Skip to Content
X

Sao Tome and Principe

7

Projects Includes planned, ongoing and closed projects

US$ 69.96 million

Total Project Cost

US$ 31.7 million

Total IFAD financing

36,520

Households impacted


categoryFilterCountry = true

categoryFilterProject = false

layoutCategory = 39090925

projectCategory = 0

The Context

The Republic of Sao Tome and Principe is a lower middle income, developing small island state with a fragile economy. It is highly vulnerable to shocks.

Made up of two main islands and four islets on the equator in the Gulf of Guinea, it lies 350 km off the west coast of Africa. Covering just 1,001 sq. km, this Portuguese-speaking country has 197,900 people and income per head of US$1,670 in 2014.

Cocoa, coffee, and palm oil exports are the cornerstone of the economy, though tourism is increasing. Annual growth in gross domestic product (GDP) has typically exceeded 4 per cent since 2012.

Sixty-eight per cent of the people live in poverty, of whom 22 per cent in extreme poverty. Income per head has been falling since the mid-1990s, which, compounded by weak cocoa prices, has spurred rural-urban migration.

Half the country is covered by primary forest of which 30,000 ha, or almost a third, is protected. Elsewhere agroforestry dominates, with crops varying according to altitude. Farmers grow taro and cocoyam at lower levels, bananas, cacao and oil palm at mid-level and fruit and breadfruit trees at altitude. Specific farming systems have also developed for market gardening, pepper, tree fruit and to grow sugar cane for artisanal alcohol production.

Further development of livestock farming is limited by recurring swine fever and the need to import animal feed.

The Strategy

In the Republic of Sao Tome and Principe, IFAD loans are aimed at improving the livelihoods of smallholder farmers and fishers.

Activities focus on promoting public-private partnerships with socially and environmentally aware companies willing to undertake to invest and remain in the country for as long as necessary to build pro-poor value chains, including organic and fair trade value chains.

Our approach empowers poor rural people to take charge of their own development, particularly through their own associations, working with service providers, non-governmental organisations and the Government.

Key activities include:

  • improving the country's infrastructure and processing technologies;
  • supporting agricultural services and markets; and
  • improving people's access to markets and services

We design our projects to ensure that the measures form part of a flexible framework which should gradually evolve to become self-sustaining.

Country Facts

Two thirds of the population of Sao Tome and Principe in poverty. 

Unusually, urban poverty is higher than rural poverty because there are too few employment opportunities in towns, especially for young people.

Since 1985, IFAD has supported 6 programmes and projects in Sao Tome and Principe, investing US$26.6 million and directly benefiting 28,520 rural households.


categoryFilterCountry = true

categoryFilterProject = false

layoutCategory = 39090925

projectCategory = 0

Country documents

Country Strategy Note 2019-2021

Type: Country strategy note (CSN)

Projects and Programmes

PLANNED Under design after concept note approval

APPROVED Approved by the Executive Board or IFAD President

SIGNED Financing agreements signed

ONGOING Under implementation

CLOSED Completed/closed projects

No matching projects were found
No matching projects were found
No matching projects were found

categoryFilterCountry = true

categoryFilterProject = false

layoutCategory = 39090925

projectCategory = 0

Related news

Sao Tome and Principe and IFAD partner to improve nutrition and incomes in face of climate change

February 2020 - NEWS
IFAD today announced support for a new project to increase incomes, improve food and nutrition security and build the resilience of at least 34,800 rural farmers of Sao Tome and Principe, an island country highly affected by climate change.

categoryFilterCountry = true

categoryFilterProject = false

layoutCategory = 39090925

projectCategory = 0

Related stories

Cacao: How just one crop has boosted an entire country’s exports

February 2020 - STORY
Once considered the world’s largest cacao exporter, Sao Tome and Principe had significantly scaled back its operations after gaining independence in 1975. But with IFAD's assistance, cacao – the key ingredient in chocolate, and a major cash crop – is making a comeback.

Investing in sustainable development in small island states

November 2014 - STORY
18 August 2014 – The will be held from 1-4 September in Apia, Samoa, raising global awareness about the drive for sustainable development in a group of

categoryFilterCountry = true

categoryFilterProject = false

layoutCategory = 39090925

projectCategory = 0

Related publications

Impact assessment: PAPAFPA and PAPAC

April 2019
The Participatory Smallholder Agriculture and Artisanal Fisheries Development Programme (PAPAFPA) and the Smallholder Commercial Agriculture Project (PAPAC) are complementary projects designed to improve the livelihoods of smallholders in Sao Tomé and Príncipe. PAPAFPA, which has now closed, created farmers’ cooperatives to improve the development of organic cacao, coffee, and pepper value chains through increased commercialization in domestic and niche export markets.

Investing in rural people in Sao Tome and Principe

March 2020
IFAD remains one of the most important technical and financial partners in Sao Tome and Principe's rural sector, and its work has sparked the development of strategies and mechanisms to support poor rural populations, especially women, and their effective inclusion in relevant development interventions.

categoryFilterCountry = true

categoryFilterProject = false

layoutCategory = 39090925

projectCategory = 0