Togo Travel Information

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Facts About Togo

Background: French Togoland became Togo in 1960. General Gnassingbe EYADEMA, installed as military ruler in 1967, is Africa's longest-serving head of state. Despite the facade of multiparty elections that resulted in EYADEMA's victory in 1993, the government continues to be dominated by the military. In addition, Togo has come under fire from international organizations for human rights abuses and is plagued by political unrest. Most bilateral and multilateral aid to Togo remains frozen.
Government type: republic under transition to multiparty democratic rule
Capital: Lome
Currency: 1 Communaute Financiere Africaine franc (XOF) = 100 centimes

Geography of Togo

Location: Western Africa, bordering the Bight of Benin, between Benin and Ghana
Geographic coordinates: 8 00 N, 1 10 E
Area:
total: 56,785 sq km
land: 54,385 sq km
water: 2,400 sq km
Land boundaries:
total: 1,647 km
border countries: Benin 644 km, Burkina Faso 126 km, Ghana 877 km
Coastline: 56 km
Maritime claims:
exclusive economic zone: 200 nm
territorial sea: 30 nm
Climate: tropical; hot, humid in south; semiarid in north
Terrain: gently rolling savanna in north; central hills; southern plateau; low coastal plain with extensive lagoons and marshes
Elevation extremes:
lowest point: Atlantic Ocean 0 m
highest point: Mont Agou 986 m
Natural resources: phosphates, limestone, marble, arable land
Land use:
arable land: 38%
permanent crops: 7%
permanent pastures: 4%
forests and woodland: 17%
other: 34% (1993 est.)
Irrigated land: 70 sq km (1993 est.)
Natural hazards: hot, dry harmattan wind can reduce visibility in north during winter; periodic droughts
Environment - current issues: deforestation attributable to slash-and-burn agriculture and the use of wood for fuel; recent droughts affecting agriculture
Environment - international agreements:
party to: Biodiversity, Climate Change, Desertification, Endangered Species, Law of the Sea, Nuclear Test Ban, Ozone Layer Protection, Ship Pollution, Tropical Timber 83, Tropical Timber 94, Wetlands
signed, but not ratified: none of the selected agreements
Geography - note: the country's length allows it to stretch through six distinct geographic regions; climate varies from tropical to savanna.

People of Togo

Togo's population of 5.2 million people (2001 est.) is composed of about 21 ethnic groups. The two major groups are the Ewe in the South and the Kabye in the North. Population distribution is very uneven due to soil and terrain variations. The population is generally concentrated in the south and along the major north-south highway connecting the coast to the Sahel. Age distribution also is uneven; more than one-half of the Togolese are less than 15 years of age. The ethnic groups of the coastal region, particularly the Ewes (about 21% of the population), constitute the bulk of the civil servants, professionals, and merchants, due in part to the former colonial administrations which provided greater infrastructure development in the south. The Kabye (12% of the population) live on marginal land and traditionally have emigrated south from their home area in the Kara region to seek employment. Their historical means of social advancement has been through the military and law enforcement forces, and they continue to dominate these services.

Most of the southern peoples use the Ewe or Mina languages, which are closely related and spoken in commercial sectors throughout Togo. French, the official language, is used in administration and documentation. The public primary schools combine French with Ewe or Kabye as languages of instruction, depending on the region. English is spoken in neighboring Ghana and is taught in Togolese secondary schools. As a result, many Togolese, especially in the south and along the Ghana border, speak some English.

Population: 5,681,519 (July 2005 est.)
Age structure:
0-14 years: 46% 
15-64 years: 51% 
65 years and over: 3% 
Population growth rate: 2.7% 
Birth rate: 38.02 births/1,000 population 
Death rate: 11.18 deaths/1,000 population 
Net migration rate: 0.16 migrant(s)/1,000 population 
Infant mortality rate: 71.55 deaths/1,000 live births 
Life expectancy at birth:
total population: 54.69 years
male: 52.75 years
female: 56.7 years 
Total fertility rate: 5.5 children born/woman 
Nationality:
noun: Togolese (singular and plural)
adjective: Togolese
Ethnic groups: native African (37 tribes; largest and most important are Ewe, Mina, and Kabre) 99%, European and Syrian-Lebanese less than 1%
Religions: indigenous beliefs 70%, Christian 20%, Muslim 10%
Languages: French (official and the language of commerce), Ewe and Mina (the two major African languages in the south), Kabye (sometimes spelled Kabiye) and Dagomba (the two major African languages in the north)
Literacy:
definition: age 15 and over can read and write
total population: 51.7%
male: 67%
female: 37% (1995 est.)

SOURCES: The World Factbook, U.S. Department of State

Mother Earth Travel > Country Index > Togo > Map Economy History