Togo shares borders with Ghana to the west, Burkina Faso to the north, and Benin to the east. It had an estimated population of 7.6 million inhabitants in 2016.
President Faure Gnassingbe was re-elected for a third, five-year term of office in 2015. Jean-Pierre Fabre, the leading opposition candidate, obtained 35% of the vote. The new government comprised 24 ministers, and was led by a new Prime Minister, Komi Selom Klassou. Togo’s political landscape is dominated by five main parties, all of which have seats in parliament: in early 2017, the presidential party, Union for the Republic (UNIR), had 62 seats; the National Alliance for Change (ANC), 19 seats; the Action Committee for Renewal (CAR), six seats; the Union of Forces for Change (UFC), three seats; and Sursaut National, one seat.
In August 2017, Togo saw the start of a growing 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 had excluded key provisions of the 1992 constitution, and its non-participation in September in a parliamentary vote on it, could lead to a referendum.
Togo’s recent economic performance has been relatively robust. Over the past five years, GDP growth has averaged 5.5%, higher than most Sub-Saharan economies. Although Togo has been subject to negative shocks, including economic slowdown in nearby Nigeria and lower commodity prices for its main exports, phosphates and clinker, its government has pursued an ambitious public investment program that—in 2015/16—helped sustain aggregate demand.
The main drivers of economic growth have been the government’s public investment program, agricultural production and the extractive industries, as well as trade. Agricultural production, which accounts for approximately 40% of GDP and over 60% of employment, has benefitted from good climatic conditions in recent years. Inflation has remained under control, averaging 0.9% in 2016 thanks to prudent monetary policy followed by the BCEAO, and low food prices.
The external current account deficit declined from 11.1% of GDP in 2015 to 9.7% in 2016 due to a fall in imports and increase in exports. The deficit remained large, reflecting the undiversified nature of Togo’s economy. It was financed by a non-concessional government borrowing from local banks, and Foreign Direct Investments
Togo's fiscal situation deteriorated sharply, however, during 2015 and 2016, with the deficit growing from 7.8% of GDP in 2015 to 9.6% in 2016, while the country's central administration reported an accumulation of arrears amounting to 5.7% of GDP at the end of 2016. The public debt to GDP ratio went up from 75.6% of GDP in 2015 to an estimated 80.8% in 2016, the highest in West Africa and greater than the threshold of 70% of GDP agreed to within WAEMU.
In early 2017, the government launched a new economic program, anchored in a three-year agreement with the International Monetary Fund; it was approved in May 2017. The main objective of the program is to help restore fiscal sustainability while protecting social sectors.
Last Updated: Oct 05, 2017