Housing Finance in Sao Tome and Principe


For the French version of this country profile, click here.

To download a pdf version of the full 2018 São Tomé and Príncipe country profile, click here.

São Tomé and Príncipe (STP) has a small financial system. The country is ranked 169th in the Word Bank Doing Business report 2018 for access to credit, due to high interest rates and a general lack of regulatory polices to ensure credit distribution. Unemployment is very high amongst the population living under the poverty line, with intensified urban poverty due to limited employment opportunities, particularly for youth, as well as a reliance on employment opportunities concentrated around one urban centre.

Low purchasing power among household clearly affects the development of the local housing industry. A small percentage of houses were masonry-based. The dominant use of these materials is indicative of how informal housing construction has been undertaken as well as how impoverished the population is. The expansion of informal housing is further indicated by the fact that while the use of masonry has dropped by since 1991, the use of wood has increased over the same period. Series of resolution have been taken in order to improve access to finance and affordable housing. The Second Poverty Reduction Strategy Paper (PRSP-II), produced by the International Development Association (IDA) and the IMF, approved by the STP Cabinet in 2012, outlines four objectives namely: “(i) promoting good governance and public-sector reform, (ii) supporting sustainable and inclusive economic growth, (iii) enhancing human capital and extending basic social services, and (iv) reinforcing social cohesion and social protections, particularly for vulnerable groups”.

Find out more information on the housing finance sector of Sao Tome and Principe, including key stakeholders, important policies and housing affordability:

Each year, CAHF publishes its Housing Finance in Africa Yearbook. The profile above is from the 2018 edition, which has up-to-date profiles for 54 African countries.

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