Tuesday, October 26, 2021

Togo | Introduction

AfricaTogoTogo | Introduction


There are about 40 ethnic groups in Togo, the most numerous of which are the Ewe in the south (46 percent, but they account for 21 percent of the population along the south coast), Kotokoli and Tchamba in the middle, and Kabyé in the north (22 percent ). Another categorization classifies the Uaci or Ouatchis (14%) as a distinct ethnic group from the Ewe, lowering the Ewe’s share to 32%. However, no historical or ethnic evidence exists to support the split of Ewes and Ouatchis. Although this categorization has been challenged for being politically biased, the name Ouatchi may apply to a subset of Ewes who moved south during the 16th century from Notse, the old Ewe Kingdom capital (it would designate the Ouatchis as a subgroup of the Ewe just as the Anlo in the Republic of Ghana are a subgroup of the Ewe ethnic group). Mina, Mossi, and Aja account for approximately 8% of the population, with less than 1% of the population being European expatriates living in Togo as diplomats or for economic reasons.


Togo is a tiny country in West Africa. Togo is bordered on the south by the Benin Bight, on the west by Ghana, on the east by Benin, and on the north by Burkina Faso. Togo is mostly located between the latitudes of 6° and 11°N and the longitudes of 0° and 2°E.

In contrast to the hills in the center of the nation, the terrain in the north is characterized by a gently undulating savanna. Togo’s south is defined by a savanna and forest plateau that extends to a coastal plain with large lagoons and marshes. With a population density of 98/km2 (253/sq mi), the land area is 56,785 km2 (21,925 sq mi).


The climate is tropical, with typical temperatures ranging from 23 °C (73 °F) near the coast to about 30 °C (86 °F) in the far north, and a dry environment with tropical savanna features. Even if the average rainfall is not particularly great, there are two rainy seasons in the south (the first between April and July and the second between September and November).


Togo now has a population of 6,191,155 people, which is more than twice the number recorded in the last census. The population of the country was 2,719,567 at the time of the 1981 census. Lomé, the country’s capital and biggest city, increased from 375,499 inhabitants in 1981 to 837,437 in 2010. In 2010, the Lomé Agglomeration had 1,477,660 inhabitants when included the urban population of the neighboring Golfe prefecture.

Sokodé (95,070), Kara (94,878), Kpalimé (75,084), Atakpamé (69,261), Dapaong (58,071), and Tsévié (58,071) were among Togo’s other major cities, according to the new census (54,474). Togo is the 107th most populous nation in the world, with a population of 6,619,000 people (as of 2009). The majority of the population (65%) lives in rural areas where agriculture or pastures are the main sources of income. Togo’s population has grown rapidly since independence in 1961, quintupling from 1961 to 2003.

Ethnic groups

Togo is home to about 40 ethnic groups, the most populous of which are the Ewe in the south, who account for 32 percent of the population. They make about a quarter of the population along the southern shore. In the middle, Kotokoli or Tem and Tchamba may be found, as well as the Kabye people in the north (22 percent ). The Ouatchis constitute 14% of the population. The Ewes and Ouatchis are often confused, although the French who researched both tribes thought they were distinct people. The Mina, Mossi, and Aja peoples are among the other ethnic groups (about 8 percent ). There is also a small European population, which accounts for less than 1% of the total.


According to the CIA Factbook, about 29% of the population is Christian, 20% is Muslim, and 51% practices indigenous religion.


Togo, while being one of Africa’s smallest nations, has one of the best living standards due to its rich phosphate resources and a well-developed export industry centered on agricultural goods such as coffee, cocoa beans, and peanuts (groundnuts). Low market prices for Togo’s main export commodities, along with the country’s turbulent political environment in the 1990s and early 2000s, harmed the economy.

Togo acts as an economic and trading hub for the area. The government’s decade-long attempt to enact economic reforms, attract foreign investment, and bring revenues in line with spending, which was backed by the World Bank and the International Monetary Fund (IMF), has come to a halt. Throughout 1992 and 1993, political instability, including private and public sector strikes, endangered the reform program, reduced the tax base, and interrupted critical economic activities.

The 50 percent devaluation of the currency on January 12, 1994 sparked a new round of structural adjustment, which was aided by the conclusion of the civil war in 1994 and a return to open political stability. Greater transparency in government financial operations (to allow increased social service outlays) and potential reduction of the military forces, which the dictatorship has relied on to remain in power, are both necessary for progress. Lack of assistance, along with low cocoa prices, resulted in a 1% drop in GDP in 1998, until recovery resumed in 1999.

Togo is a member of the African Organization for the Harmonization of Commercial Law (OHADA).