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Togo, officially Togolese Republic, republic (2015 est. pop. 7,417,000), 21,622 sq mi (56,000 sq km), W Africa. It borders on the Gulf of Guinea in the south, on Ghana in the west, on Burkina Faso in the north, and on Benin in the east. Lomé is the country's capital and its largest city.

Land and People

From south to north, Togo is made up of five successive geographic regions. In the extreme south is a narrow sandy coastal strip (c.30 mi/50 km long), which is fringed by lagoons and creeks. A region (c.50 mi/80 km wide) of fertile clay soils lies north of the coast. The third region is made up of the clay-covered Mono Tableland, which reaches an altitude of c.1,500 ft (460 m) and is drained by the Mono River. North of the tableland is a mountainous area comprising the Togo and Atakora mts. and including Mt. Agou (c.3,940 ft/1,200 m), Togo's loftiest point. The fifth region, in the extreme north, is the rolling, sandstone Oti Plateau. The country is almost entirely covered with savanna, which has somewhat thicker vegetation in the south and thinner vegetation in the far north. In addition to the capital, other cities include Sokodé, Kpalimé, Anécho, and Atakpamé.

Togo is comprised of more than 35 ethnolinguistic groups, including the Ewe and the Mina in the south and various Voltaic-speaking peoples, the largest of which is the Kabre, in the north. Some 50% of the inhabitants follow traditional African religious beliefs, 30% are Christian (mostly Roman Catholic), and 20% Muslim. French is the country's official language and is used in business; Ewe and Mina are widely spoken in the south and Kabiye and Dagomba in the north.


Agriculture is Togo's chief economic activity, engaged in by about 65% of the workforce. The principal food crops are yams, cassava, corn, beans, rice, millet, and sorghum. The leading cash crops are cotton, coffee, and cocoa. Sheep, goats, hogs, and cattle are raised, and fishing is important. Large-scale mining of phosphate deposits at Akoumapé (in the southeast) began in 1963 and is now Togo's most important industry. Small quantities of chromite, bauxite, limestone, and iron ore are also mined, and marble is quarried. The country's other industries consist mainly of agricultural processing, handicrafts, and the manufacture of basic consumer goods. Attempts to implement economic reforms, begun in the late 20th cent. and including increasing privatization and foreign investment, have met with limited success.

A hydroelectric plant completed in 1988 on the Mono River was a collaborative effort between Togo and Benin. Togo's limited road and rail transportation facilities are concentrated in the central and southern parts of the country; Lomé is the main port. The cost of Togo's imports is usually much higher than its earnings from export sales. The main imports are machinery and equipment, foodstuffs, and petroleum products; the leading exports are cotton, phosphates, coffee, and cocoa. The principal trade partners are Ghana, Burkina Faso, France, and China.


Togo is governed under the constitution of 1992 as amended. The president, who is head of state, is popularly elected to a five-year term, and can be reelected once. The prime minister, who is head of government, is appointed by the president. The unicameral legislature consists of an 91-seat National Assembly whose members are popularly elected for five-year terms. Administratively, Togo is divided into five regions.


For the history of Togo before it became independent on Apr. 27, 1960, see Togoland. At the time of independence, Sylvanus Olympio was the country's prime minister, and when Togo adopted a presidential form of government in 1961, he became its first president. Until 1966 there were tense relations with neighboring Ghana, led by Kwame Nkrumah, who sought to merge Togo with Ghana—a plan that Togo strongly resisted. The government's inability to find employment for most of the 600 men who had served in the French army and then returned to Togo in the early 1960s led to a coup on Jan. 13, 1963, during which Olympio was assassinated.

Nicolas Grunitzky, Olympio's brother-in-law and an important political figure in the 1950s who had gone into exile (1958) in Dahomey (now Benin), returned to Togo and became president. Grunitzky unsuccessfully attempted to unify the country by including several political parties in his government. On Jan. 13, 1967, he was toppled in a bloodless army coup led by Lt. Col. Gnanssingbé Eyadèma, who became president in Apr., 1967, after an interlude of conciliar government. Eyadèma was confirmed overwhelmingly as president in elections in 1972. He proved to be intolerant of growing opposition, repressing dissent in trade unions and other areas of public life. Government efforts to exert increased control over the economy in the late 1970s included land-reform projects and state supervision of the textile trade. A new constitution that was approved in 1979 ended emergency military rule, proclaimed the Third Togolese Republic, and renewed Togo's status as a single-party state. Eyadèma was also elected to another term as president.

Civil wars in neighboring Ghana and Burkina Faso resulted in large refugee migration into Togo; in addition, the revolutionary governments in those nations isolated Togo by closing their borders. In 1986, Eyadèma survived a coup attempt and was elected to a third term as president. In 1991, a national conference was convened to force Eyadèma to resign, to set up a transitional government, and to schedule multiparty democratic elections. The Togolese army then began a violent campaign on Eyadèma's behalf to return him to power. In 1992, Eyadèma was given back much of his power and the transitional government was dissolved. Nonetheless, a new constitution approved that year succeeded in somewhat reducing presidential power.

In 1993, Eyadèma won reelection in a contest that was boycotted by the main opposition parties. As a result, economic sanctions were imposed by the European Union. He won again in 1998, and in 1999 his party swept parliamentary elections; once again, the elections were boycotted by the opposition. The 2002 parliamentary elections were also boycotted by the opposition, and were again swept by the government party. Also in 2002 the constitution was amended to permit the president to seek a third term, and in the presidential election in 2003 Eyadèma was returned to office. The opposition accused the government of electoral fraud; the most popular opposition leader was living in exile and barred from running.

In Feb., 2005, Eyadèma died. The army engineered the appointment of Faure Essozimna Gnassingbé, Eyadèma's son, to the presidency, contrary to the constitution, which called for the speaker of parliament to succeed to the office. Parliament subsequently approved the move and amended the constitution to avoid a new election. These moves were protested internationally and sparked confrontations between Togolese demonstrators and police; Togo also was threatened with the loss of foreign aid. Under pressure Gnassingbé agreed at the end of the month to step down.

Abass Bonfoh was appointed interim president until the April presidential election, in which Gnassingbé was declared the winner. The election was denounced by the opposition as rigged, but other West African nations called on the two sides to compromise and form a national unity government. The electoral result sparked violence, in which several hundred died, between the opposition and the government's supporters and forces, and some 38,000 fled to neighboring Benin and Ghana, but Gnassingbé, strongly supported by the military, took office. The new government that was formed in June included some moderate opposition members but failed to be the broader unity government West African nations had encouraged, and the most powerful posts went to Gnassingbé's allies.

Negotiations in 2006 led to an agreement (August) that called for a government of national unity that included the opposition; in September, Yawovi Agboyibo, a human-rights activist, was named prime minister. In Oct., 2007, all political parties took part in the legislative elections, making them the first truly contested such elections in two decades. Observers said the elections were generally free and fair, but the constituencies were gerrymandered and unequal and the governing party won nearly two thirds of the seats with not quite a third of the vote, leading to opposition charges of vote-counting irregularities.

Ruling-party loyalist Komlan Mally became prime minister in Dec., 2007, but he was seen as ineffective and resigned in Sept., 2008. Gilbert Houngbo, a career diplomat, replaced Mally. In the Mar., 2010, presidential election, Gnassingbé was declared the winner with more than 60% of the vote, but the opposition denounced the results, saying that there were voting irregularities, including ballot stuffing. Houngbo resigned as prime minister in July, 2012, after several weeks of antigovernment demonstrations; Kwesi Ahoomey-Zunu succeeded him. Parliamentary elections in July, 2013, again resulted in a lopsided majority for the ruling party.

The Apr., 2015, presidential election, which again resulted in a win by Gnassingbé, this time with about 60% of the vote, was again denounced by the opposition, which accused the government of fraud. The prime minister resigned in June, and was succeeded by Komi Sélom Klassou. The ruling party won almost two thirds of the seats in the Dec., 2018, parliamentary elections, which were boycotted by the main opposition alliance.

A constitutional amendment adopted in 2019 imposed a limit of two presidential terms but only beginning with the 2020 election. Gnassingbé was reelected again in Feb., 2020, with more than 70% of the vote, and the government was again accused of fraud by the opposition. Klassou resigned in Sept., 2020, and was succeeded by Victoire Tomégah Dogbé; she became the first woman to serve as prime minister.


See H. W. Debrunner, A Church between Colonial Powers: A Study of the Church in Togo (tr. 1965); S. Decalo, Historical Dictionary of Togo (2d ed. 1987).

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The following article is from The Great Soviet Encyclopedia (1979). It might be outdated or ideologically biased.



(République Togolaise), a state in West Africa, bounded on the north by Upper Volta, on the west by Ghana, on the east by Benin, and on the south by the Gulf of Guinea. Area, 56,000 sq km. Population, 2.2 million (1975). The capital is Lomé. Administratively, Togo is divided into five regions, which are subdivided into 22 districts.

Constitution and government. Togo is a republic. The head of state and government is the president, whose term of office is not limited. All state power is concentrated in the hands of the president, who appoints the members of his government and all high civil and military officials. The president is the supreme commander in chief of the armed forces, which consist of ground troops and an air force. He also holds the post of defense minister, issues decrees that have the force of law, and concludes and ratifies international treaties. The government (Council of Ministers) is composed of ministers and secretaries of state, who are accountable to the president. The regions and districts are headed by inspectors and district chiefs, also appointed by the president. In 1973 municipal and district councils were formed in various districts and communes. Council members are appointed by the president for three-year terms, but may be removed by him at any time.

The judicial system includes the Supreme Court, the country’s highest court, an appellate court, a court of state security, and several courts of first instance, which are divided into courts of modern law and courts of customary law.

Natural features. Southern Togo is a coastal aggradational lowland dotted with lagoons. The rest of the country consists of gently rolling socle plains and plateaus lying at elevations of 200 m to 400 m. In the southwest the block Togo Mountains rise to 986 m at Baumann Peak.

The geological structure of Togo includes folded Archean complexes of the Dahomey system, Upper and Lower Proterozoic rocks belonging to the Atacora and Buem series of the West African Folded Belt, and gently dipping Upper Proterozoic rocks belonging to the Volta system of the Volta syneclise. Paleogene and Anthropogene deposits are found in the Niger Depression, and Cretaceous and Cenozoic strata make up the coastal plain. The most important mineral resources are large iron ore deposits associated with sandstones, quartzites, and tillites of the Buem series. Gold deposits are associated with quartz veins and placers. Large phosphate deposits have been discovered in the Eocene sediments of the coastal zone.

The climate is subequatorial. The coastal zone has two rainy periods (March to June and September to October) and two dry periods. In the interior there is a rainy summer season lasting from April or May to September or October, followed by a dry winter season. The average monthly temperature fluctuates between 20°–25°C and 28°–32°C, and the annual precipitation ranges from 750–1,000 mm to 1,400–1,500 mm. The largest rivers are the Mono (about 400 km long) and the Oti. The rivers, deep in the rainy season, become very shallow in the dry season.

Most of the country is covered by high-grass savannas on red lateritic soils. Evergreen forests flourish on the slopes of the Togo Mountains and in river valleys. Along the coast grow scrub thickets and groves of coconut palms. Among the large animals still encountered are buffaloes, lions, leopards, giraffes, antelopes, and jackals. The forests abound in monkeys and snakes. There are numerous insects, including termites and tsetse flies.

Population. Some 45 peoples and ethnic groups live in Togo. The southern and central regions are inhabited by peoples speaking Kwa languages. Of these peoples, the Ewe account for about 21 percent of the country’s population (figures here and below are 1972 estimates) and the closely related Mina, Watyi (Wachi), Fon, Adja, and Yoruba, and Ana for about 27 percent. Known as the Togo tribes, the Kwa-speaking Akposo, Adele, and Akebu make up about 7 percent of the population. Gur-speaking peoples, constituting about 40 percent of the population, include the Kabre, Loso, Kotokoli, Chakosi, and Basari, all of whom live in the northeastern and central regions, and the Moba and Gur-ma, who live in the north. There are also small groups of Fulani (Fulbe), Mossi, Hausa, and other peoples. Non-Africans, chiefly French, Lebanese, and Syrians, constitute 0.1 percent of the population; most of them live in the coastal cities. The most commonly spoken African languages are Ewe and its dialects. French is the official language. About 70 percent of the people adhere to traditional local beliefs; 22 percent are Christians, mostly Roman Catholics; and about 8 percent are Muslims. The Gregorian calendar is used.

From 1970 to 1974 the population increased at an average annual rate of 2.6 percent. In 1972 about 80 percent of the country’s work force of about 900,000 people was engaged in agriculture and fishing, about 2 percent worked in industry, and 9 percent was employed in trade, handicrafts, and the service industry. In 1974 there were about 70,000 wage earners, about half of whom worked in the private sector. Urban dwellers constituted 15.2 percent of the population in 1974. The average population density (1974) is 39 persons per sq km. The most densely settled are the coastal and northeastern regions, where the density reaches 200 persons per sq km. The central and northern regions, averaging 20 persons per sq km, are the most sparsely settled. The largest cities are Lomé (214,000 inhabitants in 1975), Sokodé, Palimé, Atakpamé, Anécho, and Vogan.

Historical survey. Archaeological finds of stone axes, coins, and flint arrowheads attest to the settlement of Togo in the distant past and to the relatively high material culture of its early inhabitants. Many of the peoples living in Togo today, notably the Ewe and Yoruba, migrated to the area in the Middle Ages from neighboring areas now included in Ghana and Benin. Portuguese slave traders appeared on the coast in the mid-15th century. Because of the large-scale export of black slaves to the New World, Togo and the adjacent areas along the Gulf of Guinea came to be known as the Slave Coast. The rapid expansion of the slave trade in the 17th and 18th centuries caused a population decline in the southern part of the country and for a long time retarded the historical development of the indigenous peoples.

In the latter half of the 19th century, large feudal states arose in what is now Togo. The Ewe established a federation in the south, and in the north highly centralized states were founded by the Muslim Kotokoli tribes in the Paratao region and by the Chakosi in the Mango region. The chief occupation of the population was farming, although pottery-making, blacksmithing, iron smelting, and weaving were also well developed. Trade routes passing through populated areas promoted the spread of commodity exchange.

The colonial conquest of Togo began in the late 19th century. In 1884 the German imperial commissioner Nachtigal concluded a protectorate treaty with Mlapa III, the ruler of a Ewe settlement on Lake Togo, a treaty that resulted in German domination over a vast region. The population fiercely resisted the German colonialists’ expansion into the interior, and between 1891 and 1901 numerous uprisings broke out in the south. A large rebellion occurred in 1897–98 in the north around Bandjéli, Bapuré, and Katchamba. It was not until 1902 that the German colonialists gained a firm hold over present-day Togo and part of present-day Ghana. The entire German possession was called Togo.

After Germany’s defeat in World War I, Togo was made a mandate and divided for administrative purposes between Great Britain and France. British Togo, in the west, had an area of about 33,000 sq km, and French Togo, in the east, covered 56,000 sq km. After World War II, Togo became a UN trust territory, remaining under British and French administration. Both British and French Togo supplied the mother countries with cacao beans, cotton, and other agricultural products.

After World War II a movement for national independence arose in French Togo. The movement was led by the Committee for Togolese Unity (CTU), a political party formed in 1945 out of a cultural and educational organization that had been established in 1941. The party included government officials and members of the intelligentsia and nascent local bourgeoisie. The CTU made an alliance with the Juvento Party, founded in 1951 out of a patriotic youth movement. As the liberation struggle intensified, the French government was obliged to make concessions. In August 1956 the French Council of Ministers passed a decree granting Togo internal autonomy. In October of that year, after a referendum conducted by the colonial authorities, French Togo was proclaimed an autonomous republic, and a legislative assembly with limited powers was established in the country. After a referendum in 1956, British Togo joined the British Gold Coast colony, which became the independent state of Ghana in March 1957.

In 1958 autonomous Togo was renamed the Republic of Togo, and its Legislative Assembly, now called the Chamber of Deputies, was given somewhat broader powers. The CTU’s victory in the elections of April 1958 facilitated the formation of the independent Togolese Republic on Apr. 27,1960. Togo was admitted to the UN on Sept. 20,1960.

In April 1961 a constitution was adopted, and the people of Togo elected a national assembly and a president. The first president was S. Olympio, the leader of the CTU, which was renamed the Togolese Unity Party in 1961. All parties but the Togolese Unity Party were disbanded in January 1962. The following January, Olympio was assassinated during a military coup. A new constitution was adopted in May, and a new national assembly was elected whose deputies included members of the Togolese Unity Party and three previously dissolved parties: the Democratic Union of Togolese Populations (founded 1959), Juvento, and the People’s Movement of Togo (1954). The new president and head of government was N. Grunitsky, who had founded the Togolese Progress Party in 1946 with the assistance of the French authorities and who later became head of the Democratic Union of Togolese Populations, a rival of the CTU. The rivalry between political groups continued, and the economic situation remained precarious. The Grunitsky government sought to expand its contacts with the Western countries. Togo joined the Afro-Malagasy Union in 1963 (renamed the Afro-Mauritian Common Organization in 1974) and the Council of the Entente in 1966.

The Grunitsky regime was overthrown in January 1967 by a group of officers headed by the chief of staff of the armed forces, Lieutenant-Colonel E. G. Eyadéma (a general from May 1967). In April 1967, Eyadéma disbanded the provisional committee of national reconciliation that had been set up after the January coup and, without holding elections, assumed the office of president and head of government and the post of defense minister. The next month all political parties were dissolved. A new party, the Togolese Popular Rally (RPT), was founded in 1969. A referendum held in January 1972 legalized Eyadéma’s position as head of state.

Togo has declared that neutrality and nonparticipation in blocs are the principles underlying its foreign policy. The Franco-To-golese agreements of July 10, 1963, under which France had retained strong political and economic positions, were revised, and new agreements were signed providing for economic, cultural, and military cooperation. Diplomatic relations between the USSR and Togo were established on May 1, 1960. a Soviet-To-golese trade agreement was signed in 1961 and an agreement on cultural cooperation in 1965.


Political parties, trade unions, and other public organizations. The Togolese Popular Rally (Rassemblement du Peuple Togolais; RPT), founded in 1969, is the ruling party and the country’s sole political party. The National Confederation of the Working People of Togo, founded in 1973, is Togo’s only trade union federation. Two other important organizations are the Youth of the RPT, founded in 1971, and the National Union of Togolese Women, established in 1972.


Economic geography. Togo is an economically backward country in which foreign capital, primarily French and West German, plays a major role in industry and trade. The per capita national income was US$169.80 in 1973. In 1972 agriculture and fishing accounted for 38.7 percent of the gross domestic product, industry and power engineering for 16.7 percent, construction for 3.4 percent, and trade, transportation, the service industry, and other branches for 41.2 percent.

Since independence, the government has been taking steps to strengthen the state’s role in the development of the national economy. The state manages the railroads, sea and air transportation, the production of electric power, the water supply, and to some extent banking and foreign trade. It also owns between 25 percent and 70 percent of the stock of the mixed companies that control the larger industrial enterprises. A phosphate mining company was nationalized in 1974, and the next year a law was passed giving the state a 50 percent interest in all mining concessions. A system for planning the development of the national economy was introduced in 1966. More than 250 billion Communauté Financière Africaine (CFA) francs were appropriated for the 1976–80 national economic plan. Concurrently, the government has been promoting private enterprise and encouraging foreign capital.

AGRICULTURE. Semisubsistence farming and small peasant holdings are characteristic. Communal land tenure is also found, and capitalist relations are developing. The main implement is the hoe. About 11 percent of the country’s territory was under cultivation in 1974. That year the government introduced a land reform aimed at opening up uninhabited areas. The leading export crops are cacao (15,200 tons in 1974) and coffee (6,500 tons), both grown in the southwest, oil palms (7,600 tons of palm kernels and 200 tons of palm oil), raised along the coast, and cotton (5,900 tons of raw cotton in 1974), cultivated chiefly in the central regions. The main food crops are yams (100,000 ha; harvest, 600,000 tons in 1974), cassava (120,000 ha, 750,000 tons), corn, millet, sorghum, and rice. Castor beans, kapok, and shea nuts are gathered.

Herding is for the most part restricted to the north. In 1974 there were 225,000 head of cattle, 715,000 sheep, 610,000 goats, 237,000 hogs, and 1,970,000 fowl (1970). In 1973 some 10,900 tons of marine and freshwater fish were caught, with most of the freshwater fish coming from the Oti River and Lake Togo.

INDUSTRY. Togo’s mining industry is growing. In 1974, 2.5 million tons of phosphate were produced at Kokoté-Akoupaté, northeast of Lomé. Marble is mined at Gnaoulou by a mixed company, two-thirds of whose assets belong to the Togolese government and one-third to a private Italian firm. Salt is extracted from seawater.

There are steam power plants in Lomé and Kpémé, the latter serving only phosphate mines. A hydroelectric power plant with a capacity of about 20 megawatts has been built at a waterfall near Palimé. About 90 million kilowatt-hours of electricity were produced in 1974. Togo also obtains electric power from the Akosombo Hydroelectric Power Plant in Ghana.

The most highly developed branch of manufacturing is food processing. There are three mills producing some 1,200 tons of palm oil and peanut oil annually. Cassava starch and flour are produced at Gana vé, and beer and soft drinks at Agouévé. Other important enterprises include a textile factory (Dadja) manufacturing some 17 million meters of cloth per year, a cement plant with a capacity of 117,000 tons per year, and a footwear factory. There are also semidomestic enterprises for processing cotton and kapok. Traditional handicrafts are flourishing.

TRANSPORTATION. The country has 443 km of railroads and about 7,000 km of roads, of which 1,900 km are usable year-round and about 1,000 km are paved with asphalt. International highways connect Togo with Ghana, Upper Volta, and Benin. There were 15,100 motor vehicles in 1973. A seaport has been built 7 km from Lomé; completed in 1968, the port had a freight turnover of more than 400,000 tons in 1974. The port at Kpémé handles only phosphate exports. There is an international airport at Lomé.

FOREIGN TRADE. In 1974, with exports valued at 45.2 million CFA francs and imports totaling 28.6 million CFA francs, Togo achieved a favorable balance of trade for the first time since 1960. Phosphate accounted for 75.4 percent of all exports and cacao and coffee for 16 percent. Cotton, palm products, peanuts, and marble were also exported. Foodstuffs accounted for 17.9 percent of imports in 1974, manufactured goods for 32.6 percent, various equipment and rolled metal products for 20 percent, petroleum products for 9 percent, and vehicles for 8 percent. The chief trading partners are France (accounting for 33.6 percent of imports and 45.3 percent of exports in 1974), the Netherlands (6 percent and 27.5 percent), and the Federal Republic of Germany (6.2 percent and 9 percent).

The monetary unit of Togo is the CFA franc.


Health and social welfare. According to statistics provided by the World Health Organization, Togo had an average annual birthrate of 50.9 per 1,000 inhabitants between 1965 and 1970 and an average death rate of 25.5 per 1,000. Infant mortality was high, at 127 per 1,000 live births. Infectious and parasitic diseases, which are the most common, are the main cause of death. Malaria, venereal diseases, leprosy, and children’s infections occur widely. In 1971 there were 26 hospitals with 3,100 beds, or 1.5 beds per 1,000 inhabitants. Medical personnel included 90 physicians (one per 22,500 inhabitants), 72 medical assistants, four dentists, 23 pharmacists, and more than 1,000 nurses and secondary medical personnel. Physicians are trained abroad. Three schools have been established to train nurses and medical assistants. Public health expenditures accounted for 6.5 percent of the national budget in 1972.

VETERINARY SERVICES. Among the most prevalent animal diseases are pulmonary pneumonia of cattle (two outbreaks in 1974) and cattle plague (five outbreaks). Rabies (six outbreaks in 1974), clostridial diseases, and anthrax are also common. Foot-and-mouth disease is encountered mostly in the north. Poultry farming suffers great losses from Newcastle disease (51 outbreaks in 1974), cholera, and pox. Protozoan diseases and helminthiases affect all types of livestock, especially in the savanna zone. The numerous tsetse flies contribute to the spread of trypanosomiasis; 15 outbreaks of the disease among horses were recorded in 1974.

The organization of veterinary service is under way. The country had five veterinarians in 1974. Quarantine and inoculation centers are being established along the northern border and along livestock trails. Togo is implementing a program for combating especially dangerous infectious diseases that was developed jointly by the Organization of African Unity and international veterinary organizations.

Education and cultural affairs. Prior to 1905, when the first government-run schools were established, education was in the hands of missionaries. In 1970 about 80 percent of the population over the age of 15 was illiterate. Expenditures on education amounted to 27.5 percent of the national budget in 1971.

The school system is modeled on the French system, and French is the language of instruction. Primary education is compulsory and free. At the age of six, children are enrolled in six-year primary schools. A general secondary education is offered by four-year general colleges and seven-year lycées. Vocational and technical schools are open to primary-school graduates. They include a seven-year technical lycée in Lomé, several four-year technical colleges, and various apprenticeship centers offering two or three years of training. In the 1973–74 school year, 303,000 children, or about 60 percent of those eligible, were attending primary schools. The secondary schools had an enrollment of 40,000. About 30 percent of the primary-school pupils and about 40 percent of the secondary-school students were studying in private (mission) schools.

Lomé is the site of the University of Benin, which acquired the status of a university in 1970. In the 1972–73 academic year it had an enrollment of about 1,500, including students from Benin, Upper Volta, Niger, and Nigeria. There is a school of administration in Lomé. A higher normal school in Atakpamé, founded with UNESCO assistance in 1970, trains teachers for primary and secondary schools. The largest libraries are the university library, with 5,000 volumes, and the National Library in Lomé, with 7,000 volumes.


Press, radio, and television. The country’s largest newspaper (1977) is the government daily Togo-Presse, published in Lomé. Founded in 1962 and issued in French, with one page in Ewe, the newspaper has a circulation of 8,000–10,000. Also published in Lomé are the government daily bulletin Journal Officiel de la République Togolaise, the French-language political illustrated monthly journal Espoi’r de la Nation of the Ministry of Information (circulation 3,000), and the Ewe-language monthly newspaper Gamesu (The Time Has Come, circulation 2,500). The French-language quarterly GRPT: Hier, Aujourd’hui, Demain, published in Lomé by the Youth of the Assembly of the Togolese People since 1975, has a circulation of 10,000.

The government information agency is the Togolese Press Agency, founded in 1975. Radio broadcasting, in French and in the local languages, was inaugurated in 1953. Television broadcasting began in 1973.

Architecture and art. The inhabitants of the forest zone live in round adobe houses with conical straw roofs, sometimes grouped into walled farmsteads called sukkale. In the mountains and the southern regions the typical dwelling is a rectangular house made of tightly bound tree trunks and topped with a flat or pitched roof. Pile dwellings are found along the shores of the lagoons. Since the late 1960’s European-style administrative buildings and apartment houses have been built in Lomé and the larger towns according to designs by the Togolese architects H. Ekue, A. da Silva, and S. Olímpico. A noteworthy example of monumental sculpture is the Independence Monument in Lomé (concrete, 1960), executed by the architect and sculptor Y. Custer.

The most remarkable examples of wood sculpture are elongated and gently modeled rounded human figurines of religious significance, carved thrones decorated with sculpture in the round, and colorfully painted bowls with intricate multifigured bases. The Togolese are also known for their iron sculpture, best exemplified in the statues of the god of war, Gu, and for their clay figurines of sacred animals. A national school of painting was founded in the 1960’s by artists who studied in Ghana and at Tokoin College in Lomé. Such artists as the painter and sculptor P. Ahyi draw their inspiration from the life of the people and their rituals and folklore. Among popular artistic crafts are carving on wood, metal, and ivory, as well as weaving and plaiting.

Theater. The modern Togolese theater dates from the late 1940’s, when school drama groups were founded through the efforts of missionary and religious organizations. The traditional performances of the Togolese people were associated with rites and festivals. Amateur theater groups appeared in the 1960’s. The Theater and Folklore Group of Togo, an amateur company directed by Mathias Aithnard, has staged Aithnard’s Ancestors’Throne (1963), Guillaume Oyono’s Three SuitorsOne Husband (1966), and Célestin Abalo’s Princess Gblinti (performed in 1966 at the World Festival of Negro Arts) and Poor Kalia (1969). The Cultural Association of Togolese Youth has won acclaim for its excellent production of N. V. Gogol’s The Inspector-General (1971), and the Friendship Circle has given fine performances of Bernard Dadié’s Monsieur Thögö-gnini (1970) and Aithnard’s Papa Vlan (1971). The traditional songs and dances of the peoples inhabiting Togo are performed by the folk ensemble known as the African Ballets of Togo, which has toured Western Europe many times since its founding in 1968. Drama and folk song festivals have been held since 1970.

N. I. L’vov


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The Great Soviet Encyclopedia, 3rd Edition (1970-1979). © 2010 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.


Official name: Togolese Republic

Capital city: Lomé

Internet country code: .tg

Flag description: Five equal horizontal bands of green (top and bottom) alternating with yellow; there is a white five-pointed star on a red square in the upper hoist-side cor­ner; uses the popular pan-African colors of Ethiopia

Geographical description: Western Africa, bordering the Bight of Benin, between Benin and Ghana

Total area: 21,924 sq. mi. (56,785 sq. km.)

Climate: Tropical; hot, humid in south; semiarid in north

Nationality: noun: Togolese (singular and plural); adjective: Togolese

Population: 5,701,579 (July 2007 CIA est.)

Ethnic groups: African (37 tribes; most prominent are Ewe, Mina, Kabye, Cotocoli, Moba) 99%, European and Syrian-Lebanese less than 1%

Languages spoken: French (official and the language of commerce), Ewe and Mina (the two major African lan­guages in the south), Kabye (sometimes spelled Kabiye) and Dagomba (the two major African languages in the north)

Religions: Christianity, Islam, indigenous religions

Legal Holidays:

All Saints' DayNov 1
Assumption DayAug 15
Christmas DayDec 25
Easter MondayApr 25, 2011; Apr 9, 2012; Apr 1, 2013; Apr 21, 2014; Apr 6, 2015; Mar 28, 2016; Apr 17, 2017; Apr 2, 2018; Apr 22, 2019; Apr 13, 2020; Apr 5, 2021; Apr 18, 2022; Apr 10, 2023
Economic Liberation DayJan 24
Independence DayApr 27
Labor DayMay 1
Martyrs' DayJun 21
New Year's DayJan 1
Holidays, Festivals, and Celebrations of the World Dictionary, Fourth Edition. © 2010 by Omnigraphics, Inc.


Marquis Heihachiro . 1847--1934, Japanese admiral, who commanded the Japanese fleet in the war with Russia (1904--05)


a republic in West Africa, on the Gulf of Guinea: became French Togoland (a League of Nations mandate) after the division of German Togoland in 1922; independent since 1960. Official language: French. Religion: animist majority. Currency: franc. Capital: Lomé. Pop.: 5 017 000 (2004 est.). Area: 56 700 sq. km (20 900 sq. miles)
Collins Discovery Encyclopedia, 1st edition © HarperCollins Publishers 2005
References in periodicals archive ?
For Ambassador Olusola Iji, Nigeria's Ambassador to Togo, while saying the commencement of Overland Airways' flights services into Togo solidifies the Bilateral Air Service Agreement (BASA) between the two countries, he added that the initiative by Overland Airways aligned very much with the expectations of the Federal Republic of Nigeria in fostering its relationship with the Republic of Togo.
"Our management agreement to operate Address Hotel 2 Fevrier Lome Togo is a significant landmark in our expansion to Sub-Saharan Africa.
Togo marks the sixth international destination for the hotel brand, with upcoming hotel projects in Saudi Arabia, Egypt, Turkey, Bahrain and The Maldives, in addition to several new openings in the UAE.
Earlier known as Hotel 2 Fevrier, Address Hotel 2 Fevrier Lome Togo is set in a 30-storey tower that is 102 metres high, and amenities in the hotel include banquet halls, outdoor swimming pool and lounge deck, a modern business centre, a fully equipped gymnasium and spa, and tennis courts, among others.
Togo marks the sixth international destination for the hotel brand that has upcoming hotel projects in Saudi Arabia, Egypt, Turkey, Bahrain and The Maldives, in addition to several new openings in the UAE.
Minister Mammadyarov mentioned that Azerbaijan has allocated a special education scholarship for students from the NAM countries and especially noted that students of Togo can also benefit from it.
Togolese President Faure Gnassingbe announced Togo's agreement with the African Export-Import Bank (Afreximbank), making the country the 40th African state to officially join the continental trade finance institution as aparticipating state.
The United States established diplomatic relations with Togo in 1960 following its independence from a French-administered trusteeship.
M2 EQUITYBITES-December 16, 2015-Nimes Capital Acquires Togo's Sandwich Franchise
The telecom market in Togo is expected to grow at a CAGR of 6.5% during 2015-2020 to reach $617m by 2020.
Summary: Togo joined in 2013 the Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative (EITI)