Togo

What We Do in Togo

Credit with Education operations in Togo, delivered by our local partner FUCEC (the Féderation des Unions Coopératives d'Epargne et de Crédit), provide this program to over 8,600 poor women. As of March 31, 2005, our program in Togo had an outstanding loan portfolio of US $606,725 and over US $14 million lent to date.

About Togo

  • Area: 56,785 square km (slightly smaller than Virginia)
  • Natural hazards: Togo is hot, dry harmattan wind can reduce visibility in north during winter; periodic droughts and periodic droughts
  • Agricultural products:  coffee, cocoa, cotton, yams, cassava (tapioca), corn, beans, rice, millet, sorghum; livestock; fish
  • Population: 6,771,993
  • Ethnic groups: African (37 tribes; largest and most important are Ewe, Mina, and Kabre) 99%, European and Syrian-Lebanese less than 1%
  • Languages: French (official), Ewe and Mina (the two major African languages in the south), Kabye (sometimes spelled Kabiye) and Dagomba (the two major African languages in the north)
  • Population below poverty line: 32% (1989 est.)
  • Infant mortality rate: 51.48 deaths/1,000 live births
  • Unemployment rate: N/A

Togo is located in West Africa, bordering the Bight of Benin, between Benin and Ghana. After their independence in 1960, the country’s first president, Sylvano Olympius, was assassinated in a military coup in 1963. His successor government was itself overthrown in 1967 by Étienne Eyadéma, later known as Gnassingbe Eyadema, who ruled Togo until his death in 2005.

Over the years, Togo has been the target of ongoing criticism over its human rights record and political governance. Opposition parties staged strikes and civil disobedience throughout the 1990s to bring in a multi-party system. Although political parties were legalized in 1991 and a democratic constitution was adopted in 1992, the government was accused of suppressing opposition and of cheating in elections.

In 2007, Gnassingbe’s ruling Rally of the Togolese People party won elections, which were monitored and declared satisfactory by international observers. Faure Gnassingbe was reelected as president in March 2010 while opposition candidates and parties claimed the election had been manipulated. Following the return to constitutional rule and democracy in Togo, the European Union lifted sanctions. In December 2007, the EU announced the return to cooperation with Togo.

Since 1990, industry has declined due to decreases in world phosphate prices and increased foreign competition. The economy has been in a downturn for the past decade. The country remains the world's 4th largest phosphate producer.

Togo’s economic decline over the past several years has reduced living standards for large segments of the population. Poverty remains widespread, affecting about 60 percent of the population. It has deepened in rural areas, and extreme poverty exists in urban areas, including the capital. The low level of government funding has led to a decline in vital public services such as water, health and education.

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