Togo By Sabrina Rigby

Current status of Togo's development

Togo is a developing nation in the Northwestern coastal region of Africa that faces many challenges. The country has a high infant mortality rate and a low life expectancy. The country has a very low income per capita. Only 60% of the Togo-an people over the age of 15 can read or write. In 2000, only 40% of the eligible population enrolled in primary school and only 18% of kids were in enrolled in secondary school (Togo [A]). More than half of the children in Togo do not get a basic education, but instead have to work to help support their families because the people in Togo do not make much money in a year. The per capita earnings is $1,228.20 (Togo [B])That translates to a person in Togo making about $3 each day. In addition to having a poor education system and low income, the life expectancy from birth is low, at 59.7 years (Togo [B]). In 2005, only 43% of the population was under the age of 15 and a mere 3% of the population was over the age of 65. Out of the 6,145,000 people living in Togo the mortality rate of children under 5 years old is 84.7 per 1,000 children. The high mortality rates, the poor education system and the low income per capita within the country is what has led Togo to be classified as a developing country and ranked toward the bottom at 162 out of 188 countries on the Human Development Index, and giving the country an HDI value of .484 in 2014 (Togo [B]).

Economic Growth and Distribution:

GDP Growth Annual % (Togo Data)

Human Rights Problems:

  • LGBTQ people do not have rights and same sex relationships are a crime
  • Women’s rights are limited: If a women is married her husband decides whether or not she works, and if she does then he gets all of her money
  • Child labor is prevalent
  • Governmental restrictions on freedom of press and assembly (Togo [C])

Quality of Life Issues:

  • AIDS problem, causing higher death and infant mortality rates within the country
  • Malaria is a major issue
  • The drinking water is not good and causes many diarrhea illnesses

Causes of underdevelopment:

Geographical Causes:

Togo is in the Northwestern part of Africa. It has a savanna type topography to the North and a more tropical topography in the South. With this type of land, Togo is more prone to droughts, as shown by the weather only forecasting two periods during the year (from early March to July then from September to October) for the rain to fall. Togo receives less rainfall than her neighboring countries in the Gulf of Guinea (Togo [A]). With about 80% of Togo’s industry in farming and the country only having 12% of its land arable, it is hard for Togo to grow economically. Also with their tropical/savanna topography, Togo is more prone to have mosquito which carries disease, further impeding growth (Togo [A]).

Domestic Cuases:

Togo has many issues with its governments and infrastructure. The country has some industry in phosphate mining, cement, textile beverages and hand crafts, but most of its economy is in agricultural production, in product areas such as coffee, coca, cotton, yams, corn, beans, livestock and fish (to name a few). The federal system doesn’t has a bad reputation. After getting rid of their colonial occupants in 1960, Togo then had Gnassingbé Eyadéma as the president from 1967-2005 (38 years), followed by Eyadéma’s son Faure Gnassingbé being elected president (Togo [C]). Since the rule of Togo has been within the same family, the country has been classified as ruled by dictators, and it has caused a rift between the people and the government. (Togo [C]).

International Causes :

Globally, Togo is in a few international institutions like the United Nations and the African Union. (Togo: Togolese Republic.) But as far as Togo’s relationships with other countries, their have been points in time that Togo has been denied its foreign aid, because of problems with the government and its policies. For example in 2006 most bilateral and multinational aid to Togo was frozen (Togo, [A]). A probable cause of Togo’s poor government and international issues, was its colonization by Germany and France in the 20th century, and these countries mainly they exploited the country and its people.

International Institutions that it’s apart of:

  • United Nations
  • African Union
  • Organisation of Islamic Cooperation
  • South Atlantic Peace and Cooperation Zone
  • La Francophonie and Economic Community of West African States ( Togo [A])

History of development attempts:

For Togo, trying to become a developed country started late, since not until 1960 did the country finally gain its independence. Over the years, the country has intermittently received foreign aid from many countries like France and other countries in the EU, but because of corruption, election fraud and bad governance, at various points in time governments have stopped giving Togo foreign aid. Along with foreign aid, some countries have tried to step in to “help” fix the corruption of Togo’s governmental system, but ultimately failing. Outside countries have tried to build up development in Togo, and within Togo, people have begun to urbanize, moving from farms into cities. Though most of the jobs in Togo are still connected to farming, the migration of the people into cities has helped Togo’s economy expand into different production areas and create more jobs for people (Togo [A]). To help move the urbanization along within the country, some multinational corporations, like Shell Oil, have started to set up in Togo (Togo [B]). Through the years Togo has become more developed, this is a very slow process and the country has a long way to go.

Policy suggestions:

Attract foreign investment:

By attracting foreign investment through multinational corporations, Togo would be able to expand its access to markets, the types of products that are made and sold in the country, and this would create more jobs. Also if the foreign investment in the country is through foreign aid, then the country would be able to put money toward social and infrastructural issues.

Togo would be able to attract foreign aid by:

  • having a more stable government
  • emphasize how cheap the wages can be since most people on average only make $1,220 a year to attract new industry

Currently they have:

  1. Exports and Imports (% of GDP): 95.8%
  2. Foreign direct investment, net inflows (% of GDP): 1.9%
  3. Net official development assistance received (% of GNI): 6.0%
  4. Private capital flows (% of GDP): -0.8%
  5. Remittances, inflows (% of GDP): 10.6 (Togo [B])

Fix Education system:

By creating a better education system within the country, Togo would have better educated children, who could then help with the markets and infrastructure in the future. Also by making a good education system, the child labor within Togo could decrease.

Togo could Fix the Education System By;

  • Enforcing better child labor laws.
  • Balance the student to teacher ratio.
  • Make it easier for kids to be enrolled in schools.

Replace Current Government:

Many of the root problems in Togo, are connected to the government and the policies and actions that the officials take. By replacing their current government, Togo would have better relations with other countries, and probably have better human rights. Right now, Togo has had the same person as president for 38 years and now that person’s son is in control. The people do not trust the government which is very corrupt with riggings of the elections.

To replace the current government the people could:

  • Replace the high current officials, by staging a coup like the military coup that happened in 1967.
  • Use the current system i.e voting to elect officials that accurately represent the peoples needs.

Works Cited

“Togo.”[A]Countries of the World and Their Leaders Yearbook 2016, edited by Karen Ellicott, vol. 2, pp. 2430-46. Gale Virtual Reference Library, “Togo.” Countries of the World and Their Leaders Yearbook 2016, edited by Karen Ellicott, vol. 2, Gale, 2016, pp. 2430-2446. Global Issues in Context, Accessed 24 Feb. 2017. Accessed 24 Feb. 2017.

“Togo.” [B] UN Human Development Reports, UN, Accessed 24 Feb. 2017.

“Togo.” [C] Worldmark Encyclopedia of Nations, edited by Timothy L. Gall and Jeneen M. Hobby, 12th ed., vol. 2, Africa, Gale, 2007, pp. 695-707. Gale Virtual Refernecee Libary, Accessed 24 Feb. 2017.

“Togo Data.” The Wold Bank, Accessed 24 Feb. 2017.


Created with images by Jeff Attaway - "Kpalime view" • samurai_dave - "IMG_8992" • samurai_dave - "IMG_8848" • D-Stanley - "Domestic Animals"

Made with Adobe Slate

Make your words and images move.

Get Slate

Report Abuse

If you feel that this video content violates the Adobe Terms of Use, you may report this content by filling out this quick form.

To report a Copyright Violation, please follow Section 17 in the Terms of Use.