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Republic of Togo

General Facts:

Population: 6.817 million (2013),

Official Languages French,

Further  Languages
The public schools combine French with Ewe and Mina in the south, Kabiye and Dagomba in the north. In northern Togo, Hausa is also widely spoken. Pidgin English and French are used widely in the principal trading towns. In all, more than 44 different languages and dialects are spoken in Togo.


5 Regions : Centrale, Kara, Maritime, Plateaux, and Savanes.

Area: 21,925 mi²



Togo will prove a rewarding destination. It offers a great diversity of landscapes, from the lakes and palm-fringed beaches along the Atlantic coastline to the rolling forested hills in the centre. As you head further north, the landscape leaves its mantle of lush forest green for the light green and yellowy tinges of savannah land. The cherry on top is Lomé, the low-key yet elegant capital, with its large avenues, tasty restaurants and throbbing nightlife – not to mention the splendid beaches on its doorstep. Togo is also an excellent playground for hikers – there’s no better ecofriendly way to experience the country’s savage beauty than on foot.

Currency: CFA franc

Crime & Security:
In recent years, Togo has seen high levels of violent crime. Incidents have included machete attacks and firearms-related crimes.
A majority of the crimes are crimes of opportunity (petty theft, residential/commercial burglaries, snatch-and-run theft of purses/bags, etc). Pickpocketing incidents and theft are common, especially along the beach and in the market areas of Lomé. Crime at the public beaches includes thefts and robberies, and foreigners are targeted quickly, even at daytime, Residential and business burglaries are frequent in Lomé.
There are incidents of carjackings and other violent crime on the roads. Theft while riding in taxis is common, as thieves steal bags, wallets, and passports.
Foreigners are targeted for robbery.

Togo has an agricultural economy with over 65{3c2c8e2a416fc88253b822a3742dd8ca2370d01b9d785477d0909a22775da03a} of its people engaged in subsistence and commercial agriculture. Togo is drought-prone but is food self-sufficient in years of ample rainfall. Coffee, cocoa, and cotton are the major cash crops, and the food crops include corn, sorghum, millet, cassava, and yams. The nation also has an active commercial sector and significant phosphate deposits upon which it draws for foreign exchange.
Political instability led to the suspension of international aid in 1992 as donors pressured the government into quicker action toward democratic reforms. Economic activity was further disrupted by an eight-month general strike that lasted until July 1993.

In January 1994 France suddenly devalued the CFA franc, cutting its value in half overnight. Immediately, prices for almost all imported goods soared, including prices for food and essential drugs. The devaluation was designed to encourage new investment, particularly in the export sectors of the economy, and discourage the use of hard currency reserves to buy products that could be grown domestically. Unfortunately, political instability and a general atmosphere of uncertainty prevented the country from taking advantage of the devaluation to improve the economy. Excessive military expenditures and stalled progress on privatizing state-owned enterprises were factors keeping the World Bank and IMF from resuming aid. During the 1995 to 1997 structural adjustment program, Togo succeeded in meeting demands and capturing funds only for the last year.
The 1998 presidential elections and 1999 legislative elections were characterized as undemocratic. These events led to reconciliation talks in July 1999 that laid the groundwork for a more democratic government, bringing back substantial development aid. However, legislative elections held in 2002 were boycotted by opposition parties, and the presidential elections of 2003 were deemed by opposition leaders to be marred by irregularities and fraud. This political climate did little to encourage foreign investors, increase donor contributions, and provide the stability needed for economic progress. While most bilateral and multilateral aid to Togo remained frozen as of early 2006, the EU initiated a partial resumption of cooperation and development aid to Togo in late 2004, based upon commitments by Togo to expand opportunities for political opposition and liberalize portions of the economy.

Education Togo
Six years of primary education (ages 6–12) is compulsory and free of charge. Secondary education lasts for seven years, with students attending either general or technical secondary schools. Mission schools play an important role in education.
In 2001, about 2{3c2c8e2a416fc88253b822a3742dd8ca2370d01b9d785477d0909a22775da03a} of children between the ages of three and five were enrolled in some type of preschool program. Primary school enrollment in 2003 was estimated at about 91{3c2c8e2a416fc88253b822a3742dd8ca2370d01b9d785477d0909a22775da03a} of age-eligible students. In 2000, secondary school enrollment was about 26.6{3c2c8e2a416fc88253b822a3742dd8ca2370d01b9d785477d0909a22775da03a} of age-eligible students. It is estimated that about 77.8{3c2c8e2a416fc88253b822a3742dd8ca2370d01b9d785477d0909a22775da03a} of all students complete their primary education. The student-to-teacher ratio for primary school was at about 34:1 in 2000; the ratio for secondary school was about 31:1. In 2000, private schools accounted for about 40{3c2c8e2a416fc88253b822a3742dd8ca2370d01b9d785477d0909a22775da03a} of primary school enrollment and 18{3c2c8e2a416fc88253b822a3742dd8ca2370d01b9d785477d0909a22775da03a} of secondary enrollment.
The University of Lomé and the University of Kara are the primary sites for higher education. Lomé also has colleges of administration, architecture, and urban planning. In 1999, it was estimated that about 4{3c2c8e2a416fc88253b822a3742dd8ca2370d01b9d785477d0909a22775da03a} of the tertiary age population were enrolled in tertiary education programs. The adult literacy rate for 2004 was estimated at about 53{3c2c8e2a416fc88253b822a3742dd8ca2370d01b9d785477d0909a22775da03a}, with 68.5{3c2c8e2a416fc88253b822a3742dd8ca2370d01b9d785477d0909a22775da03a} for men and 38.3{3c2c8e2a416fc88253b822a3742dd8ca2370d01b9d785477d0909a22775da03a} for women.
As of 2003, public expenditure on education was estimated at 2.6{3c2c8e2a416fc88253b822a3742dd8ca2370d01b9d785477d0909a22775da03a} of GDP, or 13.6{3c2c8e2a416fc88253b822a3742dd8ca2370d01b9d785477d0909a22775da03a} of total government expenditures.


Togo is predominantly an agricultural country, with about four-fifths of the work force engaged in farming. Approximately 12{3c2c8e2a416fc88253b822a3742dd8ca2370d01b9d785477d0909a22775da03a} of the land area is arable. Most food crops are produced by subsistence farmers who operate on family farms of less than 3 hectares (7 acres). Peanuts and sorghum are grown in the extreme north; sorghum, yams, and cotton in the region around Niamtougou; sorghum, cotton, and corn in the central region; coffee, cocoa, and cotton in the southern plateau; and manioc, corn, and copra near the coast. Agriculture accounted for about 39.5{3c2c8e2a416fc88253b822a3742dd8ca2370d01b9d785477d0909a22775da03a} of GDP in 2003.
In the late 1990s, the government emphasized food production. Main food crops in 2004 (in tons) included manioc, 725,000; yams, 570,000; corn, 485,000; sorghum, 180,000; and millet, 50,000. Although Togo is basically self-sufficient in food, certain cereals—notably wheat, which cannot be grown in Togo—must be imported.

Leading cash crops are coffee and cocoa, followed by cotton, palm kernels, copra, peanuts, and shea nuts (karité). Coffee production decreased from 22,000 tons in 1991 to 13,500 tons in 2004. Cocoa production amounted to just 8,500 tons in 2004—less than half the amount produced 15 years earlier. When world prices for both coffee and cocoa fell in the mid-1980s, there was a greater emphasis on cotton production, with cotton exports increasing by over 400{3c2c8e2a416fc88253b822a3742dd8ca2370d01b9d785477d0909a22775da03a} from 1984 to 1992. Cotton production averaged 7,000 tons annually from 1979 to 1981; production in 2004 totaled 76,000 tons of fiber. A new state organization, the Togolese Cotton Co., had been set up in 1974 to develop the industry. Production of palm kernels, historically erratic, was estimated at 21,000 tons in 2004. There are over 100,000 coconut trees in Togo; about 2,000 tons of copra are produced annually. The peanut crop in 2004 was 33,000 tons (shelled). Some attempts are being made to export pineapples, house plants, vegetables, and palm oil.


Medical services include permanent treatment centers and a mobile organization for preventive medicine. Special facilities treat leprosy, sleeping sickness, and mental illness. All services are free except at the clinic attached to the hospital in Lomé, where some patients pay a nominal fee. In 2004, there were an estimated 6 physicians, 17 nurses, 1 dentist, 3 pharmacists, and 7 midwives per 100,000 people. About 61{3c2c8e2a416fc88253b822a3742dd8ca2370d01b9d785477d0909a22775da03a} of the population had access to health care services, and total health care expenditure was estimated at 2.6{3c2c8e2a416fc88253b822a3742dd8ca2370d01b9d785477d0909a22775da03a} of GDP. Approximately 54{3c2c8e2a416fc88253b822a3742dd8ca2370d01b9d785477d0909a22775da03a} of the population had access to safe drinking water and 34{3c2c8e2a416fc88253b822a3742dd8ca2370d01b9d785477d0909a22775da03a} had adequate sanitation.
The Mobile Service for Hygiene and Preventive Medicine performs mass inoculations, carries out pest control campaigns, and provides education in hygiene and basic preventive measures. Its activities have led to significant decreases in mortality caused by smallpox, yellow fever, and sleeping sickness. Yaws, malaria, and leprosy continue to be major medical problems. Immunization rates for children up to one year old were: tuberculosis, 73{3c2c8e2a416fc88253b822a3742dd8ca2370d01b9d785477d0909a22775da03a}; diphtheria, pertussis, and tetanus, 71{3c2c8e2a416fc88253b822a3742dd8ca2370d01b9d785477d0909a22775da03a}; polio, 71{3c2c8e2a416fc88253b822a3742dd8ca2370d01b9d785477d0909a22775da03a}; and measles, 58{3c2c8e2a416fc88253b822a3742dd8ca2370d01b9d785477d0909a22775da03a}. Rates for DPT and measles were, respectively, 41{3c2c8e2a416fc88253b822a3742dd8ca2370d01b9d785477d0909a22775da03a} and 43{3c2c8e2a416fc88253b822a3742dd8ca2370d01b9d785477d0909a22775da03a}.
The crude birth rate and overall mortality rate were estimated at, respectively, 36.1 and 11.3 per 1,000 people. The fertility rate in 2000 was five children per woman living through her childbearing years. The infant mortality rate was 62.20 per 1,000 live births in 2005 and the maternal mortality rate was 480 per 100,000 live births. Average life expectancy in 2005 was 57.01 years.
The HIV/AIDS prevalence was 4.10 per 100 adults in 2003. As of 2004, there were approximately 110,000 people living with HIV/AIDS in the country. There were an estimated 10,000 deaths from AIDS in 2003.
At least 50{3c2c8e2a416fc88253b822a3742dd8ca2370d01b9d785477d0909a22775da03a} of the women in Togo underwent female genital mutilation. The government has published a policy opposing the practice.

Malaria Prevention

your risk of malaria may be high in all countries in West Africa, including cities. See your health care provider for a prescription antimalarial drug. For details concerning risk and preventive medications, see Malaria Information for Travelers to West Africa.

The constitution of 30 December 1979 provided for a president nominated by the RPT and elected for a seven-year term by universal adult suffrage at age 18. The president nominated and presided over the cabinet and may rule by decree after declaring a state of emergency. Members of the National Assembly were nominated by the RPT and directly elected for five years. The legislature, which may be dissolved by the president, met twice a year.
A new constitution mandating multiparty elections was approved in a referendum on 27 September 1992. Although opposition parties are permitted, they are subjected to intimidation and coercion. Chief of state, President Gen. Gnassingbé Éyadéma, held power between April 1967 and February 2005, which made him sub-Saharan Africa’s longest ruling leader at the time. The cabinet is a Council of Ministers appointed by the president and the prime minister. Given the weakness of the legislature, and the RPT’s majority, public decision-making authority resides with the executive.

According to the constitution, the president is elected by popular vote for a five-year term. In December 2002, the National Assembly amended the constitution, revoking the two-term limit on the presidential office (allowing Éyadéma to run again), instituting a single rather than two-round system of voting (to prevent the opposition from forcing a run-off against their best-placed candidate), insisting that presidential candidates be residents of Togo for at least 12 months prior to the election (to prevent Gilchrist Olympio from running), and to lower the minimum age for presidential candidates to 35, (enabling Faure Gnassingbé to run). The 81-seat National Assembly is selected in national, multiparty elections.


Togo has a humid, tropical climate, but receives less rainfall than most of the other countries along the Gulf of Guinea. In the south there are two rainy seasons, from March to early July and in September and October. The heaviest rainfall occurs in the hills of the west, southwest, and center, where the precipitation averages about 150 cm (60 in) a year. North of the Togo Mountains there is one rainy season, lasting from April to August. Rainfall in this region averages 100 cm (40 in) a year. The coast gets the least rainfall, about 78 cm (31 in) annually. The average maximum and minimum temperatures are 30°c (86°f) and 23°c (73°f) at Lomé, on the southern coast, and 35°c (95°f) and 15°c (59°f) at Mango, in the north.


The most recent statistics indicate that about 47{3c2c8e2a416fc88253b822a3742dd8ca2370d01b9d785477d0909a22775da03a} of the population are Christian. Of these nearly 28{3c2c8e2a416fc88253b822a3742dd8ca2370d01b9d785477d0909a22775da03a} are Catholic. About 14{3c2c8e2a416fc88253b822a3742dd8ca2370d01b9d785477d0909a22775da03a} of the population are Sunni Muslim. Nearly 33{3c2c8e2a416fc88253b822a3742dd8ca2370d01b9d785477d0909a22775da03a} practice a variety of traditional indigenous religions or other faiths, including Vodoun (Voodoo), which is believed to have originated in the region that is now Togo. Most of the Muslims live in the central and northern parts of the country, while Christians are found primarily in the south.
The government requires registration of religious groups, but this involves a fairly easy process and no applications have been rejected outright. The constitution provides for freedom of religion and this right is generally respected in practice. Certain Muslim and Christian holidays are celebrated as national holidays.

Public Transport

There were an estimated nine airports in 2001, only two of which had paved runways as of 2005. The international airport at Lomé links Togo with other countries of West and Central Africa and with Europe; a second international airport, at Niamtougou, was completed in the early 1980s. Among the international airlines serving Togo is Air Afrique, of which Togo owns a 7{3c2c8e2a416fc88253b822a3742dd8ca2370d01b9d785477d0909a22775da03a} share. Air Togo operates domestic service, flying to airstrips at Atakpamé, Sokodé, Sansanné-Mango, Lama-Kara, Niamtougou, and Dapaong. In 2003, about 46,000 passengers were carried on scheduled domestic and international airline flights.
Togo has a relatively well-developed road system of about 7,520 km (4,673 mi), of which 2,376 km (1,476 mi) were paved in 2002. One main road, completely paved since 1980, runs north from Lomé to the border with Burkina Faso; another runs east along the coast from Lomé to Aného and onward to the Benin border; and a third runs west along the coast to the Ghana border. Because of extreme variations in weather, the roads that are not paved require constant attention. During the dry season, they are very dusty and crack easily, but during the rainy season they become extremely muddy and are frequently washed out. In 2003, there were 97,800 passenger cars and 43,200 commercial vehicles.
As of 2004, Togo had 568 km (326 mi) of meter gauge (narrow gauge) railroad, including three major lines from Lomé: to Kpalimé (116 km/72 mi), to Aného (44 km/27 mi), and to Atakpamé and Blitta (276 km/171 mi). An 80-km (50-mi) spur goes to Tabligbo. The rail system is operated by Chemin de Fer Togolais.

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