Togo

 

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.

 

Geography:
Location: Western Africa, bordering the Bight of Benin, between Benin and Ghana
Geographic coordinates: 8 00 N, 1 10 E
People:
Population: 6,961,049 (July 2012 est.)

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

Age structure: 0-14 years: 40.9% (male 1,387,537/female 1,381,040)

15-64 years: 56% (male 1,878,114/female 1,912,132)

65 years and over: 3.1% (male 92,689/female 120,481) (2011 est.)

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
Communications:
Telephones – main lines in use: 213,800 (2009)
Telephones – mobile cellular: 2.452 million (2009)
Transportation:
Airports: 8 (2012)
Airports – with paved runways: total: 2

2,438 to 3,047 m: 2 (2012)

Military:
Military branches: Togolese Armed Forces: Ground Forces, Togolese Navy (Marine du Togo), Togolese Air Force (Force Aerienne Togolaise, FAT), National Gendarmerie (2011)
Military service age and obligation: 18 years of age for selective compulsory and voluntary military service; 2-year service obligation (2006)

Economy:

This small, sub-Saharan economy is heavily dependent on both commercial and subsistence agriculture, which provides employment for 65% of the labour 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.

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): 13,575 (Ghana); 5,000 (Cote d’Ivoire) (2010)

IDPs: 1,500-10,000 (2008)