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Can Africa’s São Tomé & Principe be the next Cape Verde?


The news that an Angolan oil company is financing the renovation of Sao Tome and Principe’s international airport and will manage it for 30 years has drawn attention to Africa’s second smallest country; one that is so obscure that it often crops up as a question in highbrow general knowledge quiz competitions. Situated in the Gulf of Guinea where there are both existing and untapped oil fields, industrial interests are clearly at the heart of this. But the country has tourist attractions that, as Africa comes ever more into the tourist mainstream, may also be its salvation, just as they were for Cape Verde. [2113 words]

Unlock the following content in this report:


  • 300 m runway extension
  • Critical Lisbon connections maintained
  • Gulf of Guinea oil boom. Or is it?
  • Tourism is ‘the other way’
  • Zero to 200,000 visitors per annum in five years
  • Greener than green

Graphs and data:

  • Africa’s Connection route network
  • Chart: Sao Tome Airport share of aircraft movements
  • The Gulf of Guinea
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