SustainabilitySteeringCapabilityResourceEfficiencyConsensus-BuildingInternationalCooperationStatenessPoliticalParticipationRule of LawStability ofDemocraticInstitutionsPolitical and SocialIntegrationSocioeconomicLevelMarketOrganizationMonetary andFiscal StabilityPrivatePropertyWelfareRegimeEconomicPerformanceStatus Index4.72# 83on 1-10 scaleout of 137Governance Index5.01# 55on 1-10 scaleout of 137PoliticalTransformation4.72# 72on 1-10 scaleout of 137EconomicTransformation4.71# 86on 1-10 scaleout of 1372468104.

Executive Summary

The alarming security situation, resulting from numerous terrorist attacks in the north of the country, has been a primary concern for the government and army throughout the period under review. This security situation has served as a justification for restricting political demonstrations nationwide, as demonstrated by the six-month extension of the state of emergency beyond the initial expiration date of September 12, 2022. These stringent constraints on freedom, especially regarding political or social matters, are viewed as a deliberate attempt to impede freedom of expression.

The ongoing intimidation that opposition political parties and several civil society organizations face, in addition to their limited representation in the National Assembly, restricts their ability to push for political change and democracy.

Corruption and immunity are persistent issues within public administration. Discrimination and obstruction due to nepotism, family favoritism and corruption continue to impede access to public jobs. Furthermore, access to public contracts is often contingent upon retro-commissions and overcharges. The Togolese economy bears the brunt of this corruption, experiencing a staggering annual loss equivalent to 25% of GDP. However, the powers of the High Authority for Preventing and Fighting Corruption and Similar Offenses remain limited. Additionally, the enforcement of the act pertaining to the declaration of property and assets, specifically for high-ranking officials and other public servants, is lacking.

Property rights and judicial independence are not guaranteed in Togo. Judicial weakness is preserved by greedy and dishonest magistrates – land disputes remain a major challenge in the country.

The informal sector continues to dominate the economy. The government has tried to counteract this through public investments in infrastructure, such as roads and harbors, and increases in agricultural production. Rail infrastructure is underdeveloped, which puts pressure on paved roads and limits the possibility of using the country’s relatively efficient maritime and airport infrastructure optimally. Export crops, (illicit) re-exportation and minerals have been the key drivers of economic growth, but this has been overshadowed by increasing interpersonal and regional inequalities, as well as a rise in extreme poverty. Nevertheless, the business climate has improved considerably. Though the World Bank still defines Togo as a low-income, fragile state, the government aims to achieve the status of a developing economy.

Russia’s invasion of Ukraine and geopolitical tensions have kept the inflation rate high due to increases in domestic and international prices for raw materials and food products. Gas is out of reach for many households as gas prices have increased with the Russian offensive in Ukraine.

History and Characteristics

Established as a German colony in 1884, Togo became a U.N.-trusted territory under French administration following World War II and gained independence from France on April 27, 1960. In the first democratic presidential elections of 1961, Sylvanus Olympio became president of the newly independent Togo. His assassination on January 13, 1963, by a group of Togolese veterans of the French colonial army, led by Sergeant Etienne Gnassingbé (later called Eyadéma), marked the first violent coup in the history of independent sub-Saharan Africa. After another coup d’état in January 1967, which ousted President Nicolas Grunitzki, Lt. Col. (later General) Gnassingbé Eyadéma assumed the presidency of Togo in April 1967. Eyadéma established a one-party government and ruled as Togo’s authoritarian head of state for 38 years.

In July 1991, influenced by the implosion of the Soviet empire and apparently successful democratization efforts in a number of African countries, such as neighboring Benin, the Sovereign National Conference was organized with the objective of establishing a new constitutional and political order for the country. The assembly opted for a semi-presidential system and elected an interim prime minister. Four months later, however, President Eyadéma ordered the army to attack the interim government, re-establishing his dictatorial power. The political persecution of opponents over the following two years triggered an unprecedented wave of migration in which about 350,000 refugees fled to Togo’s neighboring countries Benin and Ghana, as well as to Europe. In 1993, the European Union, and other major international and bilateral donors (e.g., Germany) officially suspended development cooperation with Togo due to gross human rights abuses. Despite political support from Paris, the significant reduction in international aid and the decline in inward investments severely affected the country’s economy.

When Gnassingbé Eyadéma died unexpectedly in February 2005 after nearly four decades of autocratic rule, the military proclaimed Faure Gnassingbé, one of the late president’s sons, as the new head of state. Widespread international protests compelled the new president to call presidential elections in April 2005. Despite international protests against massive irregularities in the election, Faure Gnassingbé was sworn in as president on May 4, 2005. The majority of the Togolese population protested against this manipulation of the public will, but the military brutally suppressed the protests. Approximately 700 people died, and over 40,000 citizens migrated to neighboring countries. The country’s economy further declined. Eventually, massive international pressure forced the government to enter negotiations with opposition political parties and civil society groups, resulting in the so-called Global Political Accord (GPA) in August 2006.

The first free parliamentary elections took place in October 2007. The governing party at the time, the Rally of the Togolese People (RPT) – succeeded in 2012 by the Union for the Republic (UNIR) – won an overwhelming majority under questionable conditions. Contested presidential elections in March 2010, April 2015 and February 2020 paved the way for a second, third and fourth five-year mandate for Faure Gnassingbé. Prior to the presidential elections of 2020, the parliament voted for a modification of the constitution, limiting the number of presidential terms to two. This did not apply retroactively, securing the re-election of the president until 2030.

Political Transformation


Togo remains classified as an impoverished and fragile state, according to OECD criteria. In theory, the state maintains a monopoly on the use of force across its entire territory and population. However, Islamist terrorist groups regularly launch incursions in the northern region of the country. On the night of May 10–11, 2022, Togo experienced its first jihadist attack. The attack targeted an outpost of Operation Koundjoaré in the village of Kpékpakandi (Kpendjal prefecture), located in the Savannah Region. Prior to this incident, there had been an attempted attack in the same area. On the night of July 14 to July 15, 2022, 10 civilians were killed in two villages within the Kpendal prefecture. This was followed by additional attacks, such as the one that occurred on August 22 into August 23, 2022, between the towns of Bilamonga and Pognon, which border Burkina Faso. Several soldiers were injured during this incident. On November 28, 2022, at least 10 soldiers were killed during a broad daylight attack in the village of Tiwoli, near the borders of Burkina Faso and Benin.

The northern areas are plagued with banditry and smuggling (gold, drugs, arms, fuel), creating a situation of insecurity among the local population, aggravating tensions between transhumant herders from Sahelian countries and providing terrorists with financial resources.

While the south has not yet been affected by jihadist terrorism, maritime security remains a cause for concern. The Gulf of Guinea has emerged as one of the most dangerous bodies of water globally. Togo, like other coastal nations, lacks the resources to protect both its inshore and offshore waters, and relies on international initiatives to combat piracy.

Monopoly on the use of force


For many years, it has been clear that most Togolese citizens seem to feel a basic sense of patriotism. However, the sentiment of national belonging is often mitigated by intra-ethnic and regional cleavages. Tensions between ethnic groups that date back to Togo’s colonial past still play a considerable role in limiting equal access to remunerative and strategically important public authorities, thereby abetting nepotism and compromising good governance. This is especially true with respect to the persistent divide between the Kabyè of northern Togo, who dominate Togo’s politics and security services, and the economically more powerful and largest Ewé tribe of southern Togo.

According to a recent survey by Afrobarometer (2022), only two out of 10 Togolese believe that they are often or always treated unequally by the government. Interestingly, 30% of urban residents have the impression that unfair treatment by government officials is often or always related to their ethnic affiliation.

Access to Togolese nationality is unrestricted, and no specific groups are excluded from citizenship. However, only a minority of Togolese citizens possess an ID card. A significant obstacle is the lack of administrative capacities to issue the required birth certificate to applicants.

State identity


Togo is a secular state. According to the estimates of the 2014 national census, almost half of the population (47.7%) is Christian, a third (33.2%) belongs to traditional religions, 18.3% are Sunni Muslims and only 1% share other beliefs. Vodun is still a valued traditional religion that is practiced by many Togolese, regardless of their other religious affiliations. These diverse religious groups do not engage in conflicts with each other, and contribute neutrally and constructively to the political system.

A number of bishops and other dignitaries of the Catholic Church in Togo have repeatedly argued for increased national cohesion by respecting the rule of law and citizens’ rights. However, the vast majority of the church does not interfere with political affairs.

No interference of religious dogmas


Administrative structures at both the national and decentralized levels continue to face challenges, including a lack of resources, corruption and inefficiencies. Official data on public services are often outdated, incomplete and/or more reflective of aspirations than reality. According to Afrobarometer (2022), public services such as access to electricity, health care, and water and sanitation are particularly unsatisfactory in rural areas. While 70% of all citizens have access to electricity, the figure drops to 50% in rural areas. In terms of drinking water supply, 63.9% of urban households have guaranteed access, compared to only 17% of rural households. Sanitation, specifically the evacuation of used water, is lacking in 71.1% of urban households and 94.0% of rural households. However, the situation regarding water and sanitation improves when wells and boreholes are added in the vicinity of houses and villages. In rural areas, post offices and police stations are rarely within walking distance, while health care centers are out of reach for almost half of the rural population. Fortunately, only a small minority (3.6%) in the hinterland lacks access to primary schools.

There are numerous projects and programs financed by the government and its international partners to improve the deplorable situation. However, the implementation of these initiatives lags behind expectations, is usually more costly than planned and exceeds the capacities of the local administration.

Basic administration


Political Participation

No major transformation in terms of election conditions was observed during 2022. On May 24, 2022, the parliament adopted a law to allow the electoral commission, the Commission Electorale Nationale Indépendante, and other institutions involved in the electoral process to start preparatory activities for the regional elections that are scheduled for 2023. This law follows the creation of five regional territorial communities on March 2, 2022. However, the constitutional and electoral reforms that would have been required for free and fair elections, as outlined in the Global Political Agreement of 2006 between the government and the opposition, have not yet shown any signs of progress.

The legislative elections of December 2018 – which were largely peaceful but not free – and the bogus presidential election on February 22, 2020 resulted in victories for the ruling party UNIR and the incumbent president, Faure Gnassingbé.

Controversial constitutional and institutional reforms voted on in parliament in May 2019 opened the way for President Gnassingbé to stand for a fourth and fifth term because the law did not apply retroactively. Moreover, the ruling party had greater access to media and public resources during the campaign. Unsurprisingly, the president won the disputed presidential election on February 22, 2020, assisted by a loyal army and security services, consolidating his hold on power. On election day, internet access was restricted, and social networks and critical media websites were blocked. Nevertheless, the international community declared that these elections were free and fair. Consequently, civil society organizations perceive this as a sign that the stability concerns of Western countries take precedence over democracy and human rights.

Free and fair elections


The president has the support of the country’s administration and security forces, and faces few structural constraints in putting his decisions into practice. However, the president may not always be in command of the hard-liners within the ruling party, army or secret service.

The composition of the Togolese parliament represents only a portion of the electorate. Officials of the president’s party, the Union for the Republic (Union pour la République, UNIR), are merely appendages of the government and do not really control it.

Effective power to govern


The guarantee and protection of freedom of assembly and association have improved since 2007. The constitution guarantees freedom of association and assembly. The constitution and law also provide for the right of workers, excluding members of the security forces (including firefighters and police), to form and join unions, and bargain collectively. However, limitations and intimidation persist, particularly violations of the right to freedom of assembly. On May 25, 2022, the National Assembly adopted a new law amending a 1991 law on the charter of political parties.

The security situation remains alarming following the attempted terrorist act on the night from August 22 to August 23, 2022. On September 6, 2022, the National Assembly adopted a bill extending the state of emergency, which was originally due to expire on September 12, 2022, for another six months to March 2023. The state of emergency (a situation of crisis that strengthens the powers of the civil authorities in matters of personal security and limits public or individual freedoms) was initially decreed on June 13, 2022, for a period of three months.

This state of emergency only concerns the Savannah region. Nevertheless, it has been used to prohibit political demonstrations across the entire territory, even though sports, cultural and social activities have gone ahead, especially events organized by associations closely aligned with the authorities.

On June 25, 2022, a meeting of the Dynamique Monseigneur Kpodzro, a coalition of opposing political parties and civil society organizations, was scheduled to take place in Lomé. The meeting was due to address the high cost of living, the lack of good governance and impunity. Although the minister of territorial administration invited the Dynamique Monseigneur Kpodzro to a preparatory meeting on June 23, 2022, the minister of security and civil protection canceled the meeting with only one day’s notice. The cancellation was announced in a press release that was read on national television. The press release stated that the cancellation was due to subregional and national security concerns that were detrimental to public order and national security. A meeting scheduled for July 3, 2022, and then rescheduled for July 31 by the National Alliance for Change (Alliance Nationale pour le Changement, ANC) in Agoè Nyivé (Lomé) was banned by the local prefect. Some argue that the maintenance of severe restrictions on the freedom to assemble, in particular for political or social reasons, is a deliberate attempt to suppress freedom of expression.

Association / assembly rights


Freedom of expression and the media is restricted in reality, although it is guaranteed by the constitution. There is a plethora of media outlets with 234 newspapers, 94 radio stations and a dozen television networks. According to the 2021 African Media Barometer report, legal constraints regarding privacy, confidentiality, public order, states of emergency and terrorism have restricted freedom of expression and the media in the country.

Journalists face many forms of harassment. Self-censorship is widely practiced by journalists in Togo. For example, journalists seem to provide minimal coverage of terrorist attacks that occur within the country, which creates space for speculation on social media platforms.

The independence of the High Authority for Broadcasting and Communication, which regulates audiovisual communications in Togo, is not assured. Reporters without Borders in its 2022 report ranked Togo 100 out of 180 countries observed, with Togo dropping 26 places in comparison to 2021.

The record of press freedom in Togo between May 2021 and May 2022 was neither rosy nor catastrophic according to the Togolese Media Observatory. According to the observatory, “Togo is on the right track in terms of exercising freedom of the press, even if there are some elements that darken the picture.” There have been complaints lodged against newspapers before the Togolese Media Observatory, the High Authority for Broadcasting and Communication, and judicial courts.

Freedom of expression


Rule of Law

The constitution of 1992 established the legal framework for a presidential multiparty system in Togo. The president is elected for five years and cannot be challenged by the legislature. The prime minister is nominated by the majority group in the unicameral parliament and appointed by the president. However, a great deal of power is invested in the office of the president, which makes it difficult for the other sections of government to serve as a counterbalance. On December 23, 2022, the minister of the armed forces was relieved of her duties by presidential decree, with the ministry now attached directly to the president of the republic, as was the case between 2007 and 2020.

The constitution grants the National Assembly not only the power to pass laws but also to control the actions of the government. However, the legislature’s power to control the president is limited in practice to the management of public resources. The nine parliamentary committees failed to produce any reports concerning the monitoring of government action during the review period. Furthermore, the judiciary is yet to live up to its constitutional role.

Separation of powers


The judiciary is not fully independent. The Supreme Court and the Constitutional Court, the latter first inaugurated in 1997, are dominated by members loyal to the ruling party, as demonstrated by various biased decisions relating to recent elections.

There is a sharp discrepancy between constitutional law and its implementation. The separation of powers between the judicial and executive branches (attorney and police) is rudimentary. Togolese people suffer from a two-speed judicial system, one for the poor and another for those who can afford to bribe judges. The judicial system also suffers from a lack of human, material and financial resources, as well as corruption, abuses of power and the probity of legal professionals to achieve their goals.

In practice, judicial independence is still a concern. For example, it is written in the statute of the magistrate, Article 5: “The magistrates of the public ministry are placed under the direction and the control of their hierarchical superiors and the authority of the keeper of the seals, minister of justice. They are bound by the instructions given by the hierarchical authority for the filing of their written requisitions…”

In December 2022, the minister of justice announced plans to overhaul the country’s judicial system due to the outdated nature of many legal texts and the overall inefficiency of the system. In addition, he emphasized the need to uphold fundamental principles such as the collegiality of correctional jurisdictions, and the separation of judicial roles encompassing prosecution, investigation and judgment. These principles were deemed sacrosanct and had not been consistently upheld until that point.

Independent judiciary


There is a long-standing culture of impunity vis-à-vis human rights abuses by security forces. Abuse of public office is still endemic in Togo, and the embezzlement of public funds remains rampant. However, an increasingly open political climate has meant that corrupt officeholders are subjected to somewhat more (negative) publicity. Nevertheless, due to the judicial system’s shortcomings, these officials are rarely prosecuted.

Although Amnesty International recognized slight improvements relating to human rights, a culture of impunity still prevails, notably concerning security forces, trafficking and money laundering (see “Anti-corruption Policy”). A constitutional reform that was passed in May 2019 by the National Assembly grants lifelong immunity to all former presidents.

According to the Afrobarometer 2022 survey, 60% of Togolese citizens believe that the law treats people unequally and that officials who commit crimes often evade punishment. For example, the concession granted to the Bolloré Group regarding the port of Lomé, the questionable handling of CAN 2013 funds, and the management of the Lomé-Vogan-Afagnan road construction have all lacked legal consequences. Even though the president of the High Authority for the Prevention and Fight against Corruption and Similar Offenses can authorize administrative inquiries and investigations, the president lacks police powers. Every piece of information collected is sent to the public prosecutor.

An organic law amending and supplementing Law No. 2020-003 dated January 24, 2020 – which requires high-profile individuals, senior officials and other public officials to disclose their property and assets – was adopted on June 17, 2021. The law introduced fines for failure to submit asset declarations.

Prosecution of office abuse


The Togolese government submitted its fifth report regarding the state of human and civil rights as part of the U.N. Human Rights Council’s periodic review. The report covered the period between 2011 and 2018, and represented an opportunity to highlight improvements and changes made since the last review. In 2022, Togo accepted most of the 224 recommendations made by its international partners. However, it only “took note” of recommendations to improve institutional arrangements to prosecute violence against women and domestic violence, as well as decriminalize same-sex relationships.

In August 2019, the parliament passed a law on national security that enabled the minister of territorial administration and local authorities, in some cases, to order house arrests, identity checks and interrogations of up to 24 hours. It also granted the right to evict foreign nationals, ban assemblies, suspend associations and close establishments.

According to a report by Amnesty International, the human rights situation in Togo deteriorated sharply due to growing political and social tensions related to the 2019 constitutional reforms, and the prospect of the head of state running for a fourth presidential term. The U.S. State Department reported serious human rights violations, such as arbitrary arrests and deprivation of life, the use of excessive force by security forces, the lack of due process, harsh and life-threatening conditions in prisons and detention centers, criminalization (without enforcement) of same-sex sexual conduct, and human trafficking. Moreover, the law was revised to further curtail peaceful dissent. Thus, Lomé failed to revise its criminal procedure code to safeguard fair trials and legal protections against torture and other ill-treatment.

Prison overcrowding is a major problem. As of December 31, 2021, the prison population was 5,148, despite the country’s 14 prisons only having capacity for 2,886. The pre-trial detention rate is 63% compared to the overall prison population, which negatively impacts detention conditions, as well as access to health care and other fundamental rights. In addition, 364 prisoners (guilty of petty offenses or fraud) received a presidential pardon at the end of their sentences in October 2022.

The new code of criminal procedure was adopted by the National Assembly on November 2, 2022. However, a worrying rise in private justice was noted by the minister in charge of justice on December 10, 2022. Human rights violations committed by the security forces under the pretext of fighting armed terrorist groups are denounced by certain organizations.

Violence against women and the practice of female genital mutilation continue, though factors including donor-assisted awareness campaigns have led to a decrease. The National Assembly adopted Act No. 2022-020 on November 29, 2022, which protects students against sexual violence in Togo.

Civil rights


Stability of Institutions

Formal political institutions are only partially democratic, and their performance remains deficient. The president’s conduct in office shows more transparency and commitment to dialogue than was the case during his father’s regime. However, given that President Faure Gnassingbé is still surrounded by many figures from the old dictatorial regime, it is unclear how sincere and consistent these efforts may be.

The most recent legislative elections were held on December 20, 2018. However, the elections were boycotted by the Coalition of 14, the main opposition grouping, which comprises 14 political parties. The boycott followed irregularities in preparations for the elections and the refusal of President Faure Gnassingbé to definitively abandon his attempt to remain in power beyond three terms. Given that a majority of deputies in the current parliament hail from UNIR, the legislature rarely debates controversial topics and laws that address public interests. Moreover, UNIR deputies often lack deep knowledge of subjects. This is due to the legislature’s inadequate working conditions and the fact that the opposition has not formulated any alternative policy proposals.

Furthermore, judicial insecurity is perpetuated by greedy and dishonest magistrates.

Performance of democratic institutions


Political opening and the continuing pressure of international donors have undoubtedly increased commitment to democratic institutions. The democratic character of legislative and presidential elections is questionable.

However, a high degree of skepticism remains concerning existing institutions since the president was not elected democratically and parliament, which is still dominated by the president’s party, UNIR, has not yet shown its real potential. In fact, a significant majority of citizens feel a strong sense of dissatisfaction (68%-73%). The cult of personality around the president is still present in daily life. All this, together with the unpredictable attitude of the hard-liners within the UNIR and the security forces, raises further doubts about the level of commitment to democratic institutions.

However, the executive unwillingness to uphold its commitment to democratic institutions (parliaments, judicial, oversight and watchdog institutions) did not seem to be reinforced by introducing a temporary state of emergency following the recent terrorist attacks.

Commitment to democratic institutions


Political and Social Integration

A new charter on political parties was passed by the parliament on May 25, 2022. The charter states that no party will automatically benefit from state aid. Instead, two-thirds of the resources will be distributed to political parties proportional to their share of parliamentary seats. The remaining resources will be allocated to parties that obtained more than 2% of the vote during the previous legislative election.

Togo has more than one hundred political parties. In 2021, New Vision became the 122nd officially registered political party. However, most registered political parties are not active, with only 34 political parties of any significance. The ruling Union for the Republic (UNIR) dominates the party system. The opposition is split between a more radical wing and a moderate wing. These labels were originally attributed by the government in the 1990s, with moderates more willing to cooperate with the government. Until the December 2018 legislative boycott, the radical wing was represented in parliament by the Let’s Save Togo Collective (CST), which was founded in April 2012. Led by the oppositional National Alliance for Change (ANC), CST includes various political parties and civil society organizations. The moderate wing, a confederation of smaller moderate opposition parties, among them the Action Committee for Renewal (CAR), joined the rainbow coalition, Arc-en-ciel. A new political movement, the Dynamique Monseigneur Kpodzro (DMK), formed by supporters of Archbishop Kpodzro, emerged in 2020 to back Kpodzro’s bid for the presidential elections that were scheduled for February 2020. The 2018 parliamentary election was boycotted by the radical wing, which allowed the New Togolese Commitment (NET), Organization to Build a United Togo (OBUTS) and Movement of Centrist Republicans (MRC) to win some seats in the National Assembly. Among the extra-parliamentary opposition, the Pan-African National Party (PNP), in addition to some other smaller parties, play a significant role.

The party system is still characterized by regional and ethnic divisions, which means that political parties tend to have readily identifiable ethnic and regional bases. In general, the UNIR receives greater support among northern ethnic groups, while the ANC and CAR opposition parties receive greater support among southern groups.

According to Afrobarometer (2022), 71.3% of Togolese trust opposition political parties “not at all” or “just a little,” whereas 62.5% say the same about the ruling party.

Party system


Several interest groups exist in Togo. The most influential Christian churches and the two Muslim organizations, the Union of Muslims in Togo (UMT, founded in 1964) and the Association of Muslim Executives of Togo (ACTM, founded in 2003), exert a mediating and constructive political influence that has been recognized far beyond their own followers. Earth priests and traditional chiefs still wield a strong influence at the local level.

Civil society organizations take ownership of all development themes, including human rights, democracy, social rights, peace and the economy. There are a handful of CSOs that are influential, viable, independent and operate nationally. These include groups concerned with human rights, gender rights and tackling impunity, such as ACAT-Togo, which focuses on eradicating torture and won the French Republic’s human rights prize in 1997; the Togolese League for Human Rights (LTDH); the Women, Democracy and Development Study and Action Group (GF2D); and the Collective of Associations against Impunity in Togo (CACIT). Some of these organizations cooperate with political parties in broad anti-government movements, such as the Let’s Save Togo Collective (CST).

Student organizations, both those intimately linked to the ruling party (e.g., the High Council of Students’ Associations and Movements, HaCAME) and oppositional student organizations, have become less active. At the same time, the Teachers’ Union of Togo has been active during the review period, organizing strikes in March and April 2022. These strikes resulted in trade unionists being apprehended by the Togolese Gendarmerie’s Central Criminal Investigation and Research Service and the dismissal of 137 teachers who lost their status as teachers. The Teachers’ Union of Togo has called for a new strike. However, the government has stated that this union is not legal and therefore cannot call a strike.

Interest groups


According to a representative survey by Afrobarometer 2022, Togolese express strong support for democracy but little satisfaction with the way it works in the country. Indeed, 68% of Togolese declared that democracy is the best of all forms of government (compared to 73% in 2021). Meanwhile, 77.9% of respondents “disagreed” or “strongly disagreed” that the elections and the National Assembly should be abolished so that the president can decide everything. These figures are consistent across the board.

The constitutional reform of May 8, 2019, limits the number of presidential terms to two and the number of parliamentary terms to three. 67% of Togolese say they are “not very satisfied” or “not at all satisfied” with the country’s democracy and that Togo is not a democracy.

The relatively low turnout for elections indicates a degree of voter fatigue. Turnout was 61% for the presidential election of 2015, 59% for the legislative elections of 2018 and just 52.5% for the 2019 local elections. The latter marked the lowest participation rate since the presidential election of 2005 that brought Faure Gnassingbé to power. These figures were also interpreted by independent observers as a sign of public disappointment with the biased organization of the electoral process.

However, the relatively high turnout (76.62%) for the presidential election in February 2020, 15 points more than in 2015, suggests the reverse. The government’s response to the COVID-19 pandemic did not have any significant effect on people’s attitude toward democratic institutions.

Approval of democracy


There is a variety of traditional associations (including many microfinance or credit institutions, trade unions, human rights, religious and media organizations as well as numerous local associations. Many of these self-help groups are based on traditional systems of mutual support, while others have been stimulated by international NGOs, churches or the government. According to Afrobarometer data for 2022, 90.3% of Togolese agree or strongly agree that they feel strong ties with other Togolese. Meanwhile, 69.1% say they trust other Togolese “somewhat” or “a lot.” Furthermore, 71.3% say they trust their neighbors “somewhat” or “a lot.” More than eight out of 10 Togolese are willing to live with neighbors from different religions, ethnic groups and nationalities. Conversely, 86.6% of Togolese are not ready to live with neighbors engaged in same-sex relationships.

Social capital


Economic Transformation

Socioeconomic Development

According to the Human Development Report 2022, Togo continues to rank among countries with low human development. In the 2021 Human Development Index, Togo ranked 162nd out of 191 countries in 2021, with a score of 0.539 up from 0.515 in 2019.

However, adjusted for inequality, Togo’s HDI score falls to 0.372, a loss of 31% due to inequality in the distribution of the HDI dimension indices. In 2019, Togo’s HDI score for women was 0.464 and 0.565 for men, resulting in a Gender Development Index score of 0.573. In the 2021 Gender Inequality Index, Togo scored 0.580, an improvement on 2019 when Togo scored 0.573 and significantly better than Togo’s average score of 0.180 between 2009 and 2020.

The incidence of poverty fell from 53.7% in 2017 to 45.5% in 2019 at the national level, according to the EHCVM survey (2018 – 2019). However, it remains twice as high in rural areas (58.8%) as in urban areas (26.5%). The Savannah region has the highest incidence (65.1%), while the agglomeration of Lomé has the lowest incidence with a proportion of 22.3%. It should be noted that the Centrale Region and Plateaux Region have incidences that are not far from the national average (respectively 47.3% and 48.9%). Poverty rates for female-headed households are slightly higher than for male-headed households (57.5% compared to 55% in 2015).

Generally, inequalities remain high, with the Gini index increasing from 43.1% in 2015 to 42.4% in 2018 according to the Word Bank.

Socioeconomic barriers


Market and Competition

Market competition operates under a weak institutional framework, with a dominant informal sector. In Togo, 90.1% of the workforce are employed in the informal sector, according to the International Labour Organization. This figure aligns with the findings of the National Institute of Statistics and Economic and Demographic Studies, which reports that 87% of jobs are generated by the informal sector through informal production units.

According to the Heritage Foundation, Togo’s economic freedom score is 57.2, with the country ranked 104 out of 183 countries in the 2022 index. This score is slightly below the 2021 score, which was 57.5. Togo is ranked 15th out of 47 countries in the sub-Saharan Africa region. Its overall score is above the regional average (53.4) but below the world average (60). Togo’s economic freedom status overall remains “mostly unfree.” Cross-border mobility of labor and capital (FDI, currency convertibility) is enabled.

Generally, price setting is determined by market forces. However, the state intervenes in price setting for several products, including cement, transport, petroleum products and school items. This practice creates barriers to market entry for certain goods, both imported and local. In 2022, the government implemented a price cap on several goods and services as a measure against the “high cost of living,” prompted by the spike in food and fuel prices following the start of the Russian invasion of Ukraine.

In summary, despite efforts, the statutes governing property in Togo are poorly defined, making enforcement of contracts difficult. A lack of administrative and judicial transparency, court graft and corruption, and underdeveloped banking and financial independence systems remain serious problems.

Market organization


Togo has some regulations that are designed to prevent monopolistic structures and conduct, but they are inconsistently enforced. Togo has administrative structures within the Ministry of Trade, Industry and Local Consumption that are responsible for promoting trade. These structures include the General Directorate of Trade, specifically the Department of Internal Trade and Competition. Additionally, there are sectoral structures that ensure healthy competition, such as the Regulatory Authority for Electronic Communications and Posts, and the Electricity Sector Regulatory Authority. However, there are difficulties in execution. For example, there is a lack of control over fraud and unfair competition due to limited capacity, materials and tools to enforce regulations in various markets and ensure fair competition.

Reforms of the mining, telecommunications and energy sectors have progressed slowly due to obstruction from vested interests. Furthermore, unfair advantages for informal businesses exist in retail markets.

Competition law is outdated, with Act No. 99-011 on the organization of competition in Togo passed on December 28, 1999. The West African Economic and Monetary Union (WAEMU) implemented competition legislation in May 2002, which took effect on January 1, 2003. Furthermore, the Economic Community of West African States’ (ECOWAS) regional competition policy framework of March 2007 is yet to be integrated into national law.

Togo is not a member of the International Competition Network. However, the ECOWAS Regional Competition Authority is a member of the International Competition Network.

Competition policy


Foreign trade is in principle liberalized, though significant limitations persist. The degree of openness in Togo, as measured by the sum of imports and exports as a percentage of GDP, was 58% in 2021. In 2015, Togo ratified the free trade agreement of the World Trade Organization (WTO), with one-third of the least-developed countries having now signed the treaty. Togo’s simple average most favored nation value (MFN) applied stood at 12.3% in 2021, compared to 12.1% in 2020, based on data from the WTO.

Togo’s economic freedom score is 57.2, with its economy ranked 104th in the world in the 2022 index. Its overall score decreased by 0.3 points, with an improvement in the score for fiscal health and an increase in the trade freedom score from 65.4 in 2021 to 65.6 in 2022. However, multiple non-tariff barriers to trade impede foreign trade. Togo has four export processing zones, three in Lomé and one in Kara, which are managed by the company SAZOF. Togo signed the African Continental Free Trade Area in March 2018.

Togo is part of the CFA franc zone and has a national currency, the FCFA, which is pegged to the euro. While this has undeniable advantages regarding monetary stability, it limits the flexibility of the country in global markets. There is a growing number of prominent voices, including Kako Nubukpo, who are arguing for a “smarter form of protectionism” to give West African economies more space to grow.

On November 28, 2022, the parliament adopted an act on the status of a free zone in the textile and clothing sector. As a result, the company that possesses industrial free zone status for the textile and clothing sector enjoys customs or tax advantages. In terms of customs advantages, the company is exempt from all customs duties, taxes and value added tax (VAT) on the importation of equipment, machinery, raw materials, semi-finished products, consumables, office supplies (including office furniture), and spare parts necessary for installation and operation. In relation to tax benefits, the company is exempt from corporation tax, business licenses (or equivalent tax), tax on dividends or tax on income from movable capital for the first eight years, as well as value added tax on goods delivered to the company, and on works and services carried out on its behalf.

Liberalization of foreign trade


As a member of the West African Economic and Monetary Union (WAEMU), Togo participates in the transition to Basel II/III bank prudential requirements. However, WAEMU has extended the five-year transitional period, which was initiated in 2018, by one year. The capital adequacy ratio for the entire region increased from 10.2 in 2018 to 12.2 by the end of 2020. Large regional differences are a point of concern – 12% of all regional banks report capital adequacy ratios below 8.25. This includes Togolese banks, which have an average capital adequacy ratio of 7.4 due to portfolio risks and high operational costs.

The Togolese banking system consists of 14 commercial banks and three financial institutions as of June 30, 2022. In August 2021, IB Holding acquired the public bank BTCI from the government, which still retains a 10% stake. The Union Togolaise de Banques (UTB) is the sole bank that is 100% state-owned. According to data from the Banque Centrale des Etats de l’Afrique de l’Ouest, West Africa’s regional central bank, the net deterioration rate of the banks’ portfolio (ratio net overdue loans/net loans to customers) in Togo declined from 4.4% in December 2021 to 3.8% in January 2022. The average for WAEMU is 3.7%.

As of December 31, 2021, 75 microfinance providers have approximately 3,743,209 clients. Their portfolio deterioration rate is 5.0%, below the WAEMU average of 7.9%.

Togo had the highest (extended) banking rate (84.2%) in the WAEMU in 2021, up from 80% in 2020. The strict banking rate decreased from 27% of the population in 2020 to 30.1% in 2021.

Togo has established the National Fund for Inclusive Finance, a mechanism that aims to facilitate access to financial services for various segments of the population, particularly young people, women and businesses. As of January 21, 2022, the fund had granted a total of 1,792,556 loans, amounting to XOF 101.27 billion, through 14 different products. In terms of repayment, the fund has maintained a satisfactory balance sheet, with an average on-time rate of 94.10%, and it offers the most valued customers the opportunity to access bank credit of up to XOF 10 million. However, risks persist, as indicated by the latest assessment conducted by the IMF.

Banking system


Monetary and Fiscal Stability

As a member of the West African Economic and Monetary Union (WAEMU), Togo is unable to pursue an independent policy on currency and foreign exchange rates. The West African CFA franc is pegged to the euro at a rate of XOF 657.88 to €1, and, although the Central Bank of West African States is fully independent, the currency is heavily influenced by the European Central Bank’s anti-inflation policy. Integration into the West African CFA franc zone is largely justified for political rather than economic reasons. Accordingly, at an ECOWAS meeting in November 2019, the eight WAEMU (UEMOA in French) member states adopted a proposal to withdraw their currency reserves from France’s central bank, which provoked controversy.

The real effective exchange rate rose from 93.7 in 2019 to 97.2 in 2021. A higher real effective exchange rate can serve as a barrier to exports.

Although decelerating, the inflation rate remains high. The average inflation rate stood at 7.5% over the first eight months of 2022, following 7.8% at the end of June 2022 and 8.2% on March 31, 2021, due to the economic effects of the COVID-19 crisis, the Russian invasion of Ukraine and geopolitical tensions. Interest rates on loans provided by Togo’s banks averaged 7.6% in 2021, which has done nothing to help inflation.

Monetary stability


The amended finance bill, which was passed by the National Assembly in October 2022, is projected to result in a budget deficit, including grants, of 8.4% of GDP. This is in contrast to the initially projected deficit of 5.1%. In recent years, the WAEMU countries have not adhered to the community standard of a 3% of GDP budget deficit. The level of deficit, justified by the urgent and imperative responses required for health and security crises, is far from this standard. According to the Yearbook Togo, Economic Report (2022 – 2023), the state budget for 2022 amounted to XOF 1,779.2 billion, reflecting a 4.5% increase compared to 2021.

Togo’s public debt remains under control. Despite increasing from 63.7% of GDP in 2021 to 66.1% in 2022, Togo’s public debt remains below the community standard cap of 70%, according to the IMF. External debt increased from 25.4% of GDP in 2021 to 27.7% in 2022, as reported in the IMF’s Regional Economic Outlook of October 2022.

The current account deficit (including grants) widened further from 1.9% of GDP in 2021 to 4.8% in 2022, according to IMF data.

In November 2022, Togo collected XOF 33 billion from West African investors in public securities. These funds are intended for the post-COVID-19 economic recovery plan. The total amount borrowed by Togo on the securities market now stands at XOF 473 billion. According to the amended Finance Act of 2022, the country plans to raise a total of XOF 663 billion from the securities market.

China canceled $16.4 million of Togolese debt in August 2022.

Fiscal stability


Private Property

Togo’s property rights index score dropped from 44.5 in 2021 to 36.8 in 2022, according to the Heritage Foundation. Among other things, this reflected the judiciary’s inadequate protection of private property and the difficulties associated with securing clear titles for most land. The governing statutes for property are a poorly defined combination of civil code and traditional laws, with frequent legal disputes over inheritance. The existing laws that protect property are not effectively enforced. Although the new land code, which was introduced in 2018, was intended to address these issues, the implementation of its 736 paragraphs continues to be delayed.

Until 2018, land ownership in Togo was regulated primarily by two legal documents: a decree issued on July 24, 1906 regarding the organization of land ownership in the colonies and territories under the general government of L’Afrique Occidentale Française, and a 1974 ordinance establishing rules and regulations for private and state property. Not aligned with modern societal relations and needs, both documents resulted in numerous land disputes between citizens. Faced with these conflicts and given the need to preserve social cohesion, the Togolese government engaged in a participatory process to draft a land and state code that was adopted in 2018.

In the early 2000s, nearly 400,000 land title requests were pending. Additionally, the archives office lacks adequate resources and is, for the most part, inaccessible, which means Togolese have little to no means of determining issues related to property. This situation increases the risk of land disputes, as 60% to 80% of the cases dealt with by the Togolese courts involve land disputes. Ensuring the land rights of each individual in Togo is no longer guaranteed. In response to this situation, individuals adapt by drafting small contracts called “small papers” to certify the sale of land. However, these small papers do not offer any protection against land disputes for the population.

Obtaining a land title is a challenging process – the procedure for acquiring a title is both lengthy and expensive. Administrative delays are the primary issue plaguing the land sector. The transfer of inheritance from a parent to their heirs appears to be complicated for certain individuals, especially transfers initiated after the parent’s death. This method not only incurs high costs but also involves excessive procedural requirements.

A government attempt in February 2022 consisted of the adoption of a “draft decree” to establish a Land Advisory Council. As an initial step in the right direction, the government aimed to convene all stakeholders to review essential elements of land policies. However, no further progress has been made since then. In November 2020, parliament agreed to ratify the Bangui Agreement, which governs intellectual property within the 17 member states of the Organisation Africaine de la Propriété Intellectuelle (OAPI).

Property rights


Togo has undertaken significant reform efforts in the areas of setting up a business, property registration and access to credit, which has resulted in sustained momentum for business startups. In the third quarter of 2022, the Centre de Formalité des Entreprises recorded the registration of 3,450 new enterprises. While this represents a slight decrease compared to the same period in 2021 (3,495 enterprises), it remains consistent with the overall trend observed throughout the year, with more than 3,000 enterprises registered in each quarter.

Some 2,897 enterprises are owned by Togolese, compared to 553 enterprises owned by foreigners. While foreign and domestic investors are typically afforded equal treatment under the law, the investment regime as a whole lacks efficiency. The number of enterprises registered by women has been steadily increasing, with 942 companies registered between July and September 2022. In December 2022, out of 908 new businesses created, 642 were owned by men and 266 were owned by women, according to the Centre de Formalité des Entreprises.

The cotton sector is particularly strategic in terms of value and job creation, especially for small farmers located in the northern regions. Togo has opted for privatization, selling 51% of its shares in the New Togo Cotton Company to the Singaporean giant Olam in December 2020. A group of local producers owns 25% of the remaining shares, while the state retains 24%.

The state has initiated the process of privatizing two public banks, BTCI and UTB. At the time of writing, the Union Togolaise des Banques (UTB) is still available on the market for potential investors.

As the country aims to become a logistics and financial hub, policy measures are being implemented to reduce the tax burden on private investors. Furthermore, the finance law offers tax advantages for the restructuring of struggling companies that face significant economic and employment challenges.

Private enterprise


Welfare Regime

Togo’s welfare system is underdeveloped. Life expectancy at birth is low at 61 years (men, 60.4 years; women, 61.6 years) in 2020. Current health expenditure fell from 6.2% of GDP in 2018 to 5.73% in 2019. Social safety nets are rudimentary and cover only a few risks for a limited number of beneficiaries. The majority of the population is at risk of poverty.

Health insurance coverage is low, covering only 7.6% of the population, with 4% covered by the National Institute of Health Insurance scheme, 2% by private systems and 1.6% by mutual health insurance companies. Consequently, 500,000 Togolese individuals, primarily civil servants, benefited from health insurance at the end of 2021. To expand the social protection system to the informal economy, which employs 80% of the active population, a universal health insurance was introduced in October 2021. However, implementation remains ineffective. In January 2023, a ministerial delegation spent nearly 10 days in Morocco to learn from the partner’s experiences and advance progress.

Discussions between the private sector and trade unions, held at the end of the year, recommended a significant increase in the minimum wage. In January 2023, the minimum wage in Togo was increased from XOF 35,000 to XOF 52,500 per month. However, guarantees on the application of this measure are necessary. It only applies to the formal sector. Of the economically active population (85%), only 9.3% were employed in the formal sector.

Togo’s pension system comprises two institutions: the Togo Pension Fund and the National Social Security Fund. The Togo Pension Fund covers civil servants, including magistrates and soldiers from the Togolese armed forces, as well as widows, widowers and orphans of the aforementioned beneficiaries. The National Social Security Fund covers private sector employees and other categories of personnel employed by the state. As a result, the majority of citizens continue to lack access to basic social services that would safeguard them against illness and provide essential resources in case of disability or old age.

In Togo, the legal age of retirement or for justifying a disabling condition that impedes work is 60. Typically, the pension amount is equal to 20% of the average worker’s salary. Only around 6% of social security programs are dedicated to pensioners. In reality, a majority of workers in the informal sector lack access to these programs. Individuals facing adversity or accidents often rely on assistance from family members, clan members or traditional mutual aid arrangements. Mutual aid arrangements are organized by the members of a group, who take turns providing services or offer aid during an emergency (see “Banking System”).

In September 2022, to take into account the increase in the general level of consumer prices and preserve the purchasing power of households, particularly the most vulnerable, the government introduced 10 new social measures, costing more than XOF 50 billion. These measures include increases in wages and pension payments; subsidies for the acquisition of school books, fertilizers and petroleum products; and tax measures for the private sector.

Social safety nets


Discrimination against women remains widespread. In the most recent UNDP Gender Inequality Index (2021), Togo scored 0.58 (compared to 0.588 in 2019), with the country ranked 149 out of 191 countries.

According to the World Bank, the literacy rate was 80% for men and 55.1% for women in 2019. Women comprised 48.8% of the total labor force in 2021. Prior to the complete abolition of fees for public schools in the academic year (2021 – 2022), girls enjoyed reduced tuition fees for colleges and lycées.

Togo has implemented changes that reduce equality in the law. For example, Togo’s new labor code no longer explicitly prohibits the dismissal of pregnant workers. This has led to a decrease in the country’s score to 81.9 in 2022. However, it should be noted that the labor code does not affect workers in the informal sector, which accounts for the vast majority of male and female workers.

Togolese women enjoy 81.9% as many rights as men. This exceeds the average in sub-Saharan Africa (71.5%). Togolese women and men possess equal rights with regard to freedom of movement, employment, wages and pensions.

However, with respect to property, women only have 80% of the rights that men have. The gap is even larger when it comes to parenthood (40%), marriage (60%) and entrepreneurship (75%). In the area of entrepreneurship, business creation and management opportunities are more restricted for women than for men. According to data from the Togolese Center for Business Formalities, only 27.6% of businesses created in 2022 were founded by women.

Although women dominate the informal sector (e.g., agriculture and petty trade), women’s access to and control of the factors of production (land, equipment, inputs, credit) is very limited. Moreover, it is highly unlikely that women will have equal access to wage employment in the formal sector in the foreseeable future.

Representation of women in the political arena – government, parliament and political parties – improved significantly when Victoire Tomegah Dogbé became Togo’s first female prime minister at the age of 61 on October 29, 2020. She appointed a new government, of which a record 30% of the 33 ministerial positions were given to women, including Essozimna Marguerite Gnakade, who served as defense minister until her ousting on December 22, 2022.

In the National Assembly, 17 out of 91 members of parliament (19%) are women. Furthermore, on January 20, 2019, Chantal Yawa Tségana made history as the first woman elected as head of the Togolese parliament. Tségana, a member of the ruling party UNIR, replaced Dama Dramani.

Most Togolese people express tolerant attitudes toward individuals of diverse ethnic origins, religions and nationalities. However, there is limited acceptance of individuals in same-sex relationships. LGBTQ+ individuals in Togo encounter legal hurdles as both male and female same-sex sexual activity is deemed unlawful. LGBTQ+ organizations have the option to register with the Ministry of Territorial Affairs as health-related groups, particularly those focusing on HIV/AIDS prevention. Activists have reported widespread violence against LGBTQ+ individuals, often with little response from the police to address these concerns.

Equal opportunity


Economic Performance

Togo is a low-income country. In 2021, the per capita income in purchasing power parity (PPP) at constant 2017 prices was $2,125, according to the World Bank. Per capita income experienced negative growth of -0.7% in 2020 but rebounded in 2021 with a growth rate of 2.8%.

The economy proved resilient in 2020 to the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic, with positive growth of 1.8%. Growth returned to its pre-COVID-19 level of 5.1% in 2021 and increased further to 5.6% in 2022. Over the medium term, economic growth could increase to 6.5% if the impact of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine is contained.

Due to the impact of COVID-19, the country has recorded a high budget deficit in recent years – 6.9% of GDP in 2020 and 6.5% of GDP in 2021. The Initial Finance Act 2022 projects a budget deficit of 5% of GDP. However, anti-price inflation measures, such as subsidy and commodity tax exemptions, are likely to drive the deficit back to its 2021 level.

The impact of COVID-19 led to an increase in public debt between 2019 and 2021, with public debt rising from 52.4% of GDP to 63.8% of GDP. Projected at 63.6% of GDP in 2022, public debt is expected to increase again due to measures to combat inflation, which has been exacerbated by the Russian invasion of Ukraine. The inflation rate is relatively high but stagnant, standing at 4.6% in 2022, according to the IMF.

The unemployment rate is projected to increase slightly from 3.9% in 2020 to 4% in 2021, as reported by the World Bank. For young people aged 15 to 24, the situation is even worse, with a rate of 9.7%.

According to the World Bank, certain concerns persist regarding the growth and cost of domestic debt, as well as fiscal risks associated with public-private partnerships, state-owned enterprises and domestic subsidies.

Output strength



Environmental concerns receive only sporadic consideration and are often subordinated to economic growth. Environmental regulation is weak and hardly enforced.

In 2010, Togo had 600 kha of tree cover. In 2021 alone, it lost 5.9 kha of tree cover, which equates to 3.70 Mt of carbon dioxide emissions. The forest code, which was passed in 2008, introduced penalties for the destruction of forest resources, but law enforcement in this sector remains weak. Nevertheless, over the last six years, Togo has shown a commitment to reducing emissions from degradation and deforestation (REDD+). This mechanism encouraged reforestation and the use of energy sources other than coal and gas. However, 5,000 hectares of forest disappear each year on average. Forests cover 24.5% of Togo, but estimates place the annual deforestation rate at around 5%. From 2002 to 2021, Togo lost 312 kha of primary rainforest, representing 0.48% of its total tree cover loss over the same period. The total area of humid primary forests in Togo has decreased by 19% during this period.

The popularization of improved stoves is a means used by the authorities to reduce deforestation. Some 90% of households in Togo use firewood and charcoal as energy sources for cooking. Gas prices have soared with the Russian invasion of Ukraine, meaning that gas is out of reach for many households, especially households in rural areas where forest resources are more easily accessed.

Togo aims to significantly boost its dependence on renewable energies by increasing its production capacity from 34.7 MW to 264.7 MW by 2025. The government expects renewable energy sources to provide 50% of the country’s energy mix. Kékéli Efficient Power operates an installed capacity of 65 MW in Lomé-Port and 50 MWp photovoltaic solar power plant in Blitta. The Blitta plant will generate 90,255 MWh of energy per year, which would provide enough energy for 158,333 Togolese households and could save more than 1 MT of carbon dioxide emissions over its lifetime.

Togo is party to five international conventions and agreements that aim to protect the marine environment. These demanding agreements have been transcribed into the national legal and institutional framework for the protection of marine environments. Of particular note are a 2021 act relating to the development, protection and enhancement of the coastline, and the law authorizing Togo’s accession to the International Convention on the Removal of Wrecks in March 2022.

Environmental policy


In the United Nations’ Education Index for 2018, Togo scored 0.506 and ranked 121st out of 161 countries. Public expenditure on education (as a percentage of GDP) fell from 4.1% in 2019 to 4% in 2020 in Togo. The government planned to invest just over XOF 150 billion in national education in 2022.

Gross primary school enrollment in Togo increased from 126% in 2020 to 124% in 2021, which is high by African standards. Secondary education enrollment increased from 73% in 2017 to 81% in 2021, and tertiary education enrollment increased from 14% in 2019 to 15% in 2020 (most recent data). The large enrollment gap between primary and secondary education is due to costly secondary education fees, the poor quality of primary education and a lack of access to adequate schools in rural areas. In fact, school infrastructure is deficient, especially in more rural areas. Overall, a quarter of schools lack a fixed roof, furniture and other materials, which makes it difficult for students to attend lessons during rainy seasons.

In rural areas, schools lack electricity, water and sanitation. Classes usually involve 45 students, and many teachers are unqualified. In recent years, few students have pursued advanced education. In some regions, voluntary teachers without any qualifications comprise the majority of the teaching staff. Additionally, many teachers lack motivation and are often not present during school hours, leaving pupils alone.

Consequently, several projects have been launched, moving in the direction of cleaning up the sector, supporting students and teachers, providing better equipment and more resources for staff, improving teacher training and recruitment, as well as initiating plans to construct 30,000 classrooms throughout the country by 2025.

Togo ranked 122nd among the 132 economies featured in the Global Innovation Index 2022, which is an improvement on its ranking of 125th in 2021 and 2020. Research and development remains deficient, with R&D expenditure equivalent to 0.3% of GDP in 2014. There was one domestic patent application in 2020.

Education / R&D policy



Level of Difficulty

The structural constraints on governance are fairly high. GNI per capita grew from $2,180 in 2020 to $2,340 in 2021 (PPP, current USD), which is below the average for sub-Saharan Africa ($3,930). Overall, the population remains largely dependent on subsistence farming, with the growing urban population largely engaged in the informal sector. Togo’s major foreign exchange earners are phosphate mining, clinker, cement and cotton production, as well as (largely illicit) re-exports, all of which are dependent on volatile global trade conditions.

In addition, the country produces only a proportion of the energy that it consumes. Consequently, Togo is dependent on neighboring Ghana and Nigeria for electricity and gas supplies. On the other hand, Togo is less dependent on intercontinental trade than its neighbors, as it mostly exports goods (65%) to its West African neighbors.

The lack of good governance, including the ruling elite’s unwillingness to devolve political power, still constitutes the largest single barrier to development. One of the main constraints is the lack of rail infrastructure. Rail transport is almost nonexistent in Togo, with rail infrastructure limited to the transport of goods (cement) and the export of phosphate over a few kilometers to the Kpémé export wharf. The disappearance of rail infrastructure deprives economic operators of a cheap means of transport, especially for goods – a situation from which influential actors profit. In addition, the lack of rail infrastructure undermines the profitable exploitation of mining resources.

The terrorist threat long confined to the Sahel has recently extended to northern Togo, with terrorist groups taking advantage of the relative poverty of the Savannah region. Terrorist threats now exert pressure on the governance of the country. Violent extremist groups take advantage of inadequate social and economic infrastructure; limited state presence; conflicts related to transhumance, land issues and leadership; and conflicts between the defense forces and security services.

Accelerated by the political crisis, migration has had an impact on the country’s labor force over the last two decades, with brain drain being a particular problem. Hundreds of thousands of Togolese refugees migrated to Europe due to political persecution during the political crises of the 1990s and 2005, notably to France and Germany. Although some emigrants have since had to return, many skilled workers of Togolese descent can be found in Europe as well as in neighboring West African countries.

Structural constraints


Civil society has flourished with the second wave of transformation, which began in the early 1990s. Today, there are thousands of NGOs and associations across all spheres of public life that exercise their right to form self-help groups or – to a lesser degree – express their opinion. By the end of 2022, Africaonline lists 2,302 NGOs in Togo. NGOs often compete against each other for the right to represent their constituencies and for donor support. There are notable partnerships between various interest groups that have been forged around human rights, election, gender, micro-financing and welfare issues – a clear sign of agency. However, approximately 90% of these associations are mainly focused on urban centers, especially Lomé, and seldom gain ground in rural areas.

Some of these civil society organizations should exercise greater transparency in defining their operational mode, the origin of their resources, their spending and their objectives. The government announced in December 2022 that the activities of private associations and organizations should be guided by the government’s development plan.

Civil society traditions


The high potential for conflict that existed under Gnassingbé Eyadéma’s rule due to ethnic polarization and the militarization of society can no longer be considered the most salient impediment to Togo’s development. However, both items still need to be considered.

Togo has not encountered severe tensions between different religious or ethnic groups to date. Generally, the relationship between Muslims and Christians, as well as other religious groups, is amicable. Cooperation is sought by all groups on many occasions.

Transnational conflicts of transhumance between pastoralists and agriculturalists are still virulent beneath the surface. Occasional instances of violence occur in about one-third of prefectures, notably in northern and central Togo. Livestock in transhumance often ravages farmers’ fields causing clashes that lead to injuries and deaths. In 2020, conflicts related to transhumance led to 12 deaths and 14 injuries, displaced 1,603 people, and 130 cases of land devastation with compensation for victims totaling XOF 10 million. At least one death in transhumance-related conflicts was recorded in 2022. These conflicts will intensify in the future due to the effects of climate change on pastoralism and the stagnation of soil fertility, which will force farmers to plow fallow land or forest.

Regional inequalities, and feelings of distrust and mutual antipathy between people in the south and north still need to be addressed. Having enjoyed the spoils of the system in recent years, northern Kabyè continues to hold an unduly high number of relevant public offices compared to their counterparts in the south, notably in the security services. There are sharp and increasing differences between rich and poor in Togo, but these have not yet led to a situation of violent conflict. However, growing discontent among unemployed school leavers contributes to political unrest in urban centers, notably in Lomé.

Conflict intensity


Steering Capability

Since 2005, the government has announced several strategic plans, including the National Development Plan (2018 – 2022), government road map (2020 – 2025) and Vision Togo 2030. The most recent plan is the Togo 2025 road map, which is built around the vision of “A Togo in peace, a modern Nation with inclusive and sustainable economic growth.” The Togo 2025 road map is divided into three strategic axes and 10 objectives, comprising 36 separate projects and reforms.

The Ministry of Development Planning and Cooperation is in charge of the development, implementation, monitoring and evaluation of government policy in the areas of development planning, state forecasting and territorial development. However, short-term interests of political bargaining and office-seeking often influence their design and implementation. In addition, the specific priorities of donors play a role, although it is repeatedly emphasized that the measures fit seamlessly into the national strategy.

During implementation, it is not uncommon for additional measures and projects to emerge, which can be interpreted as a means of rewarding electoral support for the ruling party (e.g., through the National Fund for Inclusive Finance). Certain priorities (e.g., the construction of railway infrastructure and referral health centers) receive little attention from the authorities. Overall, there is a significant lack of political will, material resources and implementation capacities at the national, regional and local level.



The government has failed to implement some of its policies. The implementation rate of the few planned measures is low. As of June 30, 2022, out of the 312 reform activities scheduled for the year 2022 under the Togo (2020 – 2025) road map, 43 have been carried out and 222 are in progress. On the other hand, 47 have not yet begun to be implemented. Consequently, the average completion rate of policies is about 43%, with a 25% financial completion rate.

Of the 42 projects and reforms included in the Togo (2020 – 2025) road map, several flagship initiatives have been completed, including the Adétikopé industrial platform about 20 kilometers from the port of Lomé, the modernization of the labor code and the Lomé Data Centre. Other administrative projects are underway, including the operationalization of the Agency for the Promotion of Investments and the Free Zone, the establishment of universal health coverage, the construction of 20,000 social housing units, and the construction of the Unity Highway. However, many of these activities have fallen behind schedule. It is difficult to assess the impact of these and previous programs, as monitoring and evaluation are weak to nonexistent. Many donors have reacted and provided support to specific projects that aim to improve output and impact assessments. However, there is little evidence that these efforts have so far been successful.

At the regional community level, the annual review of WAEMU policies, programs and projects reveals that progress has been made in the implementation of community texts. Indeed, the review of reforms implemented in Togo between 2014 and 2021 revealed significant progress in the implementation of community texts. During this period, the rate of implementation of texts rose from 54% to 78.2%. Togo has distinguished itself over the past three years as one of the WAEMU countries that has made significant progress, with an average rate of implementation of community reforms rising from 64% in 2018 to 78%.



The government has shown some willingness to engage in policy learning, but its flexibility is limited. Learning processes inconsistently affect the routines and the foundation of knowledge on which policies are based. Evidence of learning processes can be identified in some areas. With regard to democratization, the government has apparently been unwilling and unable to improve institutional learning on this issue, and is keen to preserve its political and economic power at all costs.

Togo has drawn lessons from the implementation of the National Development Plan (2018 – 2022) and the promising results achieved by the country. The government road map (2020 – 2025) has made it possible to adjust the integrated national vision, emphasizing greater efficiency in the conduct of public action, the pursuit of reforms and the acceleration of results according to Prime Minister Victoire Tomegah Dogbé.

Health care coverage in Togo was introduced in stages, with each stage enriched by the lessons learned from the previous stage. At the time of writing, one-third of the Togolese population has some form of health care coverage. Schematically, health care coverage comprises three entities: the National Health Insurance Institute for the Benefit of State Agents; the School Assur, which provides social assistance for primary and secondary school students; and additional initiatives that cover the private and informal sectors, as well as organized groups and associations (e.g., artisans and farmers).

Following the success of the first waves of the Presidential Program of Excellence (limited to the Office of the President), which was launched in 2019, and the Program of Excellence for African Women, new iterations of these training and acceleration programs aimed at deserving young people were launched in 2022. These programs complement academic activities, emphasizing “modern pedagogy based on learning by doing and personalized learning,” and are provided by internationally renowned firms.

Notwithstanding such instances of policy learning, evaluations and impact assessments are among the weakest points of public administration in Togo. Beyond the isolated evaluation reports of specific projects, which are often not made public, there is little information about earlier programs at the national level. This lack of reliable information about successes and failures makes it difficult to learn from the past.

Policy learning


Resource Efficiency

Togo had between 54,000 and 60,000 civil servants according to the last complete survey of civil servants in November 2011. In 2022, civil servant salaries totaled about XOF 253 billion, the same level as in 2021.

Recruitment for administrative personnel continues to be guided by political motives rather than merit. At the highest political level, the incumbent president, Gnassingbé, replaced some of his closest advisers with young, technocratically qualified consultants. While this could improve policymaking, it remains a highly informal style of government.

The results of the general competition for civil servant recruitment from February/March 2022 are yet to be announced, with a total of 2,725 positions across 50 specialties to be filled. However, the results for more recent competitions (e.g., for positions with the Togolese Revenue Office announced in November 2022) are already available.

The state budget, which is projected to be XOF 1,760 billion for the financial year 2022, is balanced in resources and expenses at XOF 1,779.2 billion (in the amending finance law for the financial year 2022 adopted by parliament on October 20, 2022) against XOF 1,702.9 billion in the 2021 amended finance law (i.e., an increase of 4.5%). Budgetary revenue stands at XOF 1,070.9 billion compared to XOF 915.6 billion in 2021 (i.e., an increase of 17%). Meanwhile, budgetary expenditure increased from XOF 1,219.3 billion in 2021 to XOF 1,330 billion in 2022 (i.e., an increase of 9.1%). The budget deficit was 5.1% of GDP in 2022, a marked improvement compared to 2021 when it stood at 6.5% of GDP.

Moreover, according to the Court of Auditors, the government struggles to maintain rigorous discipline in respecting personnel expenditure authorizations. In 2020, there was an overrun of 0.05% in the consumption of staff appropriations.

Under the ongoing decentralization process, Togo’s 117 municipalities must all have a municipal development plan (PDC), which outlines the municipality’s specific objectives and development priorities, as well as the resources to be deployed. Over the last three years, the state has provided nearly XOF 15 billion in support to local authorities through the Support Fund for Local Authorities. While the endowment has made it possible to carry out social work, challenges in optimizing the use of these resources persist.

Efficient use of assets


The government’s commitment to democratization and consolidation of public finances vis-à-vis the donor community conflicts with the determination of the president and his followers to remain in power whatever the cost. Coordination between the presidency and the Prime Minister’s Office, which had not always been smooth, improved significantly following the appointment of Victoire Tomegah Dogbé, who became Togo’s first female prime minister in 2020.

The secret service and the military still lack parliamentary control and continue to be dominated by members from the Kabye Gnassingbé clan in Pya and Kara, the clan’s homeland and spiritual center. Faure Gnassingbé continues to manage the defense portfolio himself for fear of coup attempts.

In 2020, the Court of Auditors noted a continuous improvement in the quality of information contained in various government documents and the effectiveness of coordination between the various technical services of the ministry in charge of finance, which had enhanced the quality and reliability of state accounts. To ensure consistency and the effective coordination of public education policies, the Council of Ministers was advised in November 2022 to create a national education council.

Policy coordination


The government has shown only a partial willingness and ability to contain corruption. Furthermore, the few integrity mechanisms that have been implemented are largely ineffective. Several laws and institutions in Togo are dedicated to tackling corruption. Relevant regulations include the constitution (e.g., Article 46), a money-laundering act, a procurement act and a criminal code. Meanwhile, institutions that address corruption include the General State Inspectorate, the General Inspectorate of Finance, the Court of Accounts, the Togolese Revenue Office, and the High Authority for the Prevention and Fight against Corruption and Similar Offenses. Togo also has a new strategy for preventing and fighting corruption and similar offenses (2023 – 2027). The strategy was officially submitted to the government in October 2022 following 18 months of development.

In practice, the measures seem to be ineffective. Corruption flourishes in Togo. Access to public markets in all areas is riddled with kickbacks, with the splitting of orders and over-invoicing common. According to the former president of the High Authority for the Prevention and Fight against Corruption and Similar Offenses, Essohana Wiyao, petty corruption (i.e., bribes given to a civil servant to obtain a service) is estimated to be XOF 10 billion per year and grand corruption (i.e., commissions paid on large contracts), which is difficult to quantify, equates to 25% of GDP. Several recent corruption scandals have yet to be fully investigated, including the Pétrolegate Affair (2020), the Bolloré Affair and the high level of illicit financial flows (IFF).

Regulatory enforcement is limited for several reasons. The independence of the Supreme Audit Institution is restricted by constitutional limitations and the lack of authority to publish annual reports. The High Authority for the Prevention and Fight against Corruption and Similar Offenses lacks budgetary autonomy, and its annual budget of $20,000 is very limited. In 2023, the first president of the High Authority for the Prevention and Fight against Corruption and Similar Offenses, Wiyao Essohana, was replaced by Aba Kimelabalo, who has served as a judge for the African Court for Human and Peoples’ Rights.

The operationalization of the law on the declaration of property and assets has been delayed. Only the mediator of the republic in January 2022, Awa Nana Daboya, has declared his assets to the Constitutional Court in compliance with the law on the declaration of property and assets. Other public figures have been slow to do so with complete impunity. It should be noted that the respective declarations are given to the mediator of the republic in a sealed envelope and then kept in a safe. No disclosure is foreseen.

Anti-corruption policy



Overall, the consensus on transformation goals remains fragile. Conflicts regarding reforms to increase electoral integrity and constrain the power of the president persist. Rivalries within the public bodies responsible for preparing elections are, in reality, only the transposition of political maneuvers by political parties and the refusal of each side to make the necessary concessions.

In 2020, the government established the National Consultation between Political Actors, a consultation process involving political parties. The first meeting took place on December 14, 2020. However, out of the hundred or so political parties in Togo, only 26 were invited to participate in the national consultation. The dialogue ended in July 2021 with the formulation of 52 proposed recommendations, which were submitted to the government. Following this logic, the new Permanent Consultation Framework was created in January 2022. The purpose of this framework is to discuss issues of national interest, including sociopolitical, cultural, health and environmental issues, as well as violent extremism, the economic situation, human rights and the monitoring of policies resulting from the CNAP, a framework that allows political actors to discuss, and to agree on, the modalities of organizing better elections in Togo and which was held between January 19 and July 13, 2021. Most political parties joined this initiative. Several meetings have since taken place, with meetings focusing on decentralization, the schedule of the Independent National Electoral Commission and the promotion of investments. However, a number of political actors have retired from the framework.

Togo depends on open markets and transnational trade, notably within ECOWAS, and with neighboring Ghana and Nigeria. However, because a large part of this trade is informal, the recognition of official rules and regulations on taxation, tax evasion, money laundering and capital flight is rather weak.

The country has also ratified the Agreement Establishing the African Continental Free Trade Area in March 2018, which entered into force in May 2019. The African Continental Free Trade Zone has been operational since early 2022. However, Togolese companies do not hide their concern about this free trade area.

Consensus on goals


Reformers have little control over powerful anti-democratic actors, who can use their influence to severely disrupt the reform process. The need for institutional and constitutional reforms in Togo has disappeared since the parliament is dominated by members of the ruling party, the Union for the Republic party (UNIR), formerly the Rally for the Togolese People (RPT), and representatives of the new so-called centrist parties, which serve as satellites of the UNIR party. Indeed, the ruling party obtained a majority of 59 out of 91 seats in the National Assembly in the legislative elections of December 20, 2018, which were boycotted by the main opposition coalition. The Coalition of 14 (C14), a group of 14 opposition political parties, did not present any candidates. Consequently, the C14 is no longer represented in parliament and cannot effectively advocate for their reform demands.

Other means of action, such as demonstrations and meetings, are often prohibited for health (e.g., during the COVID-19 pandemic) or national security (e.g., threats of terrorist attacks) reasons. For example, the government banned, for public order and national security reasons, a meeting of the Dynamic Monsignore Kpodzro that was scheduled for June 25, 2022. At the beginning of 2023, the Dynamic Monsignore Kpodzro successfully organized a peaceful demonstration against the government.

Anti-democratic actors


Some political actors, especially from the ruling party, continue to pursue a policy of creating or stimulating conflicts in order to exercise authoritarian power. There is no coherent policy in place to systematically resolve emerging conflicts in the country.

There are few non-state actors that are powerful enough to mediate conflicts, with the exception of the Catholic Church, and the Truth, Justice and Reconciliation Commission, although it is unclear to what extent the commission is still active. In general, NGOs specializing in conflict prevention and management are not yet strong enough to play a decisive role. Approaches designed to prevent institutional crises can also be found in UNDP-supported conflict prevention programs regarding the training and deployment of domestic election observers and mediators.

In addition, a few trade unions, NGOs, religious organizations and media outlets have created transnational partnerships for conflict prevention, such as the West African Network for Peacebuilding (WANEP-Togo) and the Togolese section of WPP-Africa (Women Peacemakers Program – Africa).

The health care, mobile telephony, public works, free zone, construction and national education sectors have experienced conflicts over the past 10 years. The National Council for Social Dialogue has existed for several years, but the results are not conclusive. However, the National Forum on Social Dialogue in Togo was organized on November 10 and 11, 2022, by the Ministry of Public Service, Labor and Social Dialogue in collaboration with the International Labor Office and the United Nations Development Program. The forum resulted in the adoption of a road map for the overhaul of social dialogue in Togo. The actions outlined in the road map should create “the conditions for lasting social peace to support the productivity of businesses and public administrations and consolidate social progress.”

At the end of 2022, the ECOWAS Forum for the Culture of Peace met in Lomé and declared Lomé the “capital of peace, mediation, dialogue and tolerance,” as Foreign Minister Robert Dussey stated on his personal website.

Cleavage / conflict management


The present government seems to be much more open to civil society participation than any previous government. The inefficient use of civil society organizations’ capacities is sometimes due more to the weakness of the NGOs’ administration and membership structures than to the government’s reluctance to engage with them.

The National Council for Social Dialogue met in September 2022 as part of a special session. The meeting, promoted by the government, brought together 10 ministers, as well as representatives of the education and health care unions, and parents of students. The session addressed cost of living, education, health care, national security and even financial concerns in the country.

The National Council for Social Dialogue was established, following an agreement with the government’s social partners, by the Labor Code of 2006 and amended by Law No. 2021-012 of June 18, 2021. The Ministry of Civil Service is responsible for the council.

There are two types of National Council for Social Dialogue members: es-qualité and intuitu personae. The council is composed of 10 public authority representatives, 10 representatives of the largest employers’ organizations and 12 representatives of the largest workers’ organizations. Members are appointed by decree in the Council of Ministers.

Public consultation


In May 2009, the Truth, Justice and Reconciliation Commission was established to investigate human rights violations dating from 1958 to the bloody persecutions of 2005. It was presided over by Mgr. Nicodème Benissan-Barrigah and supported by the UNHCR office in Lomé. The High Commissioner’s Office for Reconciliation was created in March 2015 to speed up the implementation of the recommendations, assisted by a civil society platform. In 2020, the High Commissioner’s Office for Reconciliation contacted people who had suffered during the 1990s as a result of wildlife protection activities and the Barkoissi incident between Anoufo and Moba in order to pay the reparations recommended by the truth commission, whose goal was to improve relations between communities.

Nearly 35,000 people in Togo, victims of sociopolitical violence between 1958 and 2005, have been identified so far.

The High Commissioner’s Office for Reconciliation’s objectives for the fiscal year 2022 were achieved, and 3,361 victims received XOF 2,556,120,000 in compensation. Based on victim perceptions of the services offered to them, the victim’s satisfaction with the office is estimated to be 98.87%. Moreover, it appears that a total of 23,639 victims received compensation between December 2017 and December 2022.



International Cooperation

Togo remains dependent on development cooperation. Net official development assistance increased to $560.9 million in 2020 according to the World Bank (latest available data). European actors – the European Union, France and Germany in particular – are by far the biggest providers of development assistance to Togo, although this excludes China’s ODA, which is not accounted for in international statistics. In 2015, for the first time, Togo qualified for the Millennium Challenge Account of the United States. Furthermore, in December 2022, Togo qualified for the compact program. Numerous international donor activities and cooperation programs – including the ECF, PRGF, SCAPE, HIPC and MCA – were also effective in driving political transformation.

In addition to aid, remittances from Togo’s diaspora – an estimated two million people –contributes significantly to the country’s development. Personal remittances received in Togo were reported to be 8.6% of GDP ($650 million) in 2020, exceeding ODA by far.

Togo benefited from international support in the fight against terrorism in 2022. On the security front, the United States’s regional security office, AFRICOM and INL regularly organize training for law enforcement, anti-terrorism security agents and judges. France is one of Togo’s most important partners in this area, with France providing substantial support for the country’s security forces. In September 2022, Togo signed a memorandum with the United Nations Office against Terrorism. As a result, the United Nations Office against Terrorism will make its program to combat the movement of terrorists through the establishment of a multi-agency passenger information collection unit available to Togo.

Effective use of support


Togo actively cooperates with a wide range of partners. In June 2022, Togo became the 56th Commonwealth member, following the approval of Commonwealth leaders. The Commonwealth is a group of countries that are committed to doing their best to uphold shared values and to help one another. According to the minister of foreign affairs, acceptance of Togo’s membership application is above all a recognition of the considerable progress made by the country in recent years, not only in terms of good governance, democracy and human rights but also in terms of business reforms.

Togo’s traditional development partners have sustained or increased their support, partly to help the country buffer the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic and, more recently, to overcome the negative impacts on the import of food and other goods of the Russian invasion of Ukraine. Togo has been successful in raising money on the regional financial (WAEMU) market and has already met two-thirds of its $1 billion target in 2022.

International actors appear increasingly trusting of the current government. Traditional partners (e.g., France, Germany and the United States) and new partners (e.g., China, Russia, Türkiye, Morocco and India) supported the country with development and military aid during the review period. In addition to the revitalization of bilateral cooperation, international organizations (e.g., the IMF, World Bank, the West African Development Bank and the European Union) are reinforcing their assistance in order to promote good governance, democratization and inclusive economic growth in Togo.

The country contributes military assistance to support ECOWAS activities in the region. Mali sought Togo’s mediation regarding 49 Ivorian soldiers arrested in Mali. The Ivorian soldiers were released in January 2023.

To consolidate the government’s newly acquired credibility among the international community and Togolese public, the government must tackle corruption and money laundering at all levels of the state, facilitate political competition, and devolve power. Notably, Togo abstained from or was absent during U.N. General Assembly votes relating to Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.



Togo is a member of all relevant regional, African and international organizations, including ECOWAS and WAEMU in the West African region. Togo is actively working toward the realization of the African Continental Free Trade Area, which was established on March 21, 2018, during an extraordinary summit of African leaders in Kigali, Rwanda. With the Kingdom of Morocco, Togo concluded an entry visa exemption agreement for holders of ordinary passports, which entered into force on September 9, 2022.

Peace and security in the Sahel and West Africa regions have been severely tested by repeated attacks from armed terrorist groups over the last few years. Togo is actively involved on several fronts to help countries in the region. As such, Togo has remained a reliable and significant contributor to peacekeeping missions in the region. The country participates in AU and ECOWAS peacekeeping missions, contributing about 1,400 soldiers and policemen, notably in Mali. Furthermore, Lomé hosted an international symposium on the management of political transitions and the strengthening of resilience in the face of violent extremism on March 6, 2022, as well as the third meeting of the support group for transition in Mali in September 2022. In addition, the third edition of the regional forum on education for peace through intra- and inter-religious dialogue consecrated Lomé as “the capital of peace, mediation, dialogue, and tolerance.”

Regional cooperation


Strategic Outlook

Togo faces substantial challenges, including a lack of good governance, terrorist attacks, volatile economic growth, exposure to external economic shocks, rising food costs, erratic energy prices and major environmental risks.

To bolster progress made in maritime and air transport, the Lomé–Cinkassé railway should be concluded, as this would facilitate the transportation of goods to the country’s hinterland. In particular, the railway would reduce the high costs of repairing the country’s primary paved road and offer convenient access to Togo’s vulnerable Savannah region.

Addressing corruption in Togo will require concerted effort from political leaders at the highest levels of the state, particularly regarding public sector procurement. It is crucial that leaders operate without interference from the army or ruling party (UNIR), which must recognize that the nation’s welfare should supersede individual interests. The ruling party’s practice of rewarding its electoral base with positions in public administration must cease. Furthermore, the strict enforcement of asset declarations by senior officials is imperative.

Serious engagement is needed to resolve property and land rights issues. This will involve providing adequate resources to the offices responsible for property registration, while reducing procedures, delays and registration costs.

To establish robust democracy, desirable reforms should facilitate a peaceful transition of power by removing restrictions on freedom of expression and avoiding superficial changes. The government must transparently work toward national reconciliation, democratization and inclusive economic development, guided by internationally accepted principles of good governance. The regional elections scheduled for 2023 should adhere to democratic rules throughout, with the success of decentralization dependent on the neutrality and impartiality of ruling party members.

To counter the expansion of terrorist threats, essential steps include eradicating corruption within the military, expediting the delivery of social services to at-risk communities, particularly in the Savannah region, and promoting equal opportunities for all citizens, regardless of their political opinions and regional backgrounds.