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Sao Tome and Principe
Cocoa plantations and a national park
Giving a glimpse of everyday life in one of the last remaining paradises in the world, life between cocoa plantations and a national park, the twin island republic of Sao Tomé and Principe rounds off this corner of the pavilion in the south-western part of the Africa Hall (Hall 12). Cocoa is the main branch of the economy of this state, around a thousand square kilometers in area, located in the Gulf of Guinea off the west African coast. Following independence from Portugal in 1975 and the drop in world market prices for cocoa, the Republic has been seeking alternatives.

Photomontages tell the story. They show the development of the plantation culture, which began in around 1800 with slaves from the African mainland. The large plantation economy is now a thing of the past. Diversification, privatization and the establishment of small businesses now seek to ensure freedom from dependence on cocoa. Traditional arts and crafts are a fine example of this trend.

The 150,000 inhabitants of the two islands are also keen to develop tourism. Thus large-format photographic murals show many facets of the landscape in all its paradisiacal beauty. Hitherto the nature reserve has attracted travelers and anglers with some of the rarest birds in the world, but now the country wants to extend its appeal with its eleven hotels offering "quality tourism".

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 Nation: Sao Tome and Principe
 National Day: 21.08.00
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