DYNAMIC AFRICA

Set up in 2010, Dynamic Africa is diverse multi-media curated blog with a Pan-African outlook that seeks to create an expressive platform for African experiences, stories and African cultures.



CONTACT: dynamicafricablog@gmail.com

all submissions via email only


Recent Tweets @
Blogs We Follow

Happy Independence Day São Tomé e Príncipe!

Located off the Western equatorial coast of Central Africa in the Gulf of Guinea, this former Portuguese colony is Africa’s smallest country, after the Seychelles, with an estimated population of a little less than 167, 000.

Until the arrival of the Portuguese in the late 1400s, the island, according to Western historians, was said to have been uninhabited. The island were set up as trading bases by the Portuguese and were named after St. Thomas (São Tomé), as this island was discovered on December 21st which is St. Thomas’ Day, and the Portuguese prince, (Príncipe). Attracting settlers from Portugal proved difficult and at first, those sent to the island were ‘undesirables’ such as prisoners and Jewish people.

During the 1500s, as the region proved incredibly suitable for agricultural purposes, the islands soon became sugar plantations run by the Portuguese. As the cultivation of sugar is a labour-intensive process, the Portuguese began to use slave labour in the form of kidnapped African’s from the Western coast of Africa.  

However, as the enslaved population began to grow, and with Portugal unable to invest resources in the islands resulting in the decline of sugar produce, by the mid-17th century São Tomé and Príncipe primarily served as a transit base for ships carrying kidnapped and enslaved Africans from West Africa.

With the introduction of cocoa and coffee by the Portuguese in the 1800s, the economy of São Tomé and Príncipe increased and with that the introduction of large slave plantations known as roças were established all over the islands. By 1908, São Tomé had become the world’s largest producer of cocoa - a testament to the rigorous form of slavery on these tiny islands.

Although Portugal officially abolished slavery in 1876, they continued to use a mixture slavery and forced paid labour systems on those who worked the plantations well into the 20th century. With the growing anti-Portuguese and anti-Colonial sentiments rising amongst the enslaved population, a series of riots broke out in 1953 that resulted in clashes between the African and Portuguese populations. Several African labourers were killed in what is known as the Batepá massacre.

The event was instigated by Portuguese landowners who were becoming increasingly fearful of the African labour force who had always refused manual field work on the estates as they considered it slave labour. This meant that there was a shortage of labour on Portuguese plantations - a factor that was beginning to severely affect the economy of the islands. This resistance is seen as the start of the nationalist movement in São Tomé.

As the wave of independence began to sweep across African in the 1950s and 1960s, a small group of São Toméans established the Movement for the Liberation of São Tomé e Príncipe (MLSTP), establishing a base in nearby Gabon. After the overthrow of the Caetano dictatorship in Portugal in 1974, the group met with the new Portuguese authorities and in that same year an agreement for the transfer of sovereignty was reached.

On July 12th, 1975, São Tomé and Príncipe achieved independence choosing MLSTP Secretary General Manuel Pinto da Costa as the country’s first president.

  1. beautiesofafrique reblogged this from dynamicafrica
  2. esthermo7 reblogged this from africanspot
  3. mejiasilvia reblogged this from africandiversity
  4. princelyisland reblogged this from dynamicafrica
  5. elitegentlemenvisionboard reblogged this from africanspot and added:
    Happy Independence Day São Tomé e Príncipe! Located off the Western equatorial coast of Central Africa in the Gulf of...
  6. mubyace reblogged this from africanspot
  7. afrogenik reblogged this from africanspot
  8. africanspot reblogged this from dynamicafrica
  9. afroetry reblogged this from miss-etiquette
  10. watermelanne reblogged this from modernemeid
  11. modernemeid reblogged this from dynamicafrica
  12. trueempress reblogged this from ybgk
  13. daspinkambition reblogged this from ybgk
  14. ybgk reblogged this from afromantiq
  15. afromantiq reblogged this from dynamicafrica
  16. dimwen reblogged this from dynamicafrica
  17. seyitano reblogged this from dynamicafrica
  18. islandbuttrfly reblogged this from dynamicafrica
  19. ludotomboi reblogged this from dynamicafrica
  20. euskal-herria-ez-da-espainia reblogged this from dynamicafrica
  21. kidkyote reblogged this from holaafrica
  22. afrikasblessing reblogged this from africanspot
  23. relaxitsjustjayfree reblogged this from africanspot
  24. lethaldouche reblogged this from dynamicafrica