Sao Tome and Principe: World Bank Boosts Improvements in the Banking System, Access to Finance

The World Bank approved $7 million to support the government of Sao Tome and Principe to continue making improvements in the banking system, access to finance, and national statistics. This additional financing for the ongoing Institutional Capacity Building Project will help scale-up activities with the Central Bank of Sao Tome and Principe and support system modernizations as part of the COVID-19 mitigation response.

While digital payment systems have seen a significant improvement in recent years Sao Tome and Principe, coverage is still very limited, and the financial infrastructure remains underdeveloped and unreliable, constraining access to payment services, particularly in rural areas and on the island of Príncipe. This inhibits digital payment and collection of taxes, payment of utility bills, wages and pensions, and disbursement of welfare benefits.