macrohistory & world report

Togolese Republic

Map of Togo

Togo (capital Lomé) and neighboring states

World Factbook as of November 2014: "This small, sub-Saharan economy depends heavily on both commercial and subsistence agriculture, which provides employment for a significant share of the labor force. Some basic foodstuffs must still be imported. Cocoa, coffee, and cotton generate about 40% of export earnings with cotton being the most important cash crop. Togo is among the world's largest producers of phosphate and Togo seeks to develop its carbonate phosphate reserves. The government's decade-long effort, supported by the World Bank and the IMF, to implement economic reform measures, encourage foreign investment, and bring revenues in line with expenditures has moved slowly. Progress depends on follow through on privatization, increased openness in government financial operations, progress toward legislative elections, and continued support from foreign donors. Foreign direct investment inflows have slowed over recent years. Togo completed its IMF Extended Credit Facility in 2011 and reached a HIPC debt relief completion point in 2010 at which 95% of the country's debt was forgiven. Togo continues to work with the IMF on structural reforms."

Economic growth rate
2011: 3.8%
2010: 3.7%
2009: 3.2%

Labor force in agriculture
1998: 65%

Export- commodities
Reexports, cotton, phosphates, coffee, cocoa

Export/import ratio
2011: exports $0.865 billion, imports $1.460 billion

Health expenditures
2009: 5.9% of GDP



Living in an urban area:
2010: 43%

Ethnic groups
African (37 tribes; largest and most important are Ewe, Mina, and Kabre) 99%, European and Syrian-Lebanese less than 1%

Christian 29%, Muslim 20%, indigenous beliefs 51%

Literacy, (age 15 and older can read and write)
2003: males 75.4%, females 46.9%


Western Africa, east of Ghana, west of Benin, with 56 kilometers of coastline in the south. About 100 kilometers east and west and 580 kilometers north and sout. Tropical.Capital: Lome.

Recent History

Togo became independent of French colonial rule in 1960, its formal name becoming the Togolese Republic. General Gnassingbe Eyadema became Togo's ruler in 1967.  He gave in to popular pressure and legalized political parties in 1991. Then he won three elections, during allegations of political repression and electoral fraud. 

During the 1990s the military made arbitrary arrests and committed extrajudicial killings, resulting in a withdrawal of aid by foreign donors. Eyadema died in March 2005. Eyadema's son, Faure Gnassingbe, was put in power. He ran for president that year, an election marred by hundreds of deaths. Gnassingbe won the presidency. He pursued reconciliation, and in parliamentary elections in October 2007 all opposition parties were allowed to run and all took part, for the first time in twenty years. Gnassingbe's party, the RPT, won 49 of the 81 seats. The leading opposition party, the UFC won 21 seats. A constitutional court is to hear any legal challenges to the results.

People have been migrating to the city from rural areas at a rate of 4.3 percent per year. The urban population is 2008 was counted as 42 percent of the total population. Demonstrations erupted in March, 2010, prostesting election results said to be rigged in favor of Faure Gnassingbé.

Copyright © 2009-2013 by Frank E. Smitha. All rights reserved.