Trovoada was born in Libreville, Gabon. He is the son of Miguel Trovoada, who was President of São Tomé and Príncipe from 1991 to 2001, and was named after Patrice Emery Lumumba, the first Prime Minister of Congo (Léopoldville).
He served as the Minister of Foreign Affairs from September 2001 to 4 February 2002. He was also oil adviser to President Fradique de Menezes until Menezes fired him in May 2005, alleging that Trovoada had used his position to advance his business interests.
Trovoada is Secretary-General of Independent Democratic Action (ADI), a political party. He ran for President in the July 2006 presidential election, but was defeated by Menezes, the incumbent president. Trovoada was the only major opposition candidate and he received 38.82% of the vote.
On February 14, 2008, Trovoada became Prime Minister; he was appointed by Menezes following the resignation of Tomé Vera Cruz.
On March 4, 2008, he made a brief official visit to Gabon.
Trovoada's government was defeated in a censure motion in the National Assembly on May 20, 2008 after three months in office. The motion, introduced by the opposition Movement for the Liberation of São Tomé and Príncipe/Social Democratic Party (MLSTP/PSD), received 30 votes in favor, 23 opposed, and two abstaining. In June, Menezes asked the MLSTP/PSD to form a government, and it chose its leader, Joaquim Rafael Branco, as Prime Minister.
- Albertino Francisco and Nujoma Agostinho, Exorcising Devils from the Throne: São Tomé and Príncipe in the Chaos of Democratization (Algora Publishing, 2011) p81
- "De Menezes looks set for second term", AFP, August 1, 2006.
- Rulers.org, September 2001 and February 2002.
- "Oil minister resigns as controversy dogs award of second offshore block", IRIN, May 18, 2005.
- Elections in São Tomé and Príncipe, African Elections Database.
- "Investiture du nouveau gouvernement santoméen", Panapress, February 15, 2008 (French).
- "Le Premier ministre santoméen arrive à Libreville", Xinhua, March 5, 2008 (French).
- "Sao Tome MPs pass no confidence motion against government", Radio France Internationale (nl.newsbank.com), May 20, 2008.
- "Parlamento são-tomense aprova moção de censura contra Governo", Panapress, May 20, 2008 (Portuguese).
- "Líder da oposição em São Tomé Príncipe designado primeiro-ministro", Panapress, June 12, 2008 (Portuguese).