Germany and Sao Tome and Principe enjoy good political relations. The 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, There is close cooperation with Sao Tome and Principe in international organisations. Relations with the country are looked after by the German Embassy in Libreville, the capital of Gabon.
Agriculture (coffee, cocoa and cotton) is the country’s most important economic activity. Fifty-four percent of the population still lives below the poverty line. Ninety percent of the national budget is financed by international donor assistance (IMF, the 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. So far, there has been no notable German private-sector investment in the country. A few German travel companies offer individual travellers the opportunity to get to know the country. The German Embassy in Libreville funds a number of micro-projects in the areas of rural development and education.
There has been a German Department at the Universidade de São Tomé e Príncipe since January 2016.