Housing Finance in Sao Tome and Principe


This profile is also available in French here.

To download a pdf version of the full 2020 São Tomé and Príncipe country profile, click here.

São Tomé and Príncipe is located in the Gulf of Guinea and is Sub-Saharan Africa’s smallest country by land surface, consisting of two main islands and several islets. São Tomé and Príncipe had an estimated population of 210 240 people in 2020. Frequent government turnovers have hindered reforms and growth, contributing to the fragility in the country.

The central bank (Banco Central Sao Tome e Principe) serves in a supervisory role over the national financial system and defines monetary and exchange rate policies in the country. Access to finance is limited and there are very few  innovative  housing finance products to tap the market at lower income levels – formal financial products are mainly unaffordable except for the middle class. However,the financial sector infrastructure and regulation are being upgraded.

São Tomé and Príncipe has a land tenure system that is a mixture of private land ownership and usufruct. Eighty-six percent of the land is state-owned and currently there are efforts to implement a digital Registry and Notary Information System.

[1] Instituto Nacional de Estatistica. Main Indicators. https://www.ine.st/ (Accessed 22 August 2020).

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 2020 edition, which has up-to-date profiles for 55 African countries.


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