Togo

Introduction 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 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. After years of political unrest and fire from international organizations for human rights abuses, Togo is finally being re-welcomed into the international community.
History

Western history does not record what happened in Togo before the Portuguese arrived in the late 15th century. During the period from the 11th century to the 16th century, various tribes entered the region from all directions: the Ewé from Nigeria and Benin; and the Mina and Guin from Ghana. Most settled in coastal areas. When the slave trade began in earnest in the 16th century, the Mina benefited the most. For the next two hundred years, the coastal region was a major raiding center for Europeans in search of slaves, earning Togo and the surrounding region the name "The Slave Coast".

In an 1884 treaty signed at Togoville, Germany declared a protectorate over a stretch of territory along the coast and gradually extended its control inland. This became the German colony Togoland in 1905. After the German defeat during World War I in August 1914 at the hands of British troops (coming from the Gold Coast) and the French troops (coming from Dahomey), Togoland became two League of Nations mandates, administered by the United Kingdom and France. After World War II, these mandates became UN Trust Territories. The residents of British Togoland voted to join the Gold Coast as part of the new independent nation of Ghana, and French Togoland became an autonomous republic within the French Union. Independence came in 1960 under Sylvanus Olympio. Sylvanus Olympio was assassinated in a military coup on 13 January 1963 by a group of soldiers under the direction of Sergeant Etienne Eyadema Gnassingbe. Opposition leader Nicolas Grunitzky was appointed president by the "Insurrection Committee" headed by Emmanuel Bodjollé. However, on 13 January 1967, Eyadema Gnassingbe overthrew Grunitzky in a bloodless coup and assumed the presidency, which he held from that date until his sudden death on 5 February 2005.

Eyadema Gnassingbe died in early 2005 after thirty-eight years in power, as Africa's longest-sitting dictator. The military's immediate but short-lived installation of his son, Faure Gnassingbé, as president provoked widespread international condemnation, except from France. However, surprisingly, some democratically elected African leaders, such as Abdoulaye Wade of Senegal and Olusegun Obasanjo of Nigeria, supported that move and created a rift within the African Union. Faure Gnassingbé stood down and called elections which he won two months later. The opposition claimed that the election was fraudulent. The developments of 2005 led to renewed questions about a commitment to democracy made by Togo in 2004 in a bid to normalize ties with the European Union, which cut off aid in 1993 over the country's human rights record. Moreover, up to 400 people were killed in the political violence surrounding the presidential poll, according to the United Nations. Around 40,000 Togolese fled to neighbouring countries.

Geography Location: Western Africa, bordering the Bight of Benin, between Benin and Ghana
Geographic coordinates: 8 00 N, 1 10 E
Map references: Africa
Area: total: 56,785 sq km
land: 54,385 sq km
water: 2,400 sq km
Area - comparative: slightly smaller than West Virginia
Land boundaries: total: 1,647 km
border countries: Benin 644 km, Burkina Faso 126 km, Ghana 877 km
Coastline: 56 km
Maritime claims: territorial sea: 30 nm
exclusive economic zone: 200 nm
Climate: tropical; hot, humid in south; semiarid in north
Terrain: gently rolling savanna in north; central hills; southern plateau; low coastal plain with extensive lagoons and marshes
Elevation extremes: lowest point: Atlantic Ocean 0 m
highest point: Mont Agou 986 m
Natural resources: phosphates, limestone, marble, arable land
Land use: arable land: 44.2%
permanent crops: 2.11%
other: 53.69% (2005)
Irrigated land: 70 sq km (2003)
Total renewable water resources: 14.7 cu km (2001)
Freshwater withdrawal (domestic/industrial/agricultural): total: 0.17 cu km/yr (53%/2%/45%)
per capita: 28 cu m/yr (2000)
Natural hazards: hot, dry harmattan wind can reduce visibility in north during winter; periodic droughts
Environment - current 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
Environment - international agreements: party to: Biodiversity, Climate Change, Climate Change-Kyoto Protocol, Desertification, Endangered Species, Law of the Sea, Ozone Layer Protection, Ship Pollution, Tropical Timber 83, Tropical Timber 94, Wetlands, Whaling
signed, but not ratified: none of the selected agreements
Geography - note: the country's length allows it to stretch through six distinct geographic regions; climate varies from tropical to savanna
Politics

Togo's transition to democracy is stalled. Its democratic institutions remain nascent and fragile. President Gnassingbé Eyadéma, who ruled Togo under a one-party system for nearly twenty-five of his thirty-seven years in power, died of a heart attack on 5 February 2005. Under the constitution, the speaker of parliament, Fambaré Ouattara Natchaba, should have become president, pending a new election. N The Togolese army closed the nation's borders, forcing the plane to land in son Faure Gnassingbé, also known as Faure Eyadéma, who had been the communications minister, would succeed him. The constitution of Togo declared that in the case of the president's death, the speaker of Parliament takes his place, and has sixty days to call new elections. However, on 6 February 2005, Parliament retroactively changed the Constitution, declaring that Faure would hold office for the rest of his father's term, with elections deferred until 2008. The stated justification was that Natchaba was out of the country. The government also moved to remove Natchaba as speaker and replaced him with Faure Gnassingbé, who was sworn in on 7 February 2005, despite international criticism of the succession.

The African Union described the takeover as a military coup d'état. International pressure came also from the United Nations. Within Togo, opposition to the takeover culminated in riots in which several hundred died. In the village of Aného reports of a general civilian uprising followed by a large scale massacre by government troops went largely unreported. In response, Gnassingbé agreed to hold elections and on 25 February, Gnassingbé resigned as president, but soon afterward accepted the nomination to run for the office in April. On 24 April 2005, Gnassingbé was elected president of Togo, receiving over 60% of the vote according to official results. However fraud was suspected as cause of his election, due to a lack of presence of the European Union or other such oversight. See the History section of this article for details. Parliament designated Deputy Speaker Bonfoh Abbass as interim president until the inauguration of the election (a clear violation of the constitution but a political compromise).

People Population: 5,858,673
note: estimates for this country explicitly take into account the effects of excess mortality due to AIDS; this can result in lower life expectancy, higher infant mortality, higher death rates, lower population growth rates, and changes in the distribution of population by age and sex than would otherwise be expected (July 2008 est.)
Age structure: 0-14 years: 41.7% (male 1,226,320/female 1,218,182)
15-64 years: 55.6% (male 1,588,354/female 1,666,274)
65 years and over: 2.7% (male 63,508/female 96,035) (2008 est.)
Median age: total: 18.6 years
male: 18.2 years
female: 19 years (2008 est.)
Population growth rate: 2.717% (2008 est.)
Birth rate: 36.66 births/1,000 population (2008 est.)
Death rate: 9.48 deaths/1,000 population (2008 est.)
Net migration rate: NA (2008 est.)
Sex ratio: at birth: 1.03 male(s)/female
under 15 years: 1.01 male(s)/female
15-64 years: 0.95 male(s)/female
65 years and over: 0.66 male(s)/female
total population: 0.97 male(s)/female (2008 est.)
Infant mortality rate: total: 57.66 deaths/1,000 live births
male: 65.01 deaths/1,000 live births
female: 50.09 deaths/1,000 live births (2008 est.)
Life expectancy at birth: total population: 58.28 years
male: 56.2 years
female: 60.43 years (2008 est.)
Total fertility rate: 4.85 children born/woman (2008 est.)
HIV/AIDS - adult prevalence rate: 4.1% (2003 est.)
HIV/AIDS - people living with HIV/AIDS: 110,000 (2003 est.)
HIV/AIDS - deaths: 10,000 (2003 est.)
Major infectious diseases: degree of risk: very high
food or waterborne diseases: bacterial and protozoal diarrhea, hepatitis A, and typhoid fever
vectorborne diseases: malaria and yellow fever
water contact disease: schistosomiasis
respiratory disease: meningococcal meningitis
note: highly pathogenic H5N1 avian influenza has been identified in this country; it poses a negligible risk with extremely rare cases possible among US citizens who have close contact with birds (2008)
Nationality: noun: Togolese (singular and plural)
adjective: Togolese
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 and 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)
Literacy: definition: age 15 and over can read and write
total population: 60.9%
male: 75.4%
female: 46.9% (2003 est.)
School life expectancy (primary to tertiary education): total: 9 years
male: 11 years
female: 7 years (2000)
Education expenditures: 2.6% of GDP (2002)
Government Country name: conventional long form: Togolese Republic
conventional short form: Togo
local long form: Republique togolaise
local short form: none
former: French Togoland
Government type: republic under transition to multiparty democratic rule
Capital: name: Lome
geographic coordinates: 6 08 N, 1 13 E
time difference: UTC 0 (5 hours ahead of Washington, DC during Standard Time)
Administrative divisions: 5 regions (regions, singular - region); Centrale, Kara, Maritime, Plateaux, Savanes
Independence: 27 April 1960 (from French-administered UN trusteeship)
National holiday: Independence Day, 27 April (1960)
Constitution: multiparty draft constitution approved by High Council of the Republic 1 July 1992, adopted by public referendum 27 September 1992
Legal system: French-based court system; accepts compulsory ICJ jurisdiction, with reservations
Suffrage: NA years of age; universal (adult)
Executive branch: chief of state: President Faure GNASSINGBE (since 4 May 2005); note - Gnassingbe EYADEMA died on 5 February 2005 and was succeeded by his son, Faure GNASSINGBE, with the support of the military following international condemnation for the unconstitutional move he then stepped aside pending elections, and Abass BONFOH served as interim president; Faure GNASSINGBE later won popular elections in April 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 24 April 2005 (next to be held by 2010); prime minister appointed by the president
election results: Faure GNASSINGBE elected president; percent of vote - Faure GNASSINGBE 60.2%, Emmanuel Akitani BOB 38.3%, Nicolas LAWSON 1%, Harry OLYMPIO 0.5%
Legislative branch: unicameral National Assembly (81 seats; members are elected by popular vote to serve five-year terms)
elections: last held on 14 October 2007 (next to be held in 2012)
election results: percent of vote by party - RPT 39.4%, UFC 37.0%, CAR 8.2%, independents 2.5%, other 12.9%; seats by party - RPT 50, UFC 27, CAR 4
Judicial branch: Court of Appeal or Cour d'Appel; Supreme Court or Cour Supreme
Political parties and leaders: Action Committee for Renewal or CAR [Yawovi AGBOYIBO]; Democratic Convention of African Peoples or CDPA; Democratic Party for Renewal or PDR; Juvento [Monsilia DJATO]; Movement of the Believers of Peace and Equality or MOCEP; Pan-African Patriotic Convergence or CPP; Rally for the Support for Development and Democracy or RSDD [Harry OLYMPIO]; Rally of the Togolese People or RPT [Faure GNASSINGBE]; Socialist Pact for Renewal or PSR; Union for Democracy and Social Progress or UDPS [Gagou KOKOU]; Union of Forces for a Change or UFC [Gilchrist OLYMPIO]
Political pressure groups and leaders: NA
International organization participation: ACP, AfDB, AU, ECOWAS, Entente, FAO, FZ, G-77, IAEA, IBRD, ICAO, ICC, ICRM, IDA, IDB, IFAD, IFC, IFRCS, ILO, IMF, IMO, Interpol, IOC, IOM, IPU, ISO (correspondent), ITSO, ITU, ITUC, MIGA, NAM, OIC, OIF, OPCW, PCA, UN, UNAMID, UNCTAD, UNESCO, UNIDO, UNMIL, UNOCI, UNWTO, UPU, WADB (regional), WAEMU, WCL, WCO, WFTU, WHO, WIPO, WMO, WTO
Diplomatic representation in the US: chief of mission: Ambassador (vacant); Charge d'Affaires Lorempo LANDJERGUE
chancery: 2208 Massachusetts Avenue NW, Washington, DC 20008
telephone: [1] (202) 234-4212
FAX: [1] (202) 232-3190
Diplomatic representation from the US: chief of mission: Ambassador Patricia McMahon HAWKINS
embassy: 4332 Blvd. Gnassingbe Eyadema, Cite OUA, Lome
mailing address: B. P. 852, Lome; 2300 Lome Place, Washington, DC 20512-2300
telephone: [228] 261-5470
FAX: [228] 261-5501
Flag description: five equal horizontal bands of green (top and bottom) alternating with yellow; a white five-pointed star on a red square is in the upper hoist-side corner; uses the popular pan-African colors of Ethiopia
Culture

Togo's culture reflects the influences of its thirty-seven ethnic groups, the largest and most influential of which are the Ewe, Mina, and Kabre.

French is the official language of Togo. The many indigenous African languages spoken by Togolese include: Gbe languages such as Ewe, Mina, and Aja; Kabiyé; and others.

Despite the influences of Christianity and Islam, over half of the people of Togo follow native animistic practices and beliefs.

Ewe statuary is characterized by its famous statuettes which illustrate the worship of the ibeji. Sculptures and hunting trophies were used rather than the more ubiquitous African masks. The wood-carvers of Kloto are famous for their "chains of marriage": two characters are connected by rings drawn from only one piece of wood.

The dyed fabric batiks of the artisanal center of Kloto represent stylized and coloured scenes of ancient everyday life. The loincloths used in the ceremonies of the weavers of Assahoun are famous. Works of the painter Sokey Edorh are inspired by the immense arid extents, swept by the harmattan, and where the laterite keeps the prints of the men and the animals. The plastics technician Paul Ahyi is internationally recognized today. He practices the "zota", a kind of pyroengraving, and his monumental achievements decorate Lome.

Economy Economy - overview: This small, sub-Saharan economy is heavily dependent on both commercial and subsistence agriculture, which provides employment for 65% 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 the world's fourth-largest producer of phosphate. 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. Togo is working with donors to write a Poverty Reduction and Growth Facility (PRGF) that could eventually lead to a debt reduction plan. Economic growth remains marginal due to declining cotton production, underinvestment in phosphate mining, and strained relations with donors.
GDP (purchasing power parity): $5.042 billion (2007 est.)
GDP (official exchange rate): $2.497 billion (2007 est.)
GDP - real growth rate: 2.1% (2007 est.)
GDP - per capita (PPP): $900 (2007 est.)
GDP - composition by sector: agriculture: 40%
industry: 25%
services: 35% (2003 est.)
Labor force: 1.302 million (1998)
Labor force - by occupation: agriculture: 65%
industry: 5%
services: 30% (1998 est.)
Unemployment rate: NA%
Population below poverty line: 32% (1989 est.)
Household income or consumption by percentage share: lowest 10%: NA%
highest 10%: NA%
Investment (gross fixed): 24.2% of GDP (2007 est.)
Budget: revenues: $466.8 million
expenditures: $514.7 million (2007 est.)
Fiscal year: calendar year
Inflation rate (consumer prices): 1% (2007 est.)
Central bank discount rate: 4.25% (31 December 2007)
Commercial bank prime lending rate: NA (31 December 2007)
Stock of money: $624.9 million (31 December 2007)
Stock of quasi money: $383.9 million (31 December 2007)
Stock of domestic credit: $590.7 million (31 December 2007)
Agriculture - products: coffee, cocoa, cotton, yams, cassava (tapioca), corn, beans, rice, millet, sorghum; livestock; fish
Industries: phosphate mining, agricultural processing, cement, handicrafts, textiles, beverages
Industrial production growth rate: 1% (2007 est.)
Electricity - production: 203 million kWh (2006 est.)
Electricity - consumption: 607 million kWh (2006 est.)
Electricity - exports: 0 kWh (2007 est.)
Electricity - imports: 505 million kWh; note - electricity supplied by Ghana (2006 est.)
Electricity - production by source: fossil fuel: 98.7%
hydro: 1.3%
nuclear: 0%
other: 0% (2001)
Oil - production: 0 bbl/day (2007 est.)
Oil - consumption: 17,770 bbl/day (2006 est.)
Oil - exports: 1,547 bbl/day (2005)
Oil - imports: 16,650 bbl/day (2005)
Oil - proved reserves: 0 bbl (1 January 2006 est.)
Natural gas - production: 0 cu m (2007 est.)
Natural gas - consumption: 0 cu m (2007 est.)
Natural gas - exports: 0 cu m (2007 est.)
Natural gas - imports: 0 cu m (2007 est.)
Natural gas - proved reserves: 0 cu m (1 January 2006 est.)
Current account balance: -$159 million (2007 est.)
Exports: $702 million f.o.b. (2007 est.)
Exports - commodities: reexports, cotton, phosphates, coffee, cocoa
Exports - partners: Ghana 16.8%, Burkina Faso 14.5%, Germany 9.2%, Benin 9.1%, Netherlands 5.9%, Mali 5.8%, India 4.7% (2007)
Imports: $1.201 billion f.o.b. (2007 est.)
Imports - commodities: machinery and equipment, foodstuffs, petroleum products
Imports - partners: China 36.3%, Estonia 9.6%, US 7.6%, Netherlands 7.3%, France 7% (2007)
Economic aid - recipient: ODA, $86.71 million (2005 est.)
Reserves of foreign exchange and gold: $438 million (31 December 2007 est.)
Debt - external: $2 billion (2005)
Market value of publicly traded shares: $NA
Currency (code): Communaute Financiere Africaine franc (XOF); note - responsible authority is the Central Bank of the West African States
Currency code: XOF
Exchange rates: Communaute Financiere Africaine francs (XOF) per US dollar - 482.71 (2007), 522.59 (2006), 527.47 (2005), 528.29 (2004), 581.2 (2003)
note: since 1 January 1999, the XOF franc has been pegged to the euro at a rate of 655.957 XOF francs per euro
Communications Telephones - main lines in use: 82,100 (2006)
Telephones - mobile cellular: 1.19 million (2007)
Telephone system: general assessment: fair system based on a network of microwave radio relay routes supplemented by open-wire lines and a mobile-cellular system
domestic: microwave radio relay and open-wire lines for conventional system; combined fixed-line and mobile-cellular teledensity roughly 15 telephones per 100 persons
international: country code - 228; satellite earth stations - 1 Intelsat (Atlantic Ocean), 1 Symphonie
Radio broadcast stations: AM 2, FM 9, shortwave 4 (1998)
Radios: 940,000 (1997)
Television broadcast stations: 3 (plus 2 repeaters) (1997)
Televisions: 73,000 (1997)
Internet country code: .tg
Internet hosts: 769 (2008)
Internet Service Providers (ISPs): 3 (2001)
Internet users: 320,000 (2006)
Transportation Airports: 9 (2007)
Airports - with paved runways: total: 2
2,438 to 3,047 m: 2 (2007)
Airports - with unpaved runways: total: 7
914 to 1,523 m: 4
under 914 m: 3 (2007)
Railways: total: 568 km
narrow gauge: 568 km 1.000-m gauge (2006)
Roadways: total: 7,520 km
paved: 2,376 km
unpaved: 5,144 km (2000)
Waterways: 50 km (seasonally on Mono River depending on rainfall) (2005)
Merchant marine: total: 10
by type: cargo 9, refrigerated cargo 1
foreign-owned: 6 (Bangladesh 1, Denmark 1, Egypt 1, Lebanon 1, Syria 2) (2008)
Ports and terminals: Kpeme, Lome
Military Military branches: Togolese Armed Forces: Ground Forces, Togolese Navy (Marine du Togo), Togolese Air Force (Force Aerienne Togolaise, FAT), National Gendarmerie (2008)
Military service age and obligation: 18 years of age for selective compulsory and voluntary military service; 2-year service obligation (2006)
Manpower available for military service: males age 16-49: 1,365,505
females age 16-49: 1,374,993 (2008 est.)
Manpower fit for military service: males age 16-49: 897,195
females age 16-49: 913,327 (2008 est.)
Manpower reaching militarily significant age annually: male: 69,156
female: 69,200 (2008 est.)
Military expenditures: 1.6% of GDP (2005 est.)
Transnational Issues Disputes - international: 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
Refugees and internally displaced persons: refugees (country of origin): 5,000 (Ghana)
IDPs: 1,500 (2007)
Illicit drugs: transit hub for Nigerian heroin and cocaine traffickers; money laundering not a significant problem