The volcanic islands of São Tomé and Príncipe lie 289 km from the African mainland in the Gulf of Guinea. The nation consists of two main islands (São Tomé and Príncipe) and eight smaller islets, of which 6 are uninhabited. São Tomé, is larger than Príncipe, which lies about 145 km northeast of its sister island. The capital is São Tomé city. The country's closest neighbours are Gabon and Equatorial Guinea on the Atlantic coast of central Africa.
São Tomé and Príncipe gained independence from Portugal in 1975 and remains the smallest Portuguese-speaking country today. With a census population of 187,356 (2012), São Tomé and Príncipe is also the second-smallest African country, behind Seychelles. The decline in its once thriving cocoa and coffee plantations has seen São Tomé and Príncipe become one of Africa's poorest nations, however new economic hope has arisen with the discovery of large oil reserves.
Australia is accredited to São Tomé and Príncipe through our Embassy in Lisbon, Portugal and São Tomé and Príncipe is accredited to Australia though its embassy in Lisbon.
Heads of Government