• Togo lies sandwiched between Ghana and Benin—a long, thin sliver of territory running north–south with just 56km of coast forming its southern border on the Gulf of Guinea, and a similarly short northern border with Burkina Faso. Its population is at least 7.6 million (2016).

    Political Context

    President Faure Gnassingbe was re-elected in 2015 for a third, five-year term: his government, led by Prime Minister Komi Selom Klassou, has 29 cabinet members. The political landscape is otherwise dominated by five main parties, all with seats in parliament. Voters launched a series of public protests in 2017, some calling for the revival of the 1992 constitution and its two-term limit on presidential office. In 2018, talks co-facilitated by Ghana’s and Guinea’s presidents led ECOWAS Heads of States to recommend the two-term limit be included in measures to bring the political crisis to an end.

    Economic Overview

    Togo’s economic growth decelerated in 2017, a reflection of political tensions and fiscal consolidation, slowing to an estimated 4.4% from 5.1% in 2016—its growth rate driven largely by the good performance of the agricultural sector, which accounts for about 40% of GDP and over 60% of employment. Favorable rainfall, the use of new farming techniques, and the distribution of improved seeds to poor farmers all helped agriculture. Construction suffered from the retrenchment of public capital spending, while political tension had a negative impact on private sector commerce. Extractive industries and trade also contribute to the national economy. Real sector indicators for the first half of 2018 suggest that growth has stabilized, mainly supported by rising sales in the retail trade and pick-up in capacity utilization.


    Inflation in Togo has remained under control, averaging -0.7% in 2017 thanks to the prudent monetary policy followed by members of the Central Bank of West African States (BCEAO), and low food prices. But higher food and beverage prices pushed inflation back into positive territory at 0.4% in August 2018. Due to a fall in capital goods’ imports and robust exports, the external current account deficit dropped from 11.1% of GDP in 2015 to 9.3% in 2016 and 8.2% in 2017. The internal public deficit, though, remained large—reflecting the undiversified nature of Togo’s economy; it was financed by non-concessional government borrowing from local banks and Foreign Direct Investment. 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 75.7% in 2017. The fiscal deficit narrowed from 9.6% of GDP in 2016 to 0.3% in 2017.

    Social Context

    Poverty remains widespread, though 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 mostly 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 underrepresented 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, global Sustainable Development Goals by 2030; it had made progress on only 6 of the 8 Millennium Development Goals by 2015. And, despite the economic progress noted by the World Bank’s 2016 and 2017 Doing Business reports, its business climate remains challenging, and more needs to be done for business indicators to improve. Its 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; developing human capital, social safety nets, and youth employment; strengthening governance; 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.

    Last Updated: Nov 16, 2018

  • World Bank Group Engagement in Togo

    The World Bank Group’s Country Partnership Framework (CPF 2017–2020) for Togo 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 $397.4 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 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.

    The IFC’s committed portfolio for Togo is about $138 million. Improvements in the regulatory environment pushed Togo up to rank 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, power distribution, and port container-handling activities.

    Last Updated: Nov 16, 2018

  • Improving Togo’s education system indicators in terms of quality, retention, and equity

    The second Education and Institutional Strengthening Project (PERI2) was launched in 2015 to pursue the key objectives of its predecessor PERI (2011–2014). The initial project was instrumental in the implementation of the first generation of Togo’s Education Sectoral Plan (PSE), mainly in primary education and literacy sub-sectors. It helped Togo make significant progress, both in terms of quantitative coverage of the system and in providing the pedagogical inputs needed to improve the quality of learning. PERI2 was designed to address remaining challenges regarding primary school completion, quality of learning, and the reduction of social and geographical disparities.

    Three years after its effectiveness, learning outcomes are improving, with repetition rates declining from 18.5% to 7.6% and the gross admission rate in class 3 (CE1) rising from 93% to 99.7% in the country’s 18 disadvantaged prefectures. There is also an increase of pedagogical input: 599,231 new mathematics and French textbooks were distributed to all class 1 (CP1) students in public schools; 14,549 teachers and principals were trained in the new curriculum, now used by 100% of CP1 teachers in public schools; grants are awarded annually to support operational expenses in 1,650 schools in the disadvantaged prefectures mentioned above; and 87.5% of schools are implementing their budgets as initially planned. Visits by inspectors and pedagogical advisors to supervise teachers have doubled (from 35 to 70).

    With regards to reducing disparities, the distribution of 54,636 school uniforms to all girls from CP1 to class 6 (CM2), and of sanitary kits to those in classes 5 and 6 (CM1, CM2) has encouraged and helped keep them in school, resulting in an increase in girls’ enrolment in the 4 most disadvantaged prefectures from 45.2% to 46.5%. Work is ongoing to increase access to schools: 150 classrooms have already been built (of a total of 240 planned) and equipped with additional infrastructure, such as water points and latrines. Some 400 people from 80 communities have received basic management training and are actively participating in school construction and management.

    Bridging the gap and revolutionizing the poultry industry in Africa.

    Although home to 13% of the global population, Africa provides just 4% of the worlds 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 Lome 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 Masters’ 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.  

    Last Updated: Nov 16, 2018

  • 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: Nov 16, 2018



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
For general information and inquiries
Sylvie Nenonene
Communications Officer
For project-related issues and complaints