A long, thin sliver of territory, Togo lies sandwiched between Ghana and Benin, with a 56km coastline on the Gulf of Guinea, and a similarly short northern border with Burkina Faso. Its population is at least 7.6 million (2016).
President Faure Gnassingbe was re-elected for a third, five-year term in 2015: his government has 29 cabinet members and is led by Prime Minister Komi Selom
Togo’s economic growth decelerated in 2017, a reflection of political tensions and fiscal consolidation, slowing to an estimated 4.4 percent from 5.1 percent in 2016—its growth rate
Inflation in Togo has remained under control, averaging -0.7% in 2017 thanks to the prudent monetary policy followed by members of the La Banque Centrale des Etats de l’Afrique de l’Ouest, BCEAO, and low food prices. The external current account deficit dropped from 11.1 percent of GDP in
Poverty remains widespread, though poverty rates fell from 59 percent of the population in 2011 to 55 percent in 2015. Poverty in Togo is mostly a rural phenomenon, with 69 percent of rural households living below the poverty line in 2015. Female-headed households experience higher rates of poverty than male-headed households—57.5 percent against 55 percent. (Vulnerability is higher among women because they have fewer economic opportunities and are underrepresented at high levels of decision making.)
Togo’s education and health sectors represent a significant share of its annual public spending, with an average of 14 percent and 7 percent allocated to them respectively from 2009 to 2014. More needs to be done, however, to make sure that regional disparities in resource allocation are narrowed and the resources allocated are increased and used in an efficient, effective way.
Togo needs to strive hard to reach the 17, global Sustainable Development Goals by 2030; it had made progress on only 6 of the 8 Millennium Development Goals by 2015. And, despite economic progress noted by the Bank’s 2016 and 2017 Doing Business reports, its business climate remains challenging, and more needs to be done for business indicators to improve. Its key development challenges—stated in its poverty reduction strategy—include: (i) developing sectors with strong growth potential; (ii) strengthening economic infrastructure; (iii) developing human capital, social safety nets, and employment; (iv) strengthening governance; and (v) promoting a more balanced, participatory, and sustainable development.
Last Updated: Apr 19, 2018