Overview

  • 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).

    Political Context

    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 Klassou. The political landscape is otherwise dominated by five main parties, all with seats in parliament. In August 2017, Togo saw a number of protests, some focused on the reinstatement of the 1992 constitution that set a two-term limit on the presidential office. The opposition’s rejection of a draft bill that excluded key provisions of the 1992 constitution led to a decision to organize a referendum. Talks were launched under Ghanaian President Nana Akuffo Addo in February 2018 between the ruling party and opposition.

    Economic Overview

    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 driven largely by the good performance of the agricultural sector, which accounts for about 40% of GDP and over 60% of employment. Favorable rainfall, the use of new farming techniques, and the distribution of improved seeds to poor farmers all helped agriculture. Construction suffered from the retrenchment of public capital spending, while political tension had a negative impact on private sector commerce. Extractive industries and trade also contribute to the national economy.

    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 2015, to 9.6 percent in 2016, and 8.2 percent in 2017, due to a fall in imports and increase in exports. The internal public deficit, though, remained large, reflecting the undiversified nature of Togo’s economy; it was financed by non-concessional government borrowing from local banks and Foreign Direct Investment. Following an IMF-extended credit facility, approved in May 2017 to restore fiscal sustainability while protecting social sectors, the government initiated a fiscal consolidation program that allowed a reduction in the public debt-to-GDP ratio from a peak of 81.6 percent in 2016 to 78.6 percent in 2017. The fiscal deficit narrowed from 9.6 percent of GDP in 2016 to 0.5 percent in 2017.

    Social Context

    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.

    Development Challenges

    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

  • World Bank Group Engagement in Togo

    The World Bank Group’s Country Partnership Framework (CPF) for Togo is designed to pave the way to inclusive, sustainable growth led by a dynamic private sector and effective government policies, public investments and services. The strategy focuses on strengthening governance, institutions, and accountability in three areas: (i) private sector performance and job creation, (ii) inclusive public service delivery, and (iii) environmental sustainability and resilience. The CPF integrates the IDA18 thematic priorities of economic transformation and job creation, fragility, governance, gender equality, and climate change mitigation. The portfolio comprises 12 active projects and programs worth a total commitment of US$220.6 million. These cover agriculture, education, health, and the environment, as well as community development, social protection, telecommunications, and infrastructure.

    International Finance Corporation (IFC)

    The IFC’s strategy in Togo centers on projects in agribusiness, infrastructure, and manufacturing. It seeks to forge partnerships with local banks to foster joint ventures aimed at supporting these projects with local currency financing. The IFC is also developing financial products to support the microfinance sector, and small and medium enterprises. It supports improvement in Togo’s investment climate by providing technical assistance for the implementation of reforms aimed at facilitating private investment.

    The IFC’s committed portfolio for Togo is about $138 million. Improvements recorded in the business regulatory environment pushed Togo up to rank 150 in terms of the ease of doing business in Doing Business 2016. Starting a business has been made easier with a one-stop shop to publish notices of incorporation, and the elimination of an economic operator’s card. The government’s reforms include a Doing Business roadmap; identifying short-term measures to improve Togo’s economic performance; aligning its investment code with international best practice; and introducing a new Free Zone law to reposition its Free Zone. Togo has privatized some public organizations, including an insurance company, two banks, hotels, power distribution, and port container-handling activities.

    Last Updated: Apr 19, 2018

  • Since donors re-engaged in 2007, external financial assistance to Togo has gradually increased. The European Union has upped its financial and technical support to the country, and the African Development Bank prepared and implemented a Country Strategy from 2016–2020. Bilateral partners—including France, Germany, the United States, and China—are increasing their support for Togo’s development. To channel this aid more effectively, a government initiative has encouraged aid coordination committees by sector.

    Last Updated: Apr 19, 2018

Api


LENDING

Togo: Commitments by Fiscal Year (in millions of dollars)*

*Amounts include IBRD and IDA commitments

MULTIMEDIA



PHOTO GALLERY

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Additional Resources

Country Office Contacts

Main Office Contact
B.P. 3915
Lome, Togo
+228-2253-6700
For general information and inquiries
Sylvie Nenonene
Communications Officer
+229-21-30-5857
snenonene@worldbank.org
For project-related issues and complaints
togoalert@worldbank.org