Home   Time Zones   Time Zone News   São Tomé and Príncipe Changes Its Time Zone

São Tomé and Príncipe Changes Its Time Zone


Published 8-Jan-2018

The African country of São Tomé and Príncipe has changed its local time from Greenwich Mean Time (GMT) to West African Time (WAT) on January 1, 2018.

Illustration image

Beach in São Tomé and Príncipe.

Beach in São Tomé and Príncipe. The African country recently changed its time zone to UTC+1.


1 Hour Ahead

At 01:00 (1:00 am) on January 1, 2018, clocks in São Tomé and Príncipe moved 1 hour ahead. The African island nation previously followed Greenwich Mean Time (GMT), which is the same time as Coordinated Universal Time (UTC). Following the change, it observes West African Time (WAT), which is 1 hour ahead of UTC.

The Portuguese-speaking country, which lies in the Gulf of Guinea, now observes the same local time as many central African countries, including Angola, Cameroon, and the Democratic Republic of the Congo.

Energy Savings

The government justified the switch, which will result in a delayed onset of dusk and a later sunset, as a means to save energy.

Many countries around the world change their clocks for Daylight Saving Time (DST) for parts of the year, also in an effort to conserve energy. However, seasonal clock changes are meaningless in the tropics, where day lengths hardly vary during the year. While clocks in São Tomé and Príncipe do not change on a yearly basis, the recent switch to WAT amounts to the introduction of permanent DST in the country.

Close to Solar Time

Both GMT and WAT are fairly close to the local solar time, with solar noon occurring about half an hour before 12:00 (12 noon) before the change and about half an hour after that time following the change.

Current time in
São Tomé


Wednesday, October 16, 2019


You might also like

Commuters and tourists in Canary Wharf, London, United Kingdom.

Daylight Saving Time (DST)

Daylight Saving Time (DST) is the practice of setting the clocks forward one hour from standard time during the summer months, and back again in the fall, in order to make better use of natural daylight. more

Skyline of downtown Indianapolis, Indiana, USA.

Time Zones in Indiana

In Indiana, USA, there are are two time zones: Central Time and Eastern Time. All counties set their clocks one hour to and from Daylight Saving Time (DST) twice a year. Indiana time zone map with local time in each county. more

GMT or BST in the UK?

The UK is not on Greenwich Mean Time (GMT) all year. During Daylight Saving Time the correct time zone is British Summer Time (BST). more