São Tomé and Príncipe Prepares to Graduate from Least Developed Country Status

12 September, 2019

SAO TOME – São Tomé and Príncipe, one of the world’s forty-seven Least Developed Countries (LDCs), will graduate from the category in December 2024. After exceeding the Human Assets Index (HAI) and per capita income thresholds, São Tomé and Príncipe met the criteria for graduation in 2015.

The graduation milestone that São Tomé and Príncipe has reached, reflects the country’s efforts as well as the progress achieved in key areas for sustainable development.

Prime Minister Jorge Bom Jesus of Sao Tome and Principe delivers remarks at workshop opening

Despite this important step forward, challenges remain. Over the next six years, São Tomé and Príncipe and its development partners will need to build on progress so far in order to consolidate development gains and identify critical areas where support is needed. Aligning these transitional efforts with national development goals and plans will make them more effective.

As part of efforts to strengthen the country’s graduation, the Government of São Tomé and Príncipe, the United Nations in São Tomé and Príncipe, the United Nations Inter-Agency Task Force on LDC Graduation as well as the Government of Portugal co-organized a joint UN Workshop from 12-13 September, 2019 to support São Tomé and Príncipe in developing a comprehensive smooth transition graduation strategy.

Participants attending the workshop on graduation

The workshop facilitated dialogue between government officials, development partners, civil society and private sector to discuss the graduation process and its implications for São Tomé and Príncipe. The impact of access to finance and the mobilization of resources was also on the agenda along with lessons learnt from other countries which have graduated.

Moreover, the workshop was an opportunity to strengthen UN system coordination between the UN country team and UN system entities based internationally.

On the margins of the workshop, officials from the UN Office of the High Representative for the Least Developed Countries, Landlocked Developing Countries and Small Island Developing States (UN-OHRLLS) carried out a Cabinet briefing on graduation to bring government officials up to speed with technical aspects of the process as well as targets that need to be achieved to ensure the country graduates successfully in 2024.

Zahira Virani, UN Resident Coordinator for Sao Tome and Principe, Jorge Bom Jesus, Prime Minister of Sao Tome and Principe, Heidi Schroderus-Fox, Director, UN-OHRLLS

Coordination for the joint workshop was led by UN-OHRLLS which established an inter-agency task force (IATF) on graduation and smooth transition with the objective of providing strengthened and coordinated United Nations system-wide support to the countries graduating from the least developed country category.

Learn more about LDCs: http://unohrlls.org/about-ldcs/