Located on Africa’s west coast, Togo is bordered by Ghana, Benin, and Burkina Faso and is home to approximately 8.5 million people. The poverty level is twice as high in rural areas (58.8%) as in urban areas (26.5%).
This is due in large measure to concentrated economic growth in the modern sectors and limited access to quality services. Poverty is higher in female-headed households (45.7%) than in male-headed households (45.2%). Women remain more vulnerable, as they have less access to economic opportunities, education, health, and other basic socioeconomic facilities.
Togo’s score on the human capital index (HCI) is 0.43. This means that children born in Togo today will be only 43% as productive when they grow up as they could be if they had access to good health, education, and nutrition.
The ruling Union pour la République (UNIR) party has dominated the political scene for several years and won 59 of the 91 seats in the National Assembly in the 2018 elections. Victory in the presidential elections held on February 22, 2020, returned Faure Gnassingbé to power for a fourth five-year term as Head of State.
On September 28, 2020, Victoire Tomégah-Dogbé was appointed prime minister, the first woman to hold this office in Togo. Togo held municipal elections in June 2019 for the first time in 32 years, and the UNIR secured 878 of 1,490 seats. Legislative and regional elections are scheduled for the end of 2023.
Since the COVID-19 pandemic in 2020, Togo has faced significant headwinds ranging from the fallout from Russia’s invasion of Ukraine on energy and food prices, to slowing external demand, tighter financing conditions and regional instability. A sharp increase in public spending helped stabilize growth in the face of these shocks but vulnerable populations have been adversely impacted by the rising cost of living and fiscal space has been depleted. Large fiscal financing needs amid tightening borrowing conditions have encouraged authorities to frontload consolidation measures to bring the deficit back to 3% of GDP by 2025, while at the same time implementing an emergency program to address growing fragility risks in the Northern Savanes region.
Growth remained robust in 2023, at an estimated 5.2%, but moderated from 5.8% in 2022 as the government shifted from an expansionary fiscal policy stance to a more restrictive one. Slow execution of planned public investment so far this year and additional spending cuts considered for the revised 2023 budget are expected to narrow the fiscal deficit to 5.8% of GDP, down from 8.3 % in 2022. The dampening effect of fiscal consolidation measures on economic activity should be partially offset by a recovery in consumer spending supported by abating food and energy price inflation, while private investment is bolstered by improving business sentiment and ongoing infrastructure projects.
On the external side, the trade deficit has been narrowing as export revenues outpaced imports so far this year, but the current account deficit is still expected to widen somewhat to reach 3.5% of GDP in 2023. At the sectoral level, industrial activity has shown signs of recovery from a weak start of the year, with positive contributions from the extractive, power, and manufacturing sectors. Regarding agriculture, meteorological conditions have been conducive to a relatively favorable crop harvest for the 2023/24 season.
Growth in Togo is projected to stabilize at 5.2% in 2024, as additional fiscal consolidation measures are counterbalanced by a further acceleration in consumer spending and private investment. The poverty rate is projected to decline to 24.8% in 2025, a substantial drop from an estimated 28.4% in 2022.
Last Updated: Sep 29, 2023