World Travelling Guide
World Travelling Guide



Accommodation in Southern Africa and South Africa including accommodation in Western Cape, Eastern Cape, Northern Cape, Gauteng, Limpopo Province, North West Province, Free State, Kwazulu-Natal, Mpumalanga

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Togo Travelling Guide
Togo Travelling Guide

General 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 instituted in the early 1990s, the government continues to be dominated by President EYADEMA, whose Rally of the Togolese People (RPT) party has maintained power almost continually since 1967. 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.

Area comparative: Slightly smaller than West Virginia.

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.

Population: 5,285,501

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 51%, Christian 29%, Muslim 20%

Language: 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)

Government type: Republic under transition to multiparty democratic rule.

Capital: Lome

Legal system: French-based court system.

Economic overview: This small sub-Saharan economy is heavily dependent on both commercial and subsistence agriculture, which provides employment for 65% of the labor force. Some basic foodstuffs must still be imported. Cocoa, coffee, and cotton generate about 40% of export earnings, with cotton being the most significant cash crop despite falling prices on the world market. 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 XOF currency by 50% provided an important impetus to renewed structural adjustment. In the industrial sector, phosphate mining is by far the most important activity. Togo is the world's fourth largest producer, and geological advantages keep production costs low. The recently privatized mining operation, Office Togolais des Phosphates (OTP), is slowly recovering from a steep fall in prices in the early 1990's, but continues to face the challenge of tough foreign competition, exacerbated by weakening demand. Togo serves as a regional commercial and trade center. It continues to expand its duty-free export-processing zone (EPZ), launched in 1989, which has attracted enterprises from France, Italy, Scandinavia, the US, India, and China and created jobs for Togolese nationals. 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. Progress depends on following through on privatization, increased openness in government financial operations, progress towards legislative elections, and possible downsizing of the military, on which the regime has depended to stay in place. Lack of large-scale foreign aid, deterioration of the financial sector, energy shortages, and depressed commodity prices continue to constrain economic growth. The takeover of the national power company by a Franco-Canadian consortium in 2000 should ease the energy crisis.

Communication/Telephone system: Fair system based on a network of microwave radio relay routes supplemented by open-wire lines and a mobile cellular system.

Places of interest: Its capital city, Lomé, and the beaches that surround it are the big draws for most vacationers.

Travel tips: Unrest in the recent past requires you to be cautious and alert.