Hydroelectric dams and transport are priorities for Sao Tome

7 December 2005

Brussels, Belgium, 07 Dec – The building of energy facilities, particularly hydroelectric dams, a deep water port and expansion of the international airport are all priorities defined by the government of Sao Tome and Principe for the next three years.

The program of priority actions drawn up for the 2006-2008 period, presented to international donors Tuesday in Brussels by a delegation headed up by Prime Minister Maria do Carmo Silveira, aims to reduce poverty in the archipelago.

The Sao Tome government estimates it needs US$130 million to finance the development program and aims to reduce poverty by half by 2010.

According to United Nations figures, over half of Sao Tome’s population lives below the poverty line and 15% in extreme poverty.

This year Sao Tome and Principe’s economy is projected by the International Monetary Fund (IMF) to grow 3.2%, a slowdown of 0.6 percentage points against 2004.

The IMF also forecasts that Sao Tome’s economic growth will increase to 4.5% in 2006 and 5.5% in 2007.

The economy is expected to get a boost with the launch of oil production in the archipelago in 2010.

The government has already granted the concession of the first oil bloc in the joint development area with Nigeria and is currently negotiating the attribution of nine more. (macauhub)