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
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.
- 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).
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