Sao Tome and Principe: Islands For Sale?
Can the Islands of Sao Tome and Principe Preserve Their Way of Life?
The untouched islands of Sao Tome and Principe are facing a huge influx of foreign investment. Does this present an opportunity to the economy or a threat to the islanders' slow, steady way of life?
The islands are gaining a lot of attention from abroad. “Sao Tome is a poor country and when investors come they can bring us jobs and bring us money”, says Julio da Silva, a government official. There is a lot of potential on the islands that foreign investors are keen to exploit. Jacques Le Roux, manager of the Belo Monte Hotel, claims that “we use 20% of the island, the other 80% is still undiscovered”. It is hoped that the island’s natural beauty – beaches and rainforests – will also boost eco-tourism. “The people who live here, it’s very tranquil, and I think it would be good for many tourists to come”, says Francisco da Graça Alamô, a National Park Warden.