Overview

  • Togo is bordered by Ghana, Benin, and Burkina Faso, and has a 56-kilometer coastline that runs along the Gulf of Guinea. In 2018, its population stood at 7.8 million

    Political Context

    For the first time in 32 years, Togo held local elections in June 2019 to elect municipal councilors. The ruling Union pour la République (UNIR) won the majority of seats, securing 878 of the 1,490 seats.  The Alliance nationale pour le changement garnered the second highest number of seats (132), followed by the opposition coalition C14 (131).

    Following legislative elections held in December 2018, a new Parliament, largely composed of members of the UNIR that had won 59 of the 91 seats, was sworn in.  In addition to the Union pour les forces du changement that won seven seats, four other moderate opposition parties—Nouvel engagement togolais (3 seats); Mouvement patriotique pour la démocratie et le développement (2 seats); Parti democratique panafricain (1 seat); and Mouvement des républicains centristes (1 seat)—and 18 independents gained entry into Parliament for the first time.

    The current structure of the Parliament has been deemed largely favorable to the 26-member government, which was formed in January 2019 (14 from the previous administration were reappointed to their positions, including Prime Minister Selom Komi Klassou).

    The next presidential elections will be held in spring 2020.

    Economic Overview

    • After slowing in 2017, a reflection of political tensions and a sharp fiscal contraction, Togo’s economic growth picked up in 2018 to 4.9% (2.3% per capita). This recovery was driven largely by the rebound in public investment and robust growth in the services sector.  Growth was mainly driven by the recovery in industrial production and the fairly strong performance of the transport and telecommunications sectors. Increased public investment and private consumption also contributed to this solid performance.
    • Inflation in Togo returned to positive territory in July 2018 and maintained an upward trend, rising to 2% by end-2018 and underpinned by stronger domestic demand and higher international oil prices. A rebound in capital goods’ imports and a reduction in exports increased the current transactions deficit from 2% of GDP in 2017 to 5% in 2018.
    • Foreign direct investment financed over 40% of external financing needs, with long-term loans covering the rest. Following an IMF-extended credit facility, approved in May 2017 to restore fiscal sustainability while protecting social sectors, the government initiated a fiscal consolidation program that reduced the public debt-to-GDP ratio from a peak of 81.6% in 2016 to 75.9% in 2018. The fiscal deficit narrowed from 9% of GDP in 2016 to 0.8% in 2018, which is below the convergence criterion of the West African Economic and Monetary Union (WAEMU).

    Development Challenges

    The national poverty rate declined by just over 6 percentage points from 61.7% to 55.1% between 2006 and 2015. Despite this progress, poverty remains widespread, especially in rural areas where 69% of households were living below the poverty line in 2015. Female-headed households experience higher rates of poverty than male-headed households—57.5% against 55%. Vulnerability is higher among women because they have fewer economic opportunities  and are underrepresented at high levels of decision making.

    Togo needs to strive hard to achieve the 17 Sustainable Development Goals by 2030. While the business climate has improved, more still needs to be done to build on these gains.

    The key development challenges identified by the government in its five-year National Development Plan (2018–2022) are as follows:

    • developing sectors with strong growth potential, including agribusiness;
    • strengthening economic infrastructure;
    • strengthening basic social services in health, water, and power;
    • promoting financial inclusion, gender equity, and social and environmental protection; and
    • promoting more balanced, participatory, and sustainable development.

    The main priorities of the new government are based on three pillars:

    • strengthen governance;
    • foster sustainable and inclusive growth;
    • strengthen social development and inclusion mechanisms.

    Last Updated: Oct 18, 2019

  • World Bank Group Engagement in Togo

    The World Bank Group has developed a Country Partnership Framework (CPF) with Togo for the 2017–2020 period.  The CPF is designed to help Togo achieve inclusive, sustainable growth, by fostering a dynamic private sector and improving the effectiveness of government policies, public investments, and services. This strategy focuses on strengthening governance, institutions, and accountability in three areas:

    • private sector performance and job creation;
    • inclusive public service delivery;
    • environmental sustainability and resilience.

    The CPF integrates the thematic priorities of the International Development Association (IDA), the World Bank Group’s fund for the poorest countries: economic transformation and job creation, fragility, governance, gender equality, and climate change mitigation.

    The World Bank’s portfolio in Togo comprises 10 national projects and five regional programs worth a total commitment of $385.5 million. These cover several sectors:

    • governance, trade, and investment;
    • health and nutrition;
    • education;
    • urbanization, urban development, and resilience;
    • environment and natural resources;
    • social welfare and employment;
    • transport and telecommunications.

    The strategy of the International Finance Corporation (IFC) in Togo centers on projects in agribusiness, infrastructure, and manufacturing.  IFC seeks partnerships with local banks to finance these projects using local currency, and is developing products for the microfinance sector, and small and medium enterprises.  It seeks improvement in the investment climate by providing technical assistance to support reforms aimed at facilitating private investment.

    IFC’s committed portfolio for Togo is about $330 million. Improvements in the regulatory environment pushed Togo up to position 137 in Doing Business 2019 from 150 in 2016. Starting a business was made easier with a one-stop shop for notices of incorporation and the elimination of an operator’s card. Government reforms include a doing business roadmap; identifying short-term measures to improve economic performance; aligning the investment code with international best practice; and introducing a new law to reposition Togo’s Free Zone. Togo has privatized some public organizations, including an insurance company, two banks, hotels, and power distribution and container-handling companies.

    Last Updated: Oct 18, 2019

  • Bridging the gap and revolutionizing the poultry industry in Africa

    Although home to 13% of the global population, Africa provides just 4% of the world’s poultry products. The lack of adequate financing, the dearth of high-level technical expertise, and input-related problems have hobbled the development of the poultry sector. Established in 2014, the Regional Center of Excellence in Avian Sciences (CERSA) at the University of Lomé in Togo is the only university in West and Central Africa helping reverse the trend. CERSA attracts students of different nationalities and offers training for doctoral-level experts and masters-level specialists, as well as short-term professional courses for poultry technicians. It has 29 Ph.D. students and 104 master’s students from 12 African countries conducting research to support the poultry industry locally and regionally. Since its creation, the institute has offered training to over 500  poultry farmers in Togo, Benin, Burkina Faso, Mali, and Senegal. Through various partnerships with universities in Africa, Europe, and China, CERSA is contributing to research and knowledge sharing among practitioners. It has also formed strategic partnerships with key players from the private sector and major manufacturers to promote the industrialization of the sector in Africa. CERSA’s success has paved the way for Togo to establish two new centers of excellence for sustainable cities and energy.

    Last Updated: Oct 18, 2019

  • External financial assistance to Togo has gradually increased since donors re-engaged with Togo in 2007. The European Union has upped its financial and technical support to the country, and the African Development Bank prepared and implemented its own Country Strategy for 2016–2020. Bilateral partners—including France, Germany, the United States, and China—are increasing their support for Togo’s development. To channel this aid more effectively, a government initiative has established aid coordination committees by sector.

    Last Updated: Oct 18, 2019

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LENDING

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

*Amounts include IBRD and IDA commitments

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Additional Resources

Country Office Contacts

Main Office Contact
B.P. 3915
Lome, Togo
+228-2253-6700
For general information and inquiries
Sylvie Nenonene
Communications Officer
+229-21-30-5857
snenonene@worldbank.org
For project-related issues and complaints
togoalert@worldbank.org