COUNTRIES BRIEFS Newsletter ISSN 1563-4108

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The Republic of Togo is located in West Africa, bordering the Bight of Benin, in the Atlantic ocean, between Benin and Ghana.

Total area: 56,785 sq. km (land: 54,385 sq. km water: 2,400 sq. km)

Bordering countries: Benin over 644 km, Burkina over 126 km, Ghana over 877 km

Coastline: 56 km

Population: 5,018,502 (2000); 5,429,299 (July 2003) 5,548,702 (2006 est.) Population growth rate: 2.37%

Capital: Lome

Independence from French-administered United Nations trusteeship: April 27, 1960
National holiday: Independence Day: April 27
Constitution: multiparty draft constitution approved by High Council of the Republic July 1, 1992; adopted by public referendum September 27, 1992.
January 6, 2003 profound modification to the constitution by National Assembly.

Natural resources: phosphates, limestone, marble, arable land

Agriculture productions: coffee, cocoa, cotton, yams, cassava, corn, beans, rice, millet, sorghum; livestock; fish

Industrial productions: phosphate mining, agricultural products processing, cement; handicrafts, textiles, beverages Industrial production growth rate: 0%


The man who ruled the country continuously since 1967, president Egnasigbe Eyadema, died on February 5, 2005. Rumors had it for many months that he was sick. He apparently died of heart attack. Doubtless, his death opens a new era for Togo. It signals also the probable end of peculiar political relationships between some African rulers and the former colonial power - France.

Eyadema seized power in two steps. In 1963 he engineered a bloody coup during which the then elected president Sylvanus Olympio was physically eliminated. He staged another one in 1967 to remove from power president Nicolas Grunitsky, who succeeded Sylvanus Olympio. He then acutely managed to stay on Togolese political stage for 38 years nonstop.

Past century's last decade had been a difficult one for him and for Togolese people. The opposition parties staged strikes and civil disobedience throughout the 1990's to obtain the installation of the multi party system.

However, Eyadema used his political cunning to survive and continue ruling with his party The Rally for the Togolese People - RPT - as if nothing changed. He played astutely with the rivalry amongst the contenders, who, one way or another (except for Gilchrist Olympio - the son of the president who led Togo into independence in 1960) had been partners to ruling the country before adopting the clothes of opponents.


Just after the announcement of his death by the prime minister on the evening of February 5, 2005, his son Faure Eyadema was co-opted by the Military to replace his father in violation to the Constitution, which states that the president of the national assembly should be the acting president for the 60 days necessary to organize a new presidential election.

To avoid the probable boycott of the international community - the African Union in particular, that is against coups - the members of parliament voted on February 6, 2005 to remove the president of the Assembly Fambare Natchaba Ouattara and confirm the choice of the Military.

Due to international political pressures and the "disapproval" of Ecowas' heads of States, Faure Eyadema stepped down and handed the state power to an interim government that was simply the one left by his father. Said government organized the presidential election on April 24, 2005. The opposition, backed by non-governmental organizations and the reserves expressed by some G-7 countries (The United States of America in particular), claimed the vote was rigged. In fact, there have been ubuesque scenes of military seizing polling boxes at polling stations and running away with them to unknown destination - that had been reported and broadcast by the media.

In consequence opposition militants took to the streets of the southern part of the country and according to the opposition's counting at least one hundred of people died during the riots and several hundred had been badly wounded.

In spite of the flagrant vote rigging that took place, Ecowas and the international community "recognized" the results released by the interim Togolese government that declared Faure Eyadema the winner with about 60% of the votes against the contender Bob Aketani who was "allocated" 38%.

It seems that Ecowas' heads of states do not want Togo to become another country caught in the wild fire of civil wars that had already engulfed Liberia, Sierra Leone and Ivory Coast (Click here for countries' briefs). The surrounding (Niger, Burkina Faso, and Mali) landlocked countries's leaders think that Faure Eyadema is the only one capable of preserving calm, civil peace and security in Togo. They want to continue using the port of Lome that became the transit harbor for import and export of goods to the hinterland in replacement of the port of Abidjan, Ivory Coast, that became less safe since the start in September 2002 of Ivory Coast's political crisis.

Would they succeed in their bid to preserve peace and security in Togo under the leadership of Faure Eyadema? The near future shall tell if the opposition parties would keep quite and put.

One thing is sure: the circumstances that preside to the takeover of power by the son of the deceased president Eyadema will not improve the persisting atmosphere of defiance, suspicion and mistrust existing since 1991 between opposition parties and the government.

Would Faure Eyadema succeed forming a national unity government? In case he does succeed would the people accepting to join be representative of the opposition and therefore capable of calming down the restive opposition's militants? Would he succeeds convincing the European Union to resume aids program to Togo? Would Germany forgive the fact that masked men, clad in black set fire to Lome's Goethe Institute destroying more that 8,000 books, computers and furniture?

Let us wait and see. If Faure Eyadema succeeds improving the economic situation he may stay in power for a long time. Otherwise, the bid of Ecowas' heads of States is lost.

In our opinion, Togo is another rotten furuncle - like Ivory Coast - on the West African political stage that would soon or latter burst over if the "new regime" tries to use military and security forces to curb the opposition as the late Eyadema did for three decades running.


As far as the economy is concerned, the legacy is negative as shown by the table below:

Average Growth rate 3%6%1%3;1*
per Capita GNP - US$390520280310*
* For year 2003

As shown by the nearly flat evolution of the per Capita Gross National Product (GNP) the economy remained stagnant during four decades running under Eyadema's rule. Click here to read more about the crisis in Togo


Togo needs a political reconciliation process and the establishment of a true democracy to regain the confidence of the international community. That is the only way to resume the international cooperation and receive badly needed financial assistance.

Phosphate mining had been during two decades - 1970-1990 - the main economic driving force. Since 1990, it has steadily suffered from the collapse of world phosphate prices, increased foreign competition and the lack of financing to carry out investment necessary to reviving the industry.

Currently, the economy is dependent on both commercial (import and re-export) and subsistence agriculture, which provides employment to 65% of the labor force. Cocoa, coffee, and cotton together generating about 30% of export earnings. The new Free Zone and Lome's harbor new containers hub are gaining speed.


1- D&B Export Guide To Togo
Digital Delivery by D&B
2- The End of The Earth
From Togo To Turkmenistan, From Iran To Cambodia, A Journey of Anarchy / by Robert Kaplan
3- The Village of Waiting
by George Parker
4- Urban Mobility For All
Proceedings of The International Conference Codatu X - Lome -Togo - 12-15 November 2002
by X. Godard
5- Kinship And Marriage
Among The Anlo Ewe
by G.K. Nukunya
6- Determinants of Democracy In Africa
A Comparative Study of Benin And Togo / by Mathurin C. Houngnikpo
7- Historical Dictionary of Togo
by Samuel Decalo
8- More News On Togo
by Allafrica

Click to contact Dr. Bienvenu-Magloire Quenum



US$ 1.24 billion (2000); 1.28 billion (2001); 1.31 billion (2002); 1.35 billion (2003)
GNP- growth rate: 3.4% (in 2000); 2.2% (2001); 2.9% (2002); 3.1% (2003)
GNP-per capita: US$ 247 (2000); 210 (2003)

Click here for the difference between
GNP and Parity Purchasing Power

GNP-composition by sector

  1. agriculture: 42%

  2. industry: 21%
  3. services: 37%

Exports: US$ 400 million (f.o.b., 1999); US$ 336 million (f.o.b., 2000); 449 million f.o.b. (2002)
Commodities: cotton, phosphates, coffee, cocoa
Exports - partners: Ghana 17.7%, Benin 13.3%, Burkina Faso 8.2%, Philippines 4.9%, Niger 4.1% (2002)

Imports: US$ 450 million (f.o.b., 1999) US$ 452 milloin (f.o.b., 2000); 561 million f.o.b. (2002)
Commodities: machinery and equipment, foodstuffs, petroleum products
Imports - partners: France 21.3%, China 17%, Netherlands 6.5%, Germany 5.3%, UK 4.8%, Italy 4.4% (2002)




A passport and visa are required and documents for return or onward travels. Travelers should obtain visas prior to arrival, as only visas of limited validity are available at the airport and some border posts. Travelers applying for visa extensions have experienced significant delays. Travelers may obtain the latest information and details from the nearest Togolese embassy or consulate. Some are below listed.

An International Certificate of Vaccination for Yellow Fever is required.

The import of local currency is limited to CFAfr 1 million, and only CFAfr 25 000 are allowed to be exported. The import of foreign currency is limited to the equivalent of CFAfr 1 million and must be declared on point of arrival. Take care to declare all foreign currency, as the export of foreign currency is only limited to the amount declared on entry.


Embassy of Togo

2208 Massachusetts Avenue, NW 20008 Washington
Tel: +(1) 202 2344212
Fax: +(1) 202 2323190
Embassy of Togo

8 rue Alfred Roll
75017 Paris
Tel: +(33) 1 43801213
Fax: +(33) 1 56266510
Embassy of Togo

12, Chemin Range
Ottawa, Ontario K1N 8J3
Tel: +1 613 2385916
Fax: + 1 613 2356425
Embassy of Togo

264 Avenue de Tervuren Brussels
Tel. +(32) 2 7701791


The international airport of Lome is serviced by Transtel-Togo which has twice weekly Lome -Marseilles (France) - Brussels (Belgium) schedule, and other international and regional air carriers. Air-France services from Paris. Air-Senegal International from Dakar (Senegal) and Air-Ivoire International from Ivory Coast

Railways: total: 525 km (1995) narrow gauge: 525 km 1.000-m gauge

Waterways: 50 km Mono river (partial boundary with Benin)

Ports and harbors: Kpeme, Lome Merchant marine: total: 2 ships (1,000 GRT or over) totaling 56,332 GRT/97,443 DWT ships by type: bulk 1, cargo 1 (1999 est.)


Chamber of Commerce, Agriculture and Industry - Secretary General
Corner avenues de la Présidence & Georges Pompidou
Boite Postale 360
Tel: +(228) 21 20 65
Fax: +(228) 21 47 30
Telex: 977-5023 CHACOM TG
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Click here to review funding available to rebuild power generation system

Lomé the capital-city in the south and Lama-Kara in the east-center of the country have accommodation with international standards; but hotels can be found throughout the country in main towns. Because of the drop in tourists' frequentation over the last decade, accommodation is normally cheaper than in neighboring countries of Benin and Ghana.

Route D'Anecho- Lomé
Tel: +(228) 215297
Fax: +(228) 212302
Boulevard du Mono
Tel: +(228) 276590
Fax: +(228) 277180
Place de l' Indépendance
Tel: +(228) 210003
Fax: +(228) 216266
Direction for Tourism / related services
Direction des Professions Touristiques
BP 1289 Route d'Aného
Tel: +(228) 215662 / 214313
Fax: +(228) 218927.

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