Nation at a Glance - Togo

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 multi-party elections instituted in the early 1990s, the government was largely dominated by President EYADEMA, whose Rally of the Togolese People (RPT) party has been in power almost continually since 1967 and its successor, the Union for the Republic, 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 condemnation from international organizations for human rights abuses, Togo is finally being re-welcomed into the international community.

Location: Western Africa, bordering the Bight of Benin, between Benin and Ghana

Border Countries: Benin 651 km, Burkina Faso 131 km, Ghana 1,098 km

Total Area: 56,785 sq km Land: 54,385 sq km Water: 2,400 sq km

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

Natural resources: Phosphates, limestone, marble, arable land

Land use: Agricultural land: 67.4% arable land 45.2%; permanent crops 3.8%; permanent pasture 18.4%Forest: 4.9% Other: 27.7% (2011 est.)

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

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)

Religions: Christian 29%, Muslim 20%, indigenous beliefs 51%

Population: 7,756,937

Literacy: 66.5%; Male: 78.3%; Female: 55.3% (2015 est.)

Administrative divisions: 5 regions (regions, singular - region); Centrale, Kara, Maritime, Plateaux, Savanes

Economy: This small, sub-Saharan economy 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 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. Togo completed its IMF Extended Credit Facility in 2011 and reached a Heavily Indebted Poor Country 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. Progress depends on follow through on privatization, increased openness in government financial operations, progress toward legislative elections, and continued support from foreign donors.Togo’s 2015 economic growth remained steady at 5.4%, largely driven by infusions of foreign aid, infrastructure investment in the port and mineral sectors, and improvements in the business climate. Foreign direct investment inflows have slowed in recent years.

Agriculture - products: Coffee, cocoa, cotton, yams, cassava (manioc, tapioca), corn, beans, rice, millet, sorghum; livestock; fish

Industries: Phosphate mining, agricultural processing, cement, handicrafts, textiles, beverages

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