World Travelling Guide
World Travelling Guide

Accommodation in Southern Africa and South Africa including accommodation in Western Cape, Eastern Cape, Northern Cape, Gauteng, Limpopo Province, North West Province, Free State, Kwazulu-Natal, Mpumalanga

List of Countries
Map of Australia and South Pacific

Travelling Guide
Samoa Travelling Guide

General background: New Zealand occupied the German protectorate of Western Samoa at the outbreak of World War I in 1914. It continued to administer the islands as a mandate and then as a trust territory until 1962, when the islands became the first Polynesian nation to reestablish independence in the 20th century. The country dropped the "Western" from its name in 1997.

Area comparative: Slightly smaller than Rhode Island.

Climate: Tropical; rainy season (October to March), dry season (May to October)

Terrain: Narrow coastal plain with volcanic, rocky, rugged mountains in interior.

Population: 178,631 (July 2002 est.)

Ethnic groups: Samoan 92.6%, Euronesians 7% (persons of European and Polynesian blood), Europeans 0.4%

Religions: Christian 99.7% (about one-half of population associated with the Seventh-Day Adventists, London Missionary Society, Roman Catholic, Methodist, Latter-Day Saints).

Language: Samoan (Polynesian), English

Government type: Constitutional monarchy under native chief

Capital: Apia

Legal system: Based on English common law and local customs; judicial review of legislative acts with respect to fundamental rights of the citizen; has not accepted compulsory ICJ jurisdiction.

Economic overview: The economy of Samoa has traditionally been dependent on development aid, family remittances from overseas, and agricultural exports. The country is vulnerable to devastating storms. Agriculture employs two-thirds of the labour force, and furnishes 90% of exports, featuring coconut cream, coconut oil, and copra. The manufacturing sector mainly processes agricultural products. The decline of fish stocks in the area is a continuing problem. Tourism is an expanding sector, accounting for 16% of GDP; about 85,000 tourists visited the islands in 2000. The Samoan Government has called for deregulation of the financial sector, encouragement of investment, and continued fiscal discipline. Observers point to the flexibility of the labour market as a basic strength for future economic advances. Foreign reserves are in a relatively healthy state, the external debt is stable, and inflation is low.

Communication/Telephone system: Adequate

Places of interest: The islands are so idyllic they're almost a cartoon version of a writer's hideaway - palm-fringed beaches, booming white surf, and lush rainforests wreathed in a background mist of clouds.

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