|National motto: None|
|President Gen.||Gnassingbe Eyadema|
|Prime minister||Eugene Koffi Adoboli|
- % water
|Ranked 122nd |
- Total (2002)
|Time zone||UTC +0|
French Togoland became Togo in 1960 after the expiration of the French-administered UN trusteeship on April 27 of that year. Despite the facade of multiparty rule instituted in the early 1990s, the government continues to be dominated by the military, which has maintained its power almost continuously since 1967. The first president of Togo, Sylvanus Olympio (1901-1963) took office as soon as Togo gained independence in 1960. When he refused to let 626 Togolese veterans of the French army, many of whom had fought in Indochina and Algeria, join Togo's army, they deposed him in a military coup on January 13, 1963. He was killed the next day. A civilian president, Nicolas Grunitzky (1913-1969) was installed, but exactly four years later, there was another military coup. Grunitzky fled the country and was killed in a car crash in the Ivory Coast. One of the original veterans from the 1963 coup, Gnassingbe Eyadema (1937-) has been president since 1967. He was nearly defeated in the 1998 election by Gilcrest Olympio, son of Sylvanus Olympio. Eyadema was reelected again in 2003.
In the north there is gently rolling savannah. in the centre of the country there are hills. The south of Togo is characterized by a plateau which reaches to a coastal plain with extensive lagoons and marshes in the south.
This small sub-Saharan economy is heavily dependent on both commercial and subsistence agriculture, which provides employment for 65% of the labor force. Cocoa, coffee, and cotton together generate about 30% of export earnings. Togo is self-sufficient in basic foodstuffs when harvests are normal, with occasional regional supply difficulties. In the industrial sector, phosphate mining is by far the most important activity, although it has suffered from the collapse of world phosphate prices and increased foreign competition.
Togo serves as a regional commercial and trade center. The government's decade-long effort, supported by the World Bank and the IMF, to implement economic reform measures, encourage foreign investment, and bring revenues in line with expenditures has stalled. Political unrest, including private and public sector strikes throughout 1992 and 1993, jeopardized the reform program, shrunk the tax base, and disrupted vital economic activity. The 12 January 1994 devaluation of the currency by 50% provided an important impetus to renewed structural adjustment; these efforts were facilitated by the end of strife in 1994 and a return to overt political calm. Progress depends on following through on privatization, increased openness in government financial operations (to accommodate increased social service outlays), and possible downsizing of the military, on which the regime has depended to stay in place. Lack of aid, along with depressed cocoa prices, generated a 1% fall in GDP in 1998, with growth resuming in 1999. Assuming no deterioration of the political atmosphere, growth should rise to 5% a year in 2000 - 2001.
See also: Music of Togo
Main article: Culture of Togo
See also: Music of Togo