union, Portugal, France, Brazil and the African Development Bank). Sao Tome and Principe’s most important economic partners are Portugal, the European Union, Angola, Belgium, France, Brazil and China.
Economic relations between Germany and Sao Tome and Principe have not yet developed to any significant extent. There is potential for intensifying such relations, especially if – as long hoped – the country is able to begin producing oil in the Gulf of Guinea. So far, there has been no notable private German investment in Sao Tome and Principe. Recently, however, a few German travel companies have begun offering tours of the country to individual travellers and eco-tourists. Bilateral trade is very modest. In 2017 Sao Tome and Principe imported from Germany goods worth 0.26 million US dollars and exported to Germany goods totalling 0.76 million US dollars, according to Federal Statistical Office figures. The German Embassy is funding a number of micro-projects in the areas of rural development and education.
The Universidade de São Tomé e Príncipe has successfully established a German Department, thanks to the hard work and support of a German lector and an English lecturer. Fifteen students enrolled in the initial courses, which got underway on 18 January 2016. After completion of the pilot phase, the university made German an official part of its curriculum in November 2017.
This text is intended as a source of basic information. It is regularly updated. No liability can be accepted for the accuracy or completeness of its contents.