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, all of which have seats in the parliament: the presidential party, Union for the Republic (UNIR) has 62 seats; the National Alliance for Change (ANC) has 19 seats; the Action Committee for Renewal (CAR) has six seats; the Union of Forces for Change (UFC) has three seats; and Sursaut National has one seat.

On April 25, 2015, President Faure Gnassingbe was re-elected with 59% of the votes for a third five-year term. Jean-Pierre Fabre, the leading candidate of the opposition, obtained 35% of the votes. The new government formed in June 2015 counts 24 ministers and is led by a new Prime Minister, Komi Selom Klassou.

Economic Overview

Real GDP growth reached 5.4% in 2013 and in 2014. Growth in 2014 was bolstered by strong agricultural yields, trade activities and, to a lesser extent, by private investments in the secondary sector. The low levels of inflation in 2013 and 2014 (respectively 1.8% and 0.2%) reflected low prices for food and imported capital goods, as well as declining oil prices. Growth is projected to decrease to 5.1% in 2015 with inflation to remain at less than 2%. The initial 2015 budget projected a deficit of 5.3% of GDP, higher than the 2014 budget deficit of 5.0%. However, 2015 revenue projections are currently being revised but the overall deficit could be higher. This situation results in the difficulties in completing the operationalization of the newly created Togolese Revenue Office and in the excessive optimism of the 2015 initial revenue projections.

Togo’s business regulatory environment recorded significant improvements in the Doing Business 2015 (DB15) report compared to prior years’ rankings. The country gained 15 places in its ranking (from 164th in DB14 to 149th in DB15) and also ranked the third best reformer in the world in DB15. However these effort need to be sustained and accelerated as many DB indicators still need improvements. The government has initiated important reforms to further improve the business climate, including the preparation of a DB roadmap identifying key short term measures that could help improve the country’s performance, the revision and adoption of the new investment code to better align it with international best practices, and a new Free Zone law to strategically reposition the Free Zone.

Social Context

Poverty remains widespread in Togo although national poverty rates declined from 61.7% in 2006 to 58.7% in 2011. Despite this declining trend, poverty is mostly a rural phenomenon with 73% of rural households living below the poverty line in 2011. Moreover, female-headed households experience lower poverty rates than male headed households (57% against 54% in 2011). That notwithstanding, vulnerability is higher amongst women and they seem to suffer from lack of economic opportunities and are equally underrepresented in high-level decision making positions. The education and health sectors represent a significant share of annual public spending (an average of 17.4% and 8.2% were allocated to the education and health sectors respectively over the past 4 years). However, more needs to be done to make sure that high level regional disparities in resource allocation are narrowed and the resources allocated to these two sectors are used in the most efficient and effective manner.

Development Challenges

Concerning the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs), Togo has achieved progress in universal primary education and the control of HIV/AIDS. However, the country will not be able to achieve six of the eight goals by the end of 2015. Also, despite the important progress noted in the DB15 report, the business climate remains challenging and efforts need to increase to scale up all 10 indicators that include starting a business, dealing with construction permits, getting electricity, registering property, getting 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: Sep 22, 2015

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 August 2015, the World Bank’s portfolio in Togo amounts to nearly $300 million and comprises of 15 projects.

The World Bank Group has recently started the process of preparing a new strategy to support Togo’s development efforts. This includes launching the preparation of a Systematic Country Diagnostic (SCD) to identify the key constraints and opportunities to achieving poverty reduction and a shared prosperity. The SCD will provide the diagnostic basis for a Country Partnership Framework to be defined later this year in consultation with the government and other stakeholders.

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 in order 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 likewise supports 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.

Last Updated: Sep 22, 2015

Social Protection and Social Safety Nets

The US$26.1 million Community Development and Safety Nets Project launched in July 2012 provides poor communities with better access to basic socio-economic infrastructure and social safety nets. As of August 2015, the project has achieved important results, some of which exceeded initial targets. In area of basic infrastructure, a total of 174 structures were built. These included 99 primary school buildings with 275 classrooms, 14 health centers, 52 potable water boreholes, 5 community latrines, 4 feeder roads and market sheds. The school infrastructures are the most demanded throughout the country, followed by the water boreholes (especially in the Savanes and Central regions) for which the beneficiaries have reached 13,000.

Through its labor intensive public works component, the Project provided 10,440 temporary works (104.4% of the works planned) that provided financial resources to beneficiaries, of which about 43% are women. With the 27 new works that launched recently, this component is expected to largely exceed its initial target of 10,000 temporary works and will improve the lives of much more direct and indirect beneficiaries than initially planned.

The school feeding program is being pursued in 308 schools located in very poor areas of the country, benefitting 47,461 students (for an initial target of 35,000) who receive a free lunch at school during the school year. In addition, 3,526 beneficiaries (against 2,250 initially expected) benefitted from 99.3% of the income generating activities planned under the project.

As for the cash transfer program being implemented on a pilot basis in the Kara and Savanes regions, 14,016 beneficiaries (of the 21,500 planned) from the most vulnerable households are receiving a monthly amount of FCFA5,000 to help them bear the costs of supporting under-five children suffering from severe malnutrition. The program is also helping reinforce human capital through soft conditionalities, such as having birth certificates for children, attending training and growth monitoring sessions, and schooling older siblings.

Last Updated: Sep 22, 2015

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 has prepared a new Country Strategy for the period 2011-2015. 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: Sep 22, 2015


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

*Amounts include IBRD and IDA commitments