Sao Tomé - Coffee island

Monte Café (Portuguese for "coffee mountain") is a town on São Tomé Island in the nation of São Tomé and Príncipe. Monte Café has a church and a square (praça), it also has a nearby school. In 2008 a coffee museum has been built there with support by the UNDP.


Sao Tomé and Principe? Two specks in the Ocean on the line of the Equator. A tiny piece of Africa, an archipelago considered as one of the poorest and most indebted countries in the world.

But a green and pleasant isle, a mixture of savannah and tropical vegetation exploding with colour, which lives from fishing and farming, a tourist industry still in its infancy, in the future doubtless from oil, the discovery of which should change the economy of this flag-of-convenience island.

 But the island of Sao Tomé is also a jewel in the world of coffee!


Sao Tomé and Principe (pop. 213,000), a former Portuguese colony and one of the smallest countries in Africa. Situated in the Gulf of Guinea, off Gabon, it is composed of two islands, Sao Tomé and Principe. Sao Tomé (836 km²), with its equatorial climate, has developed a number of agricultural products: cocoa, copra, bananas, quinquina, and coffee which, in the 1990s, represented 370 hectares under cultivation (arabica, robusta, liberia). This production, concentrated in the region of Monte Café, is in danger of dying out.

The capital, Sao Tomé, has a population of 53,000. The highest point in the country is the Pico de São Tomé (2,024 m). There are also two nature reserves covering 295 km², i.e. 30% of the surface area of the archipelago.

The island was discovered by the Portuguese explorers João de Santarem and Pedro Escobar on Saint Thomas' Day, 21 December 1471. During the 16th century, Portuguese colonists moved in, bringing with them the slaves who would work in the sugar cane plantations. The archipelago gained its independence on 12 July 1975, with President Manuel Pinto da Costa, who set up a single party Marxist regime. In 1990, multipartism was restored and the country opened the way to democracy. Despite attempted coups, the regime has remained in place, alternating between the two main parties.

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