Overview

  • 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.

    Political Context

    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.

    Economic Overview

    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

  • World Bank Group Engagement in Togo

    The World Bank Group’s new Country Partnership Framework for Togo is designed to help pave the way to more inclusive and sustainable growth, led by a more dynamic private sector and more effective government policies, public investments, and services. A new strategy under the CPF 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.

    By September 2017, the World Bank Togo portfolio was composed of 12 active projects and programs, worth a total commitment of US$220.6 million. These cover agriculture, education, health, environment, community development, social protection, telecommunications, and infrastructure.

    International Finance Corporation (IFC)

     

    The IFC strategy in Togo is centered 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 the improvement of Togo’s investment climate 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 $138 million.

    Togo’s business regulatory environment recorded improvements in the Bank’s Doing Business 2016 report (it was ranked 150th) compared to prior years’ rankings. The country has made starting a business easier by enabling a one-stop shop to publish notices of incorporation and eliminating a requirement for obtaining an economic operator’s card.

    The government has initiated important reforms, including preparing a Doing Business roadmap; identifying key short-term measures to improve Togo’s economic performance; revising and adopting of a new investment code to align it with international best practice; and introducing a new Free Zone law to strategically reposition the Free Zone.

    Togo has also made progress in privatizing state activities, including an insurance company, two banks, hotels, power distribution, and port container-handling activities.

    Last Updated: Oct 05, 2017

  • Social Context

    Poverty remains widespread in Togo, although national poverty rates declined from 59% in 2011 to 55% in 2015. Poverty is mostly a rural phenomenon with 69% of rural households living below the poverty line in 2015. Female-headed households experience higher poverty rates than male-headed households (57.5% against 55% in 2015). Vulnerability is also higher among women as they have fewer economic opportunities and are underrepresented in high level decision making.

    The education and health sectors represent a significant share of annual public spending, with an average of 14% and 7% allocated to the education and health sectors respectively from 2009 to 2014. More needs to be done to make sure that regional disparities in resource allocation are narrowed down and that the resources allocated to these two sectors are both increased and used in the most efficient and effective manner.

    Development Challenges

    Togo needs to put more effort into achieving Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) given that the country was not able to achieve many of the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs). At the end of 2015, Togo had registered progress only in six of the eight MDGs—universal primary education and the control of HIV/AIDS.

    Despite progress noted in the 2016 and 2017 Doing Business reports, the business climate remains challenging and effort is needed to scale up all ten indicators, namely: starting a business, dealing with construction permits, access to electricity, registering property, access to credit, protecting minority investors, paying taxes, trading across borders, enforcing contracts, and resolving insolvency.

    Overall, the key development challenges for Togo, as stated in the country’s 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: Oct 05, 2017

  • Since donor re-engagement in 2007, external financial assistance has gradually increased. The European Union has increased its financial and technical support to the country, and the African Development Bank prepared and implemented a Country Strategy over the period 2011-2015 (a new AfDB strategy is currently under preparation and should be finalized by June 2016). 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 a government initiative.

    Last Updated: Oct 05, 2017

Api


LENDING

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

*Amounts include IBRD and IDA commitments

MULTIMEDIA



PHOTO GALLERY

More Photos Arrow

In Depth

Image
Oct 11, 2017

Africa's Pulse, No. 16, October 2017

Africa needs to improve the quality of its education and teach basic skills to adults, too, says Africa’s Pulse.

Image
Apr 11, 2016

International Development Association (IDA) in Africa

IDA, the World Bank’s fund for the poorest, contributes nearly 50% of its funds to 39 African countries.

Image
Apr 11, 2016

World Bank Africa Multimedia

Watch, listen and click through the latest videos, podcasts and slideshows highlighting the World Bank’s work in Sub-Saharan Africa.

Image
Oct 16, 2013

Doing Business in Togo

The Doing Business Project provides objective measures of business regulations and their enforcement. See where Togo ranks on the "Ease ...

Additional Resources

Country Office Contacts

Main Office Contact
+229-21-30-5857
Lome
Sylvie Nenonene
Communications Officer
B.P. 3915
Lome, Togo
+229-21-30-5857
snenonene@worldbank.org
Washington
Paola Ridolfi
Country Program Coordinator
1818 H Street, NW
Washington, DC 20433
+1-202-458-7868
pridolfi@worldbank.org