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TOGO
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Society

State structure

The Togolese Republic is divided into five administrative units ( régions), namely: De La Kara, Des Plateaux, Des Savanes, Du Centre and Maritime.

The 1992 Constitution regulates the separation of powers as follows:

- The executive power is in the hands of the president and his government. The President is elected every five years in direct elections; the Prime Minister is appointed by the President; the President and the Prime Minister jointly appoint the members of the cabinet.

- Legislative power lies with the National Assembly, consisting of 81 members directly elected every five years. It was not until April 1991 that political parties other than the governing party, Rassemblement du Peuple Togolais, were permitted. However, due to a boycott by the opposition, no parties other than the RPT are represented in the current National Assembly.

- Judicial power lies with the courts, with the Cour Constitutionelle, the Cour d'Appèl and the Cour Suprème at the top of the hierarchy. Furthermore, there are the lower Tribunaux de première instance. The Constitution offers a number of guarantees, also with regard to human rights.

The Constitution was amended in 2002. The opposition is very dissatisfied with the amendments because it implicitly places too much power with the ruling party and president.

Politics

There are officially 70 political parties in Togo. For decades, however, the ruling Rassemblement du Peuple Togolais (RPT) has dominated the political scene, with the RPT accused of protecting the interests of the army and the ruling elite above all.

The opposition consists of a so-called 'moderate opposition' and the remaining opposition. The main representatives of the moderate opposition are the Convergence Patriotique Panafricaine (CPP) of Prime Minister Edem Kodjo and the Parti pour la democratie et le Renouveau (PDR) of Foreign Minister Zarifou Ayéva.

The rest of the opposition is weak and divided, and political opponents are often physically attacked. The opposition finds its supporters mainly among the more educated population of the south, especially among the large Ewé population around Lomé. The main opposition party is the Union des Forces du Changement (UFC), led by Gilchrist Olympio. Olympio is the son of President Sylvanus Olympio, who was ousted in 1963. Also of interest is the Comité d'Action pour le Renouveau (CAR) of Yawovi Agboyibo. The coalition of opposition parties also includes the ADDI CDPA, PSR and the UDS-TOGO.

The regional organisation ECOWAS, supported by the international community, tried to bring parties (Mr Gnassingbé's government and Mr Olympio's UFC opposition) together in a broad government coalition of national unity. The government would be charged with organising parliamentary elections. To date, all attempts at cooperation between the government and the UFC opposition have failed. President Gnassingbé therefore decided to form a coalition with some moderate opposition parties, appointing Mr Edem Kodjo (CPP) as Prime Minister.

The Italian NGO Sant'Egidio is now also playing a mediating role between the Gnassingbé government and the UFC opposition party. Consultations between the two parties were held in Rome at the beginning of November 2005. These talks should help to create a climate of reconciliation between the two parties, with a view to the long-awaited parliamentary elections in 2006.

The current political situation is described in the history section.

Economy

Togo belongs to the category of least developed countries and is gradually sliding down the international ranking for socio-economic development, the Human Development Index. 69% of the population lives in rural areas, but urbanisation is taking place at a rapid pace. As far as food crops are concerned, Togo is self-sufficient, only occasionally importing additional food crops. Togo has a good education system compared to the other French-speaking countries in the region. Opportunities for women in education are limited but in line with most countries in Sub-Saharan Africa.

Despite an increasing need for health services due to a growing population, the health sector has suffered severe budget cuts since 1990. In addition, there are regional disparities; more than 50% of the qualified personnel work in Lomé, where most of the privatised health facilities are located. With an economic growth rate of around 4.4% (2017), Togo is performing reasonably well, but it is coming out of a deep valley. GDP per capita was $1,700 in 2017.

The economy is largely dependent on agriculture, both for its own consumption and for sales. Primary products such as cocoa beans, coffee and cotton account for 30% of export earnings. Given the lack of own resources, Togo is expected to continue its efforts to improve its relationship with donors. In a recent mission by the IMF and the World Bank, Togo was called upon to make the necessary reforms in the financial and public finance sectors. Togo continues to cooperate with the IMF on structural reforms.

The total value of exports is $ 1billion (2017). The main export products are cotton, phosphate, coffee and cocoa. The main export partners are Burkina Faso, Benin, Niger, India and Mali. The total value of imports is $2 billion (2017). The main import products are machinery and tools, food and oil products. The main import partners are China, the Netherlands, France and Japan.


Sources

Elmar Landeninformatie

CIA - World Factbook

BBC - Country Profiles

Last updated May 2024
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