Overview

  • Togo has a population of 7.6 million people. It is bordered by Ghana, Benin, and Burkina Faso and has a 56-kilometer coastline that runs along the Gulf of Guinea.

    Political Context

    Following legislative elections held in December 2018, a new Parliament, largely composed of members of the ruling Union pour la République that secured 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 new Parliament has been deemed largely favorable to the new, 26-member government, which was formed on January 25, 2019 (14 from the previous administration were reappointed to their positions, including Prime Minister Selom Komi Klassou).

    Economic Overview

    After slowing to 4.4% in 2017, a reflection of political tensions and a sharp fiscal contraction, Togo’s economic growth picked up in 2018 to 4.7% (2.1% per capita). This recovery was driven largely by the rebound in the extractive industry, and the continued expansion of the agricultural sector accounts for about 40% of GDP and over 60% of employment. On the demand side, growth was fueled by increased private investment, which benefited from an improved business climate, particularly in terms of lower costs and shorter timeframes necessary for the sale and transfer of property.

    Inflation in Togo returned to positive territory in July 2018 and maintained an upward trend, rising to 2% by end-2018. Inflation increased, on average, from -0.7% in 2017 to 0.8% in 2018, underpinned by stronger domestic demand and higher international oil prices. A rebound in capital goods’ imports and a reduction in exports increased the external current account deficit from 7.9% of GDP in 2017 to 8.1% 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 allowed a reduction in the public debt-to-GDP ratio from a peak of 81.6% in 2016 to 74.1% in 2018. The fiscal deficit narrowed from 9.6% of GDP in 2016 to 3.1% in 2018.

    Social Context

    Poverty remains widespread, although poverty rates declined from 61.7% to 55.1% between 2006 and 2015 and were estimated at 47.4% in 2017. Poverty in Togo is primarily a rural phenomenon, with 69% of rural households 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 under-represented at high levels of decision making.

    Togo’s education and health sectors represent a significant share of its annual public spending, with an average of 14% and 7% allocated respectively to each of them from 2009 to 2014. More needs to be done, however, to make sure that regional disparities in resource allocation are narrowed and the resources allocated are increased and used in an efficient, effective way.

    Development Challenges

    Togo needs to strive hard to reach the 17 Sustainable Development Goals by 2030; it had made progress on only 6 of the 8 Millennium Development Goals by 2015.  While progress made in recent years has improved the business climate, more still needs to be done to build on these gains. Togo’s key development challenges (as stated in its five-year National Development Plan 2018–2022) include 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 democratic governance
    • foster sustainable and inclusive growth
    • strengthen social development and inclusion mechanisms

    Last Updated: Mar 22, 2019

  • World Bank Group Engagement in Togo

    The World Bank Group’s Country Partnership Framework for Togo (CPF 2017–2020) is designed to pave the way to inclusive, sustainable growth—led both by a dynamic private sector and by effective government policies, public investments, and services. The 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 IDA18 thematic priorities of economic transformation and job creation, fragility, governance, gender equality, and climate change mitigation. The portfolio comprises 17 active projects and programs worth a total commitment of $385.2 million. These cover agriculture, education, health, energy, and mining; environment and natural resources; social protection, transport, and telecommunications; urban development and resilience; governance, and trade and competitiveness.

    International Finance Corporation (IFC)

    IFC’s strategy in Togo centers on projects in agribusiness, infrastructure, and manufacturing. It seeks partnerships with local banks to foster joint ventures supported by 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 $138 million. Improvements in the regulatory environment pushed Togo up to 137th place in Doing Business 2019 from 150th 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 to improve the business environment; identifying short-term measures to improve economic performance; aligning the investment code with international best practice; and introducing a new law for free zones. Togo has privatized a number of public organizations, including an insurance company, two banks, hotels, and power distribution and container-handling companies.

    Last Updated: Mar 22, 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, a 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 from different nationalities and offers training for doctoral-level experts, masters-level specialists, and poultry technicians. It has 22 PhD students and 76 Master’s students from 11 African countries conducting research to support the poultry industry locally and regionally. Since its creation, the institute has offered technical training to over 300 poultry farmers in Togo and Burkina Faso. Through various partnerships with universities in Africa, Europe, and China, CERSA is contributing to research and knowledge-sharing among practitioners. Strategic partnerships have been forged with both key industrial players and major manufacturers to promote the industrialization of the poultry 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: Mar 22, 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 from 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 encouraged aid coordination committees by sector. 

    Last Updated: Mar 22, 2019

Api


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