Togo Fact File
Independence: 27 April, 1960
GDP: $4.797 billion (2017)
Population: 7.965 million
Togo, officially Togolese Republic, is a country located in the Western part of Africa. Togo is bordered by Burkina Faso to its north, Benin to its east, the Gulf of Guinea to its south, and Ghana to its west. Lomé is the country’s largest city and capital.
Togo had been, first a German colony and later a French colony during colonial times. Togo became independent from France on April 27, 1960. However, less than three years after independence in 1963, the country witnessed its first coup. The coup led to the death of Sylvanus Olympio, the country’s liberation leader and President. Another coup was staged in 1967. The coup brought to power Lieutenant Colonel Étienne Eyadéma (later Gnassingbé Eyadéma). He would go on to rule for 38 years under a fraudulent democratic system.
Eyadema died in February 2005. The country’s military went on to appoint his son Faure Eyadéma as his successor. Following diplomatic pressure, he stepped down shortly. He went on to contest and win the country’s election by April 2005.
Economically, Togo is one of the world’s least developed countries. The country’s GDP stood at $4.797 billion in 2017, with a per capita income of just $621. Agriculture contributes 28.2% of the country’s GDP (2012), and employs 49% of the country’s labour force. Mining accounts for 33.9% of GDP, but employs 12% of the population (2010). The country’s exports include coffee, cocoa beans and groundnuts.
Socially, Togo has a population of 7.965 million. The country is also somewhat multiethnic, with over 40 ethnic groups. The Ewe constitute 32% of the Togo’s population.