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.
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
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
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.
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%.
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.
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