Togo's economy is dominated by agriculture.
The dependence is large on a few export goods,
especially cotton, coffee and cocoa. The extraction of
phosphate, and industries linked to it, is also
economically important. Another important source of
income is the port operations in the capital Lomé.
However, Togo is dependent on assistance to bring the
According to the UN, Togo is one of the least
developed countries in the world and poverty is
widespread, especially in rural areas where many rely on
small scale cultivation for their own use. In cities,
unemployment is high and unemployment is high, and many
are trying to make up for income from the informal
sector. Money sent home from Togolese working abroad is
an important contribution to the economy. The dependence
on external aid and other financial assistance is great.
Major imports by Togo, covering a full list of top products imported by the country and trade value for each product category.
There is an economic imbalance between the small
developed coastal region in the south and the other
regions of the country. The inhabitants of the coastal
area contribute almost all the tax revenue that comes to
Togo had a very weak economic development right up to
the 21st century, mainly due to political unrest and
poorly managed government finances. A contributing
reason was also that the most important international
aid donors withdrew their support in 1993 due to a lack
of democracy in the country (see Modern history).
Abbreviationfinder.org: Check this abbreviation website to find three letter ISO codes for all countries in the world, including TGO which represents the country of Togo.
Following the approval of a 2007 parliamentary
election by international election observers, the EU,
the World Bank, the IMF and the African Development Bank
resumed assistance to Togo, increasing the country's
ability to receive support from elsewhere. In 2008, Togo
joined the IMF and the World Bank's debt relief program.
In 2010, the Paris Club, consisting of 19 major donors,
decided to write off just over $ 200 million of Togo's
foreign debt. The following year, France repaid Togo's
entire debt of approximately EUR 100 million. Thus, 82
percent of Togo's foreign debt had been written off. In
the last year of the 2010s, however, indebtedness
increased again as a result of the government's
investments in infrastructure and investments in
increased social welfare.
In the 2000s and 2010s, economic growth was
relatively good, despite new political concerns from
2017. Good harvests combined with investments in
infrastructure contributed to the development. New roads
were built, and the port and the international airport
in Lomé were developed and modernized. Lome's deep
harbor is one of the few natural harbors in West Africa.
It has traditionally been of great significance not only
for Togo but also for coastal countries such as Burkina
Faso, Niger and Mali.
Shaky financial sector
The banking system in Togo has undergone changes. In
the 2000s, a financial crisis erupted when some banks
experienced an acute shortage of capital due to poor
loans to the cotton and phosphate sectors. From 2008,
the government has implemented a number of economic
reforms, including a review and several privatizations
in the banking, phosphate and cotton sectors.
Outside the formal banking sector, microfinance is a
way for poor Togolese to borrow money. The IMF has
warned that these institutions are poorly monitored and
that the regulations are deficient, which increases the
risk of fraud. In addition, traditional "tontine" is
popular. These are collective funds where you deposit
money and receive payments as long as you live, but
where the holding amounts to the fund when you die.
Togo's currency, the CFA franc, is common to the
eight countries of the regional economic cooperation
UEMOA (Union Economique et Monétaire Ouest-Africaine)
whose aim is to form an economic union. The UEMOA
countries have a joint central bank in Dakar in Senegal.
Ecowas countries have agreed to introduce a single
currency, eco, which will replace the CFA franc.
Togo has long been drawn with deficits in foreign
trade, that is, imports are larger than exports. The
deficit is covered by the money sent home from Togolese
abroad and with loans and assistance from abroad.
In March 2018, Togo was one of 44 African countries
that signed the AfCFTA regional free trade agreement.
The agreement is seen as a historically important step
towards increased trade exchange within Africa. The
agreement came into force in May 2019 for the 24
countries, including Togo, which then ratified it.
FACTS - FINANCE
GDP per person
US $ 672 (2018)
US $ 5,300 million (2018)
4.9 percent (2018)
Agriculture's share of GDP
23.6 percent (2018)
Manufacturing industry's share of GDP
8.0 percent (2018)
The service sector's share of GDP
29.1 percent (2018)
1.4 percent (2019)
Government debt's share of GDP
76.2 percent (2018)
US $ 1,631 million (2017)
Central African Franc
US $ 1,016 million (2017)
US $ 1 658 million (2017)
- US $ 96 million (2017)
Commodity trade's share of GDP
60 percent (2018)
Main export goods
cotton, phosphate, coffee, cocoa (2017)
Largest trading partner
China, France, Japan, Netherlands, Burkina Faso,
Benin, Ghana (2017)
The dictator's son wins the presidential election
In the presidential election, Faure Gnassingbé, son of Togo's deceased
dictator Gnassingbé Eyadéma, wins (see February 2005). The
accusations of electoral fraud are extensive and in violent riots following the
election, around 500 people are killed. Thousands of Togolese flee to
President Gnassingbé Eyadéma dies
President Gnassingbé Eyadéma, who has ruled the country dictatorship for more
than 40 years, is dying. Contrary to the Constitution, his son, Faure
Gnassingbé, is appointed as his successor but after protests he is forced to
resign after promising presidential elections.