Friday 20 April 2018

Sao Tome: Rainforests, chocolate and millionaires

Sao Tome: Rainforests, chocolate and millionaires
(AFP (eng) 01/04/18)

- TROPICAL: Archipelago of small islands located off the western coast of central Africa in the Gulf of Guinea. Named after the two main islands, Sao Tome and Principe, covered with lush rainforests with unique species.

- SLAVES: Discovered and claimed by Portugal in the late 15th century, used as a settlement for convicts and later as a transhipment site for slaves. Gained independence in 1975, stable democracy since early 1990s.

- SMALL: Africa's tiniest nation after the Seychelles. Population is under 200,000. Highly dependent on agriculture and foreign aid, hopes for developing oil sector and tourism.

- ZEROS: Sao Tome and Principe was for a long while the land of millionaires -- anyone with $50 (42 euros) had the equivalent of a million dobras, the national currency. That era changed on January 1, when three zeros were knocked off the dobra.

- NICKNAMES: The "chocolate islands" for the high quality of local cocoa; "the islands in the middle of the world" because of the proximity to the zero point on GPS.

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