São Toméan industry is very small. It includes manufacturing, power generation, and light construction. In 1997 this sector contributed 18.7 percent of the GDP and employed 15.8 percent of economically active population. There are no mineral resources on the island except the discovery of oil in the territorial waters (in the Gulf of Guinea) in 1998, the development of which will depend on agreements with Gabon, Nigeria, and Equatorial Guinea.
Small manufacturing plants that produce only items for local consumption such as beer, textiles, soap, and bread represent the manufacturing sector. Most of the enterprises were under state control in the 1970s and 1980s. While the state would like to privatize these and all other industries, it is awaiting significant investments of capital and management expertise before it can relinquish control.