Facts about Togo

2010-03-02 11:08

Lome - Factfile on Togo, a former German-French colony in west Africa, which holds presidential elections on Thursday.

GEOGRAPHY: Togo is a narrow strip of a country 56 785 square kilometres in size, with an Atlantic coast in the south and borders with Burkina Faso to the north, Ghana to the west and Benin to the east.

POPULATION: 6.5 million (2008, World Bank)

 CAPITAL: Lome

LANGUAGES: French (official), national languages

RELIGIONS: Animist (50%), Christian (35%), Muslim (15%)

HISTORY: A former German colony, Togo was conquered by Anglo-French forces at the start of World War I in 1914, then divided  into British Togoland in the west and French Togoland in the east. Both had UN mandates from 1946.

In 1956, British Togoland joined what the following year was to become the independent state of Ghana, the former Gold Coast. The remainder became independent Togo in 1960.

Togo's first president, Sylvanus Olympio, was killed in a coup in 1963 led by Colonel Etienne Eyadema, who later adopted the name Gnassingbe Eyadema.

Nicolas Grunitsky, who succeeded Olympio, was ousted in a bloodless coup in 1967 by Eyadema, who proclaimed himself head of state. His position was confirmed by a plebiscite in 1972, and he was elected in 1979 and 1986, as the only candidate.

Several hundred people lost their lives in political and social unrest in the early 1990s.

Pressure for democracy and donor threats to stop economic assistance led to a national conference in 1991 and a transitional administration with a lifting of restrictions on the political opposition. The general's foes denounced what they described as widespread torture, repression and political murders.

With military backing, Eyadema reclaimed his presidential authority. He was re-elected in 1993, in a poll boycotted by the opposition. Eyadema was returned to power in 1998 in an election whose results were contested by his opponents.

The day after Eyadema's death in February 2005, his son Faure Gnassingbe was named by the army to succeed him, before standing down under international pressure. He was elected in April 2005 during a vote disputed by the opposition and tainted by violence.

The ruling Rally for the Togolese People won an overall majority of seats in October 2007 parliamentary elections.

ECONOMY:
The European Union and other partners suspended co-operation with Togo in 1993. The EU resumed co-operation in late 2007 in return for efforts on human rights.

Sixty-two percent of the population lived below the poverty line in 2006.

Togo is a large producer of phosphate, which brings in around 40% of export earnings. Production has collapsed over the past few years from 5.4 million tonnes in 1997 to 800 000 tonnes in 2007. Most people live on subsistence agriculture.

GROSS DOMESTIC PRODUCT: $400 per capita in 2008 (World Bank).

EXTERNAL DEBT:
$2.2bn at the end of 2007. In 2008 Togo joined the list of heavily indebted poor countries, established by the World Bank and International Monetary Fund, allowing it to benefit from a provision allowing the cancellation of the debt of the most needy countries.

ARMED FORCES:
About 8 550 troops, according to the International Institute for Strategic Studies 2009 report.

- SAPA

Read more on:    togo  |  west africa  |  togo elections

Read News24’s Comments Policy

 

Inside News24

 
 

The rich will pay - Mpofu

The EFF in Gauteng will focus all its energy on improving the lives of the poor, the party's premier candidate Dali Mpofu says.

 
 

Latest elections multimedia

Watch what happened when we blindfolded Helen Zille and asked her to eat random things
13 days to elections - news you need to know
11 Julius Malema quotes you'll never forget
DA won't get 30% - Zille
 
Traffic
Lottery
 
  • Tuesday Century City - 05:58 AM
    Road name: Ratanga Road Southbound
    ROADWORKS - lane closure between Ocean Spirit Avenue and Century Boulevard (until mid April)
  • Tuesday Mitchells Plain - 05:58 AM
    Road name: Spine Road
    ROAD CLOSED between Weltevreden Drive and Seafarer Drive due to roadworks (until mid April)
 
More traffic reports...
 

Jobs in Cape Town [change area]

Property [change area]

Travel - Look, Book, Go!

Escape winter, head to Mauritius

Escape winter by spending 7 nights in Mauritius' tropical bliss from R13 215 per person sharing. Includes return flights, airport transfers and accommodation. Book now!

Kalahari.com - shop online today

Mother’s Day special offers!

Spoil mom with these awesome specials that will warm her heart. Shop now!

Twisp – the smoking alternative

Buy any 2 refills for R250 and save R149. Offer valid while stocks last. Shop now!

25% off bestselling books!

The Real Meal Revolution by Tim Noakes, Jeffrey Archer’s Be Careful What You Wish for, Man’s Search for Meaning by Victor E. Frank and many more titles. Shop now!

Mother’s Day specials on appliances

Browse our range of Mother’s Day appliances to spoil and pamper mom. Offer valid while stocks last. Shop now!

DStv HD PVR Decoder now R949

The DStv HD PVR Decoder has further revolutionised the television experience with lifelike viewing, sharper images, more vibrant colours and precision picture quality. Now R949, save R550. Offer valid while stocks last. Shop now!

OLX Free Classifieds [change area]

Samsung Galaxy s4

Mobile, Cell Phones in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 24

Best bargain in big bay

Real Estate, Houses - Apartments for Sale in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 25

VW Golf 6, 1.6 Trendline (Excellent condition)

Vehicles, Cars in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 25

Nokia E7

Your mobile office Real-time emails with Mail for Exchange. Easy access to...

From R3499.00

I'm shopping for:

Horoscopes
Aquarius
Aquarius

You may be more sensitive today and can be influenced easily by the energies around you. Try not to be swayed too much by the...read more

There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.
 
English
Afrikaans
isiZulu

Hello 

Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.


Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire 24.com network.

Settings

Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.








Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.