French Togoland became Togo in 1960. Gen. Gnassingbe EYADEMA, installed as military ruler in 1967, ruled Togo with a heavy hand for almost four decades. Despite the facade of multi-party elections instituted in the early 1990s, the government was largely dominated by President EYADEMA, whose Rally of the Togolese People (RPT) party has been in power almost continually since 1967 and its successor, the Union for the Republic, maintains a majority of seats in today's legislature. Upon EYADEMA's death in February 2005, the military installed the president's son, Faure GNASSINGBE, and then engineered his formal election two months later. Democratic gains since then allowed Togo to hold its first relatively free and fair legislative elections in October 2007. Since 2007, President GNASSINGBE has started the country along a gradual path to political reconciliation and democratic reform, and Togo has held multiple presidential and legislative elections that were deemed generally free and fair by international observers. Despite those positive moves, political reconciliation has moved slowly and many Togolese complain that important political measures such as presidential term limits and electoral reforms remain undone, leaving the country’s politics in a lethargic state. Internationally, Togo is still known as a country where the same family has been in power for five decades.
Western Africa, bordering the Bight of Benin, between Benin and Ghana
phosphates, limestone, marble, arable land
Population - distribution
one of the more densely populated African nations with most of the population residing in rural communities, density is highest in the south on or near the Atlantic coast
French (official, the language of commerce), Ewe and Mina (the two major African languages in the south), Kabye (sometimes spelled Kabiye) and Dagomba (the two major African languages in the north)
LOME (capital) 956,000 (2015)
- Conventional long form
- Togolese Republic
- Conventional short form
- Local long form
- Republique Togolaise
- Local short form
- Geographic coordinates
- 6 07 N, 1 13 E
- Time difference
- UTC 0 (5 hours ahead of Washington, DC, during Standard Time)
accepts compulsory ICJ jurisdiction with reservations; non-party state to the ICCt
Togo is enjoying a period of steady economic growth fueled by political stability and a concerted effort by the government to modernize the country’s commercial infrastructure. The country has recently completed an ambitious large-scale infrastructure improvement program, including new principal roads, a new airport terminal, and a new sea-port. The economy depends heavily on both commercial and subsistence agriculture, which provides employment for around 60% of the labor force. Some basic foodstuffs must still be imported. Cocoa, coffee, and cotton and other agricultural products generate about 20% of export earnings with cotton being the most important cash crop. Togo is among the world's largest producers of phosphate and seeks to develop its carbonate phosphate reserves, which provide more than 20% of export earnings.
- External debt stocks
- US$ 1,056,055,000
- Total tax rate (% of commercial profits)
- Real Interest Rate
- Manufacturing, value added (% of GDP)
- Current Account Balance
- US$ -460,839,236
- Labor Force, Total
- Employment in Agriculture
- Employment in Industry
- Employment in Services
- Unemployment Rate
- Imports of goods and services
- US$ 2,756,157,166
- Exports of goods and services
- US$ 1,879,291,720
- Total Merchandise Trade
- FDI, net inflows
- US$ 257,756,356
- Commercial Service Exports
- US$ 442,685,333
coffee, cocoa, cotton, yams, cassava (manioc, tapioca), corn, beans, rice, millet, sorghum; livestock; fish
phosphate mining, agricultural processing, cement, handicrafts, textiles, beverages
- reexports, cotton, phosphates, coffee, cocoa
- India 13.7%, Burkina Faso 11.5%, China 11.4%, Benin 9.7%, Ghana 9.1%, Lebanon 8.4%, Nigeria 6.2%, Niger 6% (2015)
- machinery and equipment, foodstuffs, petroleum products
- China 22.8%, Belgium 20.2%, Netherlands 11.9%, France 6.6%, India 4.8%, Singapore 4.4% (2015)
- Country Risk Rating
- A very uncertain political and economic outlook and a business environment with many troublesome weaknesses can have a significant impact on corporate payment behavior. Corporate default probability is high.
- Business Climate Rating
- The business environment is difficult. Corporate financial information is often unavailable and when available often unreliable. Debt collection is unpredictable. The institutional framework has many troublesome weaknesses. Intercompany transactions run major risks in the difficult environments rated C.
- Phosphate-producing country
- Growing port and airport traffic
- Structural reforms under way (public finances, banking system, phosphate, and cotton sectors)
- Public and private investment in infrastructure
- Sharp socio-political tensions
- Poor business climate
- High levels of poverty and unemployment
- Low productivity of the agricultural sector
- Under-investment in terms of education and public health
Togolese growth is expected to dip slightly in 2017. Activity will continue to be sustained by the primary sector, as well as by services, which account for almost 50% of GDP. Services, mainly represented by transport and international trade, will, however, have to deal with competition from the ports of neighboring countries. Public investment projects aimed at providing the country with infrastructure are also a key pillar of the economy. To do this, the authorities are planning massive investments in transport and energy infrastructure and to intensify social spending. Structural reforms relating to the energy and finance sectors are expected to sustain economic growth in the future.
The entry of the mining giants, Elenilto and Wengfu, into the Togolese phosphate market in late 2015 (Kpémé phosphate terminal) is in tune with the government's desire for a turnaround of the sector. By 2018, annual phosphate production is projected to total 3 million tons, providing a boost to manufacturing. The sector is, however, still dependent on phosphate prices, which although stable, remain modest.
The opening of the energy market to competition should improve the supply of electricity in a country where only 31% of the population have access to this resource. The Adjarala dam project and an invitation to tender for 3 photovoltaic power plants are part of plans to diversify the sources of electricity. More reliable access to energy will impact positively on the economy's key sectors (production of phosphates and their derivatives)
Inflation is expected to increase slightly in 2017, while nonetheless remaining moderate, reflecting the trend within the other WAEMU countries, because of the modest rise in food prices.
Electoral spending in 2015 greatly contributed to the deterioration of the budget deficit. After slightly consolidating in 2016, the fiscal deficit is expected to remain stable in 2017. This is because the 2017 budget act is centered on a rationale of balancing income and expenditure. Meanwhile, Togo, a member of the African Import Export Bank (Afreximbank) since May 2016, could in future benefit from its loans as a way of financing the country's infrastructure. Finally, the World Bank is expected to increase its financial commitment in 2017, which will relieve the strain on the public accounts. Finally, reforms regarding income and the management of expenditure will be implemented in order to stabilize the budget position in the medium term.
The current account deficit is likely to widen slightly in 2017 with the increase in the balance of trade deficit. Imports of consumer and capital goods needed for infrastructure projects will remain high, preventing a real deficit reduction. The primary income balance is likely to continue to run a deficit, chiefly because of dividend repatriation by foreign companies, while expatriate workers' remittances, subsidies from donors and FDIs are expected to continue to limit the current account deficit.
After being re-elected in the presidential elections held on 25 April 2015, President Faure Gnassingbé, in power since 2005, will continue to rule the country for a third term, which is expected to take him up to 2020. His position is likely to be reinforced by Togo's economic performance, as well as by improved relations with donors in recent years. He will also be able to count on the support of the armed forces, responsible for suppressing the opposition. The government is planning to implement a poverty reduction strategy by 2017, as well as a Strategy for Accelerated Growth intended to stimulate growth, employment and economic inclusion, to enhance governance and reduce regional inequalities.
Externally, Togo is expected to strengthen its relations with the other WAEMU members, as well as with the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS). The country is also keen to diversify its economic partners. In spring 2016, the President accordingly met the Chinese and German governments in connection with agreements on financing and developing the country. Meanwhile, the country is expected to continue to with its significant contribution to peacekeeping operations on the continent, especially in Mali.
Finally, despite some improvement in cross-border trade and in insolvency regulations, Togo's governance performance remains poor. The 2017 Doing Business Index ranks the country 154th out of 190 countries.