In June 2022, the Chinese government and STP Ministry of Infrastructure signed an agreement for the expansion and modernization of the STP international airport. The work, financed by a USD 100 million donation, is scheduled to get underway in 2023. The project also includes the extension of the runway by more than 600 meters, mainly towards the sea, requalification of adjacent buildings, expansion of an aircraft parking lot, restoration of the lighting system, and modernization of the air traffic control system and the cargo terminal. The government launched a project to construct the country’s first photovoltaic power plant with the support of the United Nations Development Programme, Global Fund for the Environment, GEF, and the African Bank of Development (AfDB).
STP has a long-standing plan to build a deep-water port that would serve as a transshipment point connecting the American, European, Asian, and African continents with fifth generation ships. In May 2021, the government signed a USD250 million contract with the Ghanaian group Safebond Africa Ltd (SAL) for the construction of the port. The concession project also includes the modernization of the current ports in Sao Tome and Principe. In March 2021, a $ 1.3 billion concession project for the construction of a free trade zone in the south of Sao Tome was signed between the government and a Canadian investor.
In 2019, the World Bank approved $29 million to finance the repair of 27 kilometers of the main road linking São Tomé city and Neves on the northern coast of the island. The project also includes barriers for coastal protection. Due to the Covid-19 pandemic, the work was delayed and only got underway in 2021.
With the goal of increasing fishing sector revenue, STP announced in 2018 its plans to build a fishing port with $70 million in Chinese development assistance financing. To date, the project has yet to get underway.
The European Union has financed some infrastructure projects in STP, including restoration of a national road, which serves the southern part of the island. This rehabilitation renewed about 50 kilometers of the road and several bridges. This restoration project facilitates the transportation of people and products from the São Tomé capital to the southern part of the country, which has great touristic potential because of its dramatic mountains, valleys, and its location near the Equator. Under a 2017 Chinese $146 million framework agreement for infrastructure cooperation, STP launched a project for the repair of more than 20 kilometers of roads. The project also includes the rehabilitation of drainage and sewer systems. However, this plan has yielded little visible progress.
An undersea fiber optic cable that linked STP to better telecommunication service in 2012. Cellular service runs on 3G networks.
In 2016, the World Bank approved a $16 million grant to support renewable energy and improve service reliability. Through the Energy Sector Recovery Project, the government aims to provide energy services in a reliable, sustainable, and accessible manner. In 2017, STP and the European Investment Bank also signed an investment agreement worth $13 million to strengthen the energy sector in the archipelago.
Sub-Sector Best Prospects
Ports, airports, telecommunications, energy, roads, education, and health.
Opportunities exist for port construction, telecommunications diversification, and general infrastructure upgrades.