The President of Sao Tome and Principe, Dr Manuel Pinto da costa, arrived in Algiers on Wednesday (3 May) on an official four-day visit.
SV: President Pinto da Costa of Sao Tome et Principe walks down aircraft steps at Algiers airport.
SV: Sao Tome et Principe's flag
SV: President Pinto da Costa shakes hands with Algerian President Boumedienne and other officials.
SV: both leaders walk across tarmac.
SCU INTERIOR: President Pinto da Costa speaking in French.
Since independence, most of the cacao plantations on Sao Tome and Principe, the two main islands, have been nationalised without compensation to their Portuguese owners. In 1975, less than 6,000 tons were harvested. Portuguese plantation administrators and employees, civil servants and traders fled the islands before independence, leaving less than 100 white people there. With more than 10,000 Sao Tome exiles having been repatriated from Angola, the economy has become shaky and the future uncertain.
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Background: The President of Sao Tome and Principe, Dr Manuel Pinto da costa, arrived in Algiers on Wednesday (3 May) on an official four-day visit.
SYNOPSIS: The president is leader of the smallest independent state in Africa, with a population of some 70,000. A former overseas province of Portugal, it is an archipelago in the Gulf of Guinea.
Algerian President Houari Boumedienne welcomed Dr Pinto da Costa, who has led his country since the provisional government took full control in 1975. Early this century, Sao Tome et Principe were among the world s biggest cacao exporters, but the crop is much lower now.
President Pinto da Costa told his hosts he very much enjoyed being in Algeria, but he felt at home there. He attacked what he called 'imperialist' action in African countries, aimed at seeking to restore the power of former colonial authorities in nations that have become independent in recent times. Dr Pinto da Costa said the people of his country felt strongly about this, because they had suffered first-hand; he claimed that mercenary forces had tried to invade there on behalf of unnamed 'imperialists'.
The visiting president urged unity among African countries as the best method of repelling attempts to restore former domination over them. He felt that such unity would be the key to the newly-emerged African nations holding on to their autonomy and independence, and determining their own futures.