Togo Facts

Togo Facts and History


Togo – the narrow country in western Africa

Togo is ten times as long as it is wide: from its 53 km long coast to the Atlantic, it stretches around 550 km to the north inland. In the extreme south, oil palms grow in a humid savannah that characterizes the entire southern part of the small West African country. In the northern part, in which there are not two but only one rainy season as in the south, the dry savannah with acacia forests predominates.

Around 1900, Togo was a German colony for a few years until, after the First World War, part of the area went to Great Britain and the other part to France. The region continued to be administered by these two. West Togo, the British part, was attached to Ghana, which was also subordinate to Great Britain at the time, in 1957, while French Togo became independent in 1960 under President Sylvanus Olympio.

In the capital Lomé, which lies on the coast directly on the Gulf of Guinea, there are still numerous buildings from the colonial era. The coastal regions are all in all the best developed in Togo. This is also where the highest population density in the country can be found with 180 residents per square kilometer.

Name of the country Republic of Togo
Form of government Presidential Republic
Geographical location West Africa
National anthem Salut à toi pays de nos aïeux
National holiday 26th of March
Population about 8 million (Credit: Countryaah: Togo Population)
Ethnicities Ewe, Kabre and other African peoplesand about 1% Europeans
Voodo The origins of the Voodo religion lie in the south of Togo and Benin
Religions approx. 51% natural religions (Voodo), 29% Christians and 20% Muslims
Languages French, Kabyé, Ewe a. Mina in the southDagomba and Kabyé in the nor
Capital Lomé with approx. 1.2 million residents
Surface 56,785 km²
Highest mountain Mont Agou with a height of 986 m
Longest river Mono with a length of approx. 400 km
Largest lake Retenue de Nangbéto
International license plate RT
currency CFA franc
Time difference to CET – 1 h (= GMT)
International phone code 00228
Mains voltage, frequency 220 volts and 50 hertz
Internet TDL (Top Level Domain) .tg

Togo: history

From the beginning of the 15th century, the Portuguese set up bases on the coast of what is now Togo, and later Danish, French and British occupiers joined them. Intensive slave hunts in the region had been practiced by Europeans since the 16th century.

According to Abbreviationfinder website, from 1884 Togo was a German colony. In 1920 the country was divided into a British and a French mandate area.

After the Second World War, the representatives of the Ewe tried in vain for a political unification of their people. British Togo was attached to what was then the British colony of Gold Coast (now Ghana) following a referendum in 1956. By contrast, French Togo became autonomous within the French Union in 1955. The presidency was first taken over by N. Grunitzky, in the 1958 election he was replaced by S. Olympio.

On April 27, 1960 the country became independent. In the period that followed, tensions arose with Ghana.

In 1963, Olympio was shot by mutinous soldiers and Grunitzky took over the government again. In 1967 he had to report to the army commander É. G. Eyadéma, who pursued a repressive domestic policy. Persecution and human rights violations during this period forced many people into exile. After bloody demonstrations, a democratization process began in Togo in 1991, including the introduction of a free multi-party electoral system. With the support of the military, however, Eyadéma managed to restore the old balance of power in 1992. In 1993 he was confirmed in office in presidential elections boycotted by the opposition.

General Gnassingbé Eyadéma, in power from 1967 to 2005, was Africa’s longest ruling head of state. After his death on February 5, 2005, his son Faure Gnassingbé was appointed president by the military leadership, but had to resign three weeks later due to international pressure. Faure Gnassingbé was elected President in the extremely controversial election of April 24, 2005, which the EU has not yet recognized. There were allegations of electoral fraud from various quarters, there were unrest with around 100 dead and injured, and thousands of people fled the country.

On April 29, 2005, when there was an attack on the German Goethe-Institut in Lomé by forces that were possibly close to the government, the German Foreign Office issued an appeal to Germans living in Togo to leave the country.

The human rights violations in Togo provoked criticism from international organizations and led to the freezing of development aid projects.

Togo Facts