Country Economic Memorandum

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    Turning Smallness into Uniqueness: Six Key Challenges to Unlock Sao Tome and Principe Growth’s Potential
    (World Bank, Washington, DC, 2019-07-24) World Bank
    Economic growth in Sao Tome and Príncipe (STP) has long been driven by an unsustainable reliance on public expenditures, especially grant- and loan-financed public investment. STP needs to turn its smallness into uniqueness to unlock its growth potential. To accomplish this transformation, this image must be matched by a more balanced growth in which the private sector plays a larger role and with a more effective government. Tourism, agriculture, and fisheries could drive the country’s transition to a more balanced growth pattern. This Country Economic Memorandum (CEM) highlights six key challenges that STP must overcome as it transitions to a more balanced growth pattern and it offers policy recommendations for addressing each challenge. Accomplishing this rebalancing will require STP to address six key challenges at the macroeconomic, structural, and sectoral level. These include: (i) The twin budget and current-account deficits; (ii) Weak trade connectivity by both air and sea; (iii) Credit constraints caused by a high level of non-performing loans and difficulties enforcing commercial contracts; (iv) Uncertainty surrounding property rights and land tenure; (v) Poor-quality infrastructure, especially in the energy and transportation sector; and (vi) The overexploitation of marine resources.
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    Country Economic Memorandum for Sao Tome and Principe - Background Note 15: Blue Economy and Environmental Resiliency
    (World Bank, Washington, DC, 2019-06-26) de Fountalbert, Charlotte ; Desramaut, Nicolas ; Devine, Peter
    Oceans are an important source of wealth, at least 3 to 5 percent of global GDP is derived from the oceans, but their overall health is reaching a tipping point. Close to a third of fish stocks are fully fished or overfished, climate change is impacting coastal and marine ecosystems through a variety of vectors, unbridled development in the coastal zone is causing erosion, widespread desalination in semi enclosed seas is threatening fauna and flora alike, and marine pollution, particularly from land-based sources is reaching such a proportion that its impacts cannot even be accurately measured. The role of healthy oceans in stabilizing climate and keeping the planet cool is now better understood, and increasingly given the prominence and visibility it deserves in the global action arena. It is also known that business as usual in the different economic sectors associated with coastal and marine ecosystems will have great environmental and social impacts, which are expected to disproportionally affect vulnerable groups of the population, particularly women and girls. This is reflected in Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) 14 - Life Below Water, which calls to conserve and sustainably use the oceans, seas, and marine resources for sustainable development. In this context, the concept of the Blue Economy is particularly relevant and applicable to STP. Different institutions have different definitions of the Blue Economy, which is understood by the Bank as the sustainable and integrated development of oceanic sectors in healthy oceans. There is growing recognition that overfishing, marine pollution, and coastal erosion, among other issues, are pushing oceans to a tipping point to the detriment of the millions who depend on healthy oceans for jobs, nutrition, economic growth, and climate regulation. Central to the Blue Economy approach is the recognition that social benefits should be maximized over the long-term, ensuring that the economic drivers that result from the sustainable use of ocean resources are maintained.
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    Country Economic Memorandum for Sao Tome and Principe - Background Note 12: What is the Potential and Obstacles for the Fisheries Sector in São Tomé and Príncipe?
    (World Bank, Washington, DC, 2019-06-26) Serkovic, Mirko ; Million, Julien
    The purpose of this note is to give an overview of the fisheries sector in STP, its potential and obstacles, as well some policy recommendations to address these obstacles, ensure sustainable management of these resources and tap into its potential. It is organized in four section, besides this introduction. The second section describes the fishing sector in STP, while the third and the fourth outline the obstacles for the development of the artisanal and industrial fisheries respectively. The last section offers policy recommendations. Fisheries play an important role for the economic and social development of the country, however resources are likely over-exploited. Coastal marine resources are showing signs of full or overexploitation around the Sao Tome island. Before looking at increasing production of coastal resources, knowledge on the status of the fish stock would have to be improved through data collection and research to understand the potential of these resources and adequate sustainable management of these resources would have to be ensure through reinforced legal framework, governance and enforcement, as well as the potential development of co-management1 system between the STP authorities and the fishing communities.