The name Sanma is derived from the combination of the islands within the Province – Santo and Malo. Sanma has a land mass of 4,248 square kilometres with a population of 48, 855 (2009 census). Approximately 70 per cent of the Sanma population are semi-subsistent in agriculture, including the production of copra, cocoa, kava and beef.

The Province is administered by a Secretary General with 27 full staff. There are 18 elected councillors who elect a President and Vice President of the council. Under the council there are three working committees: Finance, Planning, and Administration.