Germany and Sao Tome and Principe: Bilateral relations

01.05.2023 - Article

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, although 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. Bilateral relations are looked after by the German Embassy in Libreville, the capital of Gabon.

Agriculture (coffee, cocoa and cotton, and increasingly palm oil) 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 EU, Portugal, the United States, Brazil, France and the African Development Bank). Sao Tome and Principe’s most important economic partners are Portugal, the European Union, Angola, China, Brazil, France and Belgium.

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 first German-language speaking tourist guide began work in January 2023. 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. More than 900 people are learning German in schools.


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