Togo

Togo


Togo, officially the Togolese Republic, is a narrow country in West Africa bordering Ghana to the west, Benin to the east and Burkina Faso to the north. The country extends south to the Gulf of Guinea, on which the capital Lom is located.


Background History

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 multiparty elections instituted in the early 1990s, the government was largely dominated by President Eyadema, whose Rally of the Togolese People (RPT) party has maintained power almost continually since 1967 and maintains a majority of seats in today's legislature. Upon Eyadema's death in February 2005, the military installed the president's son, Faure Gsassingbe, 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. After years of political unrest and condemnation from international organizations for human rights abuses, Togo is finally being re-welcomed into the international community. In January 2012, Togo assumed a nonpermanent seat on the UN Security Council for the 2012-13 term.

Government

Country Name:

  • conventional long form: Togolese Republic
  • conventional short form: Togo
  • local long form: Republique togolaise
  • former: French Togoland

Capital:

  • name: Lome
  • population: 1,593,000
  • geographic coordinates: 6 08 N, 1 13 E
  • time difference: UTC 0 (5 hours ahead of Washington, DC during Standard Time)

Independence:

  • 27 April 1960 (from French-administered UN trusteeship)

Government Type:

  • Republic under transition to multiparty democratic rule

Executive Branch:

  • chief of state: President Faure Gnassingbe (since 4 May 2005)
  • head of government: Prime Minister Gilbert Houngbo (since 7 September 2008)
  • cabinet: Council of Ministers appointed by the president and the prime minister
  • elections: president elected by popular vote for a five-year term (no term limits); election last held on 4 March 2010 (next to be held in 2015); prime minister appointed by the president

Legislative Branch:

  • structure: unicameral National Assembly

Judicial Branch:

  • structure: Court of Appeal; Supreme Court

People & Society

Population:

  • 6,961,049 (global rank: 101)
  • growth rate: 2.748% (global rank: 19)

Nationality:

  • noun: Togolese (singular and plural)
  • adjective: Togolese

Major Cities:

  • Lome (capital): 1.593 million

Ethnic Groups:

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

Religions:

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

Languages:

  • 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)

Life Expectancy at Birth:

  • total population: 63.17 years (global rank: 175)
  • male: 60.64 years
  • female: 65.77 years

Infant Mortality:

  • total population: 49.87 deaths/1,000 live births (global rank: 45)
  • male: 56.72 deaths/1,000 live births
  • female: 42.82 deaths/1,000 live births

HIV/AIDS:

  • adult prevalence rate: 3.2% (2009 est.) (global rank: 22)
  • people living with AIDS: 120,000 (2009 est.) (global rank: 38)

Literacy:

  • definition: age 15 and over can read and write
  • total population: 60.9%
  • male: 75.4%
  • female: 46.9%

Economy

Overview: This small, sub-Saharan economy suffers from anemic economic growth and 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.

Gross Domestic Product:

  • GDP (PPP): $6.324 billion (global rank: 155)
  • GDP per capita (PPP): $900 (global rank: 213)
  • real growth rate: 3.8% (global rank: 105)
  • composition by sector: agriculture: 46%, industry: 23%, services: 31%

Currency:

  • currency: Communaute Financiere Africaine Francs (XOF)
  • exchange rate (per US Dollar): 473.7

Poverty:

  • population below poverty line: 32%
  • unemployment rate: NA

Agricultural Products:

  • coffee, cocoa, cotton, yams, cassava (tapioca), corn, beans, rice, millet, sorghum; livestock; fish

Industries:

  • phosphate mining, agricultural processing, cement, handicrafts, textiles, beverages

Exports Commodities:

  • reexports, cotton, phosphates, coffee, cocoa

Imports Commodities:

  • machinery and equipment, foodstuffs, petroleum products

Geography

Location:

  • Western Africa, bordering the Bight of Benin, between Benin and Ghana

Area:

  • total: 56,785 sq km (global rank: 126)
  • land: 54,385 sq km
  • water: 2,400 sq km
  • comparative: slightly smaller than West Virginia

Climate:

  • tropical; hot, humid in south; semiarid in north

Land Use:

  • arable land: 44.2%
  • permanent crops: 2.11%
  • other: 53.69%

Natural Resources:

  • phosphates, limestone, marble, arable land

Current Environmental Issues:

  • deforestation attributable to slash-and-burn agriculture and the use of wood for fuel; water pollution presents health hazards and hinders the fishing industry; air pollution increasing in urban areas

Transnational Issues

  • international disputes:in 2001, Benin claimed Togo moved boundary monuments - joint commission continues to resurvey the boundary; in 2006, 14,000 Togolese refugees remain in Benin and Ghana out of the 40,000 who fled there in 2005; talks continue between Benin and Togo on funding the Adjrala hydroelectric dam on the Mona River
  • refugees (country of origin): 5,000 (Ghana)
  • internally displaced peoples: 1,500
  • illicit drugs: transit hub for Nigerian heroin and cocaine traffickers; money laundering not a significant problem


Published: Monday, September 08, 2008