The Togolese Republic is a country in West Africa bordered by Ghana to the west, Benin to the east and Burkina Faso to the north. In the south, the country owns a small part of the coast of the Gulf of Guinea, on which the capital of the country, Lome, is located.
Before the appearance of Europeans in Togo, local tribes lived in a primitive communal system. They knew how to make the simplest stone tools, objects from clay, and began to master the processing of iron.
In the XV century, the Portuguese appeared on the coast of present-day Togo. A slave trade was established with the leaders of local tribes.
In 1884, the German traveler Gustav Nachtigal signed an agreement with the leader of the Ewe tribe, Mlapa, to establish a German protectorate over the coast of present-day Togo. Then the influence of Germany began to spread inland.
Since the end of the 19th century, German colonialists introduced the cultivation of cotton, coffee, and cocoa in Togo. To export agricultural products from Togo, the Germans built 3 railways there and a seaport in Lome.
With the outbreak of World War I, in August 1914, Togo was occupied by France and Britain, under the Versailles Treaty of 1919, the western part (34 thousand km²) became a mandated territory of Great Britain, the eastern part (57 thousand km²) – France.
In 1956, following a referendum among the local population, the British Trust part of Togo became part of the neighboring British colony of the Gold Coast, which in March 1957 became independent Ghana.
The French-trusted part of Togo in 1956 received the status of an autonomous republic within the French Community.
Period of independence
Togo gained independence on April 27, 1960.
The first president of Togo, S. Olympio, was elected in April 1961. In January 1962 he introduced a one-party system. In January 1963, a military coup took place, during which President Olympio was killed.
The rebel committee handed over power to a civilian government led by Nicholas Grünicki (a German-African mulatto). In the same year, Grunicki was elected President of Togo. The multi-party system was restored, Gryunitsky formed a government from all parties represented in the newly elected parliament.
In January 1967, a second military coup took place, arranged by the chief of staff of the Togolese army, Lieutenant Colonel Gnassingbe Eyadema (then he was 29 years old, from the age of 16 he served as a soldier in the French army, fought in Vietnam and Algeria).
After the coup, Eyadema dissolved parliament, repealed the constitution, banned all political parties, made himself a general, appointed himself head of government.
In 1969, Eyadema created the only party in the country – the Union of the Togolese people, appointing himself its chairman, and in January 1972 held a referendum, as a result of which he became president of Togo.
After Eyadema’s death in February 2005, his son Faure Gnassingbé became president of Togo.
The southern part of the country is a coastal lowland, in the central part there are plains, in the west there are low mountains (the highest point is Bauman Peak, 986 m), in the north is the lowland of the Oti River.
The climate is subequatorial.
The rivers are full of water during the rainy season and very shallow in the dry season.
Most of the country is covered with tall-grass savannahs, on the slopes of the mountains and along the river valleys of the forest. On the sea coast, bushes and groves of coconut palms, baobabs are found.
Of the large animals, leopards, elephants, hippos, lions, antelopes, crocodiles have been preserved. There are many monkeys and snakes in the forests. Numerous insects (termites, tsetse flies, etc.).
According to Countryaah, the population is 6.2 million (July 2010 estimate).
Annual increase – 2.7% (fertility – 4.7 births per woman).
The average life expectancy is 58 years for men, 62 years for women.
Infection with the immunodeficiency virus (HIV) – 3.3% (2007 estimate).
Literacy – 75% of men, 47% of women (2003 estimate).
Ethnic composition – about 45 tribes, the largest – Ewe and Kabre.
Religions – more than 50% profess aboriginal cults, about 30% are Christians, about 20% are Muslims.
Republic. The head of state is the president, elected by the population for a 5-year term, the number of terms is not limited.
Parliament – unicameral State Assembly, 81 deputies, elected by the population for a 5-year term.
The economy of Togo is based on commerce (re-export) and agriculture (with a significant part of the food being imported). The main export commodities are cotton, coffee and cocoa. In addition, Togo is the 4th largest exporter of phosphates in the world.
GDP per capita in 2009 – $ 900 (214th in the world).
Agriculture (47% of GDP, 65% of employees – coffee, cocoa, cotton, yams, cassava (tapioca), corn, beans, rice, millet, sorghum; livestock, fishing.
Industry (25% of GDP, 5% of employees) – phosphate mining, agricultural processing, textiles, drinks.
Service sector – 27% of GDP, 30% of employees.
Export – 0.78 billion dollars (in 2008) – re-export (of goods from Europe and Asia to neighboring African countries), phosphates, cotton, cocoa, coffee.
The main buyers are Ghana 12.1%, Burkino Faso 10.5%, India 9.7%, Germany 9.3%, South Africa 7%, Benin 6.6%.
Import – 1.54 billion dollars (in 2008) – manufactured goods, food, fuel.
The main suppliers are China 35.3%, the Netherlands 7.7%, France 7.1%, Thailand 5%, India 4.8%.
It is a member of the international organization of ACT countries.