France and São Tomé and Príncipe
Relations between France and São Tomé and Príncipe are founded on common attachment to the French language, which is a compulsory subject for all secondary school pupils. São Tomé and Príncipe joined the International Organisation of La Francophonie in 1997. This accession fostered the integration of the archipelago within the francophone regional environment. France is represented in São Tomé and Príncipe by the French Ambassador to Gabon, who visits regularly.
Starting from a low base, French exports have seen significant increases in the past two years, reaching €3.2 million in 2017 (up 168%) due to a steady rise in the sale of our mechanical equipment and electric, electronic and IT material, which in 2017 accounted for almost three-quarters of our sales. French imports also remain relatively low and have been consistently dropping since 2016, falling below €1 million in 2017. They show very little diversification and are essentially made up of agricultural products, mainly cocoa and coffee.
Since 2015, the Alliance Française branch in São Tomé and Príncipe (AFSTP) has been attached to the Cooperation and Cultural Action Service of the French Embassy in Libreville. Joint cultural programming is organized between AFSTP and the Institut Français (French Institute) of Gabon.
Each year, between two and four students from São Tomé and Príncipe receive study scholarships for France.
Furthermore, the AFD (French Development Agency) provides financing to agricultural sector projects.
Updated: 12 December 2018