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Sao Tome and Principe History Timeline

1400s - 1800s
  • (1470) Portuguese navigators arrived at the uninhabited islands of Sao Tome and Principe and constructed trading posts
  • (1493) The first successful settlement of Sao Tome was established by Alvaro Caminha
  • (1500) The island of Principe was settled
  • (1800s) Cocoa was introduced and the islands quickly became one of the world's main cocoa producers
  • (1951) Sao Tome and Principe became a province of Portugal
  • (1960) The Movement for the Liberation of Sao Tome and Principe (MLSTP) was formed
  • (1975) Sao Tome and Principe granted independence with Manuel Pinto da Costa as president and Miguel Trovoada as prime minister
  • (1978) A coup attempt was suppressed
  • (1979) Trovoada was accused of a coup attempt and sent into exile
  • (1990) A new constitution was introduced allowing for oppositional parties
  • (1991) First multi-party elections were held with Trovoada being elected president
  • (1995) Trovoada was detained in a bloodless coup but was reinstated in the days following due to pressure from donor countries
  • (1996) Trovoada was re-elected president
  • (1997) A period of unrest occurred over economic conditions
  • (2001) Fradique de Menezes declared president
  • (2002) Plans were announced to host a U.S. naval base aimed at protecting Sao Tome's oil interests
  • (2003) A military coup toppled the government while President De Menezes was in Nigeria, coup leaders were granted amnesty for reinstating the president
  • (2005) Together with Nigeria, Sao Tome and Principe signed an offshore oil exploration and production-sharing agreement
  • (2006) Protests over poor living conditions disrupted parliamentary elections and delayed result announcements
  • (2011) Manuel Pinto da Costa elected president
  • (2014) A parliamentary cooperation protocol was signed between Angola and Sao Tome and Principe

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This page was last updated on April 7, 2017.