São Tomé and Príncipe - Infrastructure, power, and communications

São Tomé and Príncipe have a limited network of 320 kilometers (198 miles) of roads, two-thirds (218 kilometers, or 135 miles) of which is paved. There were 4,581 light vehicles registered in 1994, 561 heavy vehicles, 299 tractors, and 815 motorcycles. There is no public transportation on the islands and no rail network.

There are 2 main seaports: 1 at São Tomé city and another at Santo Antonio on Príncipe island. The republic has 10 ships, but Dutch and Portuguese ships serve the links with Gabon, Portugal, and the Netherlands. The seaports are managed by the state. Although the seaports have been modernized, the maritime shipping of goods is irregular and total shipping traffic is limited due to the absence of a deep-water seaport. In 2000, there were plans to build a deep-water seaport at Agulhas Bay on Príncipe island.

There are 2 main airports, in São Tomé and Santo Antonio. Both have been recently modernized. The US$16 million modernization of the international airport in São Tomé was financed by the African Bank of Development and was completed in 1992. The airports are owned jointly by the government (35 percent), Portugal (40 percent), and France (25 percent). Domestic and regional lines are served by Portugal, Angola, and Gabon. The country's lone airline, Air São Tomé e Príncipe, owns only 1 airplane.

Country Telephones a Telephones, Mobile/Cellular a Radio Stations b Radios a TV Stations a Televisions a Internet Service Providers c Internet Users c
São Tomé & Príncipe 3,000 6,942 AM 2; FM 4;shortwave 0 38,000 2 23,000 2 500
United States 194 M 69.209 M (1998) AM 4,762; FM 5,542;shortwave 18 575 M 1,500 219 M 7,800 148 M
Nigeria 500,000 (2000) 26,700 AM 82; FM 35;shortwave 11 23.5 M 2 (1999) 6.9 M 11 100,000
Equatorial Guinea 4,000 (1996) N/A AM 0; FM 2;shortwave 4 180,000 1 4,000 1 500
a Data is for 1997 unless otherwise noted.
b Data is for 1998 unless otherwise noted.
c Data is for 2000 unless otherwise noted.
SOURCE: CIA World Factbook 2001 [Online].

Electricity production in 1998 of 15 million kilowatt hours (kWh) comes from 2 main sources, imported fossil fuel (which generates up to 47 percent of total power) and hydroelectric power (up to 53 percent) generated from the nation's abundant water supply. However, only 53 percent of households have electricity and there are regular power cuts.

Local telephone service is served by the former state-owned Companhia Santomense de Telecomunicacoes (CST), over half of which has been sold to Radio Marconi of Portugal. There were 3,000 telephones lines in 1995. The international lines were improved with international financial assistance. CST tried to compete with Swedish Bahnhof Internet in providing Internet services in the country. In July 1999 Bahnhof Internet became the owner of the country's top Internet domain and it planned to introduce a satellite connection to the Internet. In 1997 the island nation had 2 television stations serving some 23,000 sets.

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