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Togo Overview


    Togo is a Sub-Saharan West African country that shares borders with Ghana to the west, Burkina Faso to the north, and Benin to the east. It has an estimated population of 6.2 million inhabitants, with a demographic growth rate of about 2.8%.

    Political Context

    Togo’s political landscape is dominated by the five following main parties or coalitions, all of which have seats in the parliament: the presidential party Union Pour la Republique or UNIR (62 seats), the Collectif Sauvons le Togo (19 seats), the Coalition Arc-en-Ciel (6 seats), the Union des Forces du Changement or UFC (3 seats), and Sursaut National (1 seat).  The government, largely dominated by UNIR with the exception of 3 ministers from the UFC, has a policy agenda that covers four key areas: (i) intensification of actions already started in priority social sectors such as health, education, youth employment, water and sanitation; (ii) strengthening the foundations for an inclusive economic growth to advance economic governance, fiscal consolidation, and the fight against corruption; (iii) completion of institutional and constitutional reforms; and (iv) promotion of a foreign policy based on peace and solidarity. Local elections have been reported many times, and the next presidential elections are scheduled for the first quarter of 2015.

    Economic Overview

    Togo’s economy continues to perform well however real gross domestic product (GDP) growth declined slightly from 5.9% in 2012 to 5.1% in 2013, largely due to reduced agricultural output following poor rainfall. Growth is expected to remain favorable in the next three years, fueled by agriculture, construction and mining. Inflation is low with 1.8% in 2013 and an estimated 1.5% in 2014. The pace of structural reforms slowed significantly since the attainment of the completion point of the Heavily-Indebted Poor Countries initiative (HIPC), and public debt management has also weakened. Two banks out of four were successfully privatized, and reforms in the mining and energy sectors have advanced slowly. The reform of the telecommunications sector had a favorable impact on growth in 2012. In June 2012, Togo connected to the WACS submarine cable, thereby gaining direct access to the world fiber optics network. The cost of telephone calls was reduced from $0.23 per minute in 2011 to $0.18 per minute in 2012, and the cost of Internet access also fell by 36%. However, the costs of telecommunications still remain high compared to the regional standard. The Togolese revenue office is now operational and hopes are that with time it will help improve and increase revenue mobilization to finance infrastructure and social needs.

    Development Challenges

    Poverty has declined, but it remains high at 58.7%, according to the 2011 Core Welfare Indicators Questionnaire Survey (CWIQ). Concerning the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs), Togo has achieved progress in universal primary education and the control of HIV/AIDS. However, the country won’t be able to achieve six of the eight goals by 2015. As pointed out in the 2014 edition of the World Bank report Doing Business (which ranks Togo 157th out of 189 countries), the business climate remains challenging despite progress made on some key indicators, such as starting a business, registering properties, enforcing contracts, and construction permits.

    To address the country’s key development challenges, the government has adopted a poverty reduction strategy entitled the Strategy for accelerated growth and job promotion – SCAPE 2013-2017, which includes five main pillars: (i) development of sectors with strong growth potential, (ii) strengthening of economic infrastructure, (iii) development of human capital, social safety nets, and employment, (iv) strengthening of governance, and (v) promotion of balanced, participatory, and sustainable development.

    Last Updated: Oct 14, 2014

    Togo: Commitments by Fiscal Year (in millions of dollars)*
    *Amounts include IBRD and IDA commitments

    World Bank Group Engagement in Togo

    The World Bank's second Interim Strategy Note (ISN-2) for Togo approved in 2012 is aligned with three of the five pillars of the SCAPE. ISN-2 is outlined so as to strengthen economic recovery and promote sustainable development, improve economic governance and state capacity, and address poverty reduction along with urgent social needs. As of September 30th 2014, the World Bank’s current portfolio amounts to about $260 million and comprises 11 projects and 12 trust funds. A new World Bank Group strategy will be prepared to support Togo’s development efforts in the last quarter of 2015.

    International Finance Corporation (IFC)

    The IFC strategy in Togo is to develop projects in sectors such as agribusiness, infrastructure, and manufacturing. It is also seeking to forge partnerships with local banks in order to foster joint ventures aimed at supporting these projects with local currency financing. The IFC is developing micro and SME finance products to support the microfinance and SME sectors, and is supporting investment climate improvement by providing technical assistance to the government for the implementation of reforms aimed at facilitating private investment. The IFC’s total committed portfolio for Togo is around $137.8 million.

    Multilateral Investment Guarantee Agency (MIGA)

    In 2011, MIGA issued a guarantee of $4.3 million to cover a Swiss investment in Cotecna Inspection S.A. Bureau de Liaison du Togo (COINS-Togo). This five-year guarantee provides coverage against the risks of transfer restriction, expropriation, war, civil disturbance, and breach of contract.

    World Bank Institute (WBI)

    The WBI assisted Togo in the context of its parliamentary program, which supports the West Africa Association of Parliamentary Public Accounts Committees (WAAPPAC) with South-South knowledge exchanges among its members in Ghana, Liberia, and Sierra Leone. Togo became a member of WAAPPAC in 2011 and participated in knowledge exchange dialogues with other members on how parliamentary finance committees can adopt international good practices in their budget oversight.

    Last Updated: Oct 14, 2014

    Togo: Commitments by Fiscal Year (in millions of dollars)*
    *Amounts include IBRD and IDA commitments

    Modernizing the Abidjan-Lagos Corridor

    Through the regional Abidjan-Lagos Trade and Transport Facilitation Project (ALTTFP), approved in March 2010 with a total of $33 million financing for Togo, the Bank is helping address transport and trade facilitation bottlenecks identified along the corridor which accounts for about 65% of trade in West and Central Africa. In Togo, the infrastructure works to rehabilitate and expand the Aneho-Sanvee Kondji road, bordering Benin, have now completed satisfactorily and significantly transformed the city of Aneho. In terms of road infrastructure, ALTTFP has made it possible to widen the national road Inter-Etat No. 2, which runs from the entrance to the city to the border with Benin. The project also financed the rehabilitation, expansion, and cleanup of a motorway within the city, thereby providing a definitive solution to the problem of flooding in several neighborhoods. Additional infrastructure built includes: (i) the reinforcement of the existing bridge and the building of a second one to ease the flow of traffic, (ii) the building of a parking lot for nearly 200 heavy trucks to prevent traffic jams caused by these vehicles at the border, (iii) the restoration of the bus station at the border to avoid traffic congestion, (iv) the building of a commercial platform at the border to shield vendors from accidents and keep them from blocking the road, and (v) the building of a new customs warehouse (Magasin d’Ecor). The project took the necessary steps to appropriately compensate those who were affected by the works.

    Significant efforts are currently underway to facilitate trade and reduce barriers along the Corridor. These aim specifically at reducing the processing time of goods at the Port of Lomé, building capacity for those involved in the transport chain, supporting the customs modernization plan, and supporting the creation of a single window for foreign trade.

    These efforts have significantly improved port operations, particularly with regards to trade facilitation. The average time between the arrival of a vessel and the actual record of the manifest moved from four days in 2011 to less than 24 hours in 2013. The average time to release goods at the port (between the arrival of the ship and the actual release of goods) decreased from 23 days in 2010 to 7 days in 2013.  In 2013, 72% of declarations are processed on the same day of registration as opposed to 40% in 2011.

    Performance management is becoming a corporate culture in the Togolese customs services. Thanks to the new performance monitoring and evaluation system, inspectors and auditors are competing for recognition by peers and professional reward for career development. With regards to revenue, customs collected $465 million (232.49 billion FCFA) in 2013, which was an increase of 31.4% as compared to 2012. This communications culture is also substantiated by the new quarterly customs magazine.  

    Last Updated: Oct 14, 2014

    Togo: Commitments by Fiscal Year (in millions of dollars)*
    *Amounts include IBRD and IDA commitments

    Since donor reengagement in 2007, external financial assistance has gradually increased. The European Union has scheduled a disbursement of 123 million euros for the period 2008-2013, including 7 million euros of budget support per year. The African Development Bank prepared a new Country Strategy for the period 2011-2015, including a total of $15 million for annual budget support. Bilateral partners including France, Germany, the United States, and China are also increasing their support for Togo’s development. In order to channel this growing aid more effectively, sectorial aid coordination committees have been formed under the initiative of the government.

    Last Updated: Oct 14, 2014

Country Office Contacts
In Togo:
Sylvie Nenonene
Communications Officer

B.P. 3915
Lome, Togo
In Washington:
Katrina Sharkey
Country Program Coordinator

1818 H Street, NW
Washington, DC 20433