Togo covers a land area of approximately 56,785 km2 and is a small country by African standards: only a few countries in Africa have an even smaller national area. It has an elongated narrow shape, with a north-south length of about 550 km but is only some 50 to 140 km west to east. Of this, 16 % is forested, 25 % is farmland and 3.5 % grassland. The country is situated in West Africa at 8 degrees northern latitude and 1° 10‘ eastern longitude. It is divided into ve regions: Maritime, Plateaux, Centre, Kara and Savanes. e country’s border is 1,647 km long. Of this 644 km form the border with Benin, 126 km the border with Burkina Faso and 877 km the border with Ghana.
The Ouatchi-Plateau stretches from the palm-fringed lagoons and sandy beaches of the 56 km-long coast to the higher tableland. e Togo Mountains in the southwest of the country’s interior extend north-eastwards to Benin. A savannah with antelope and ele- phants predominates in the lower parts of the country, both north and south. The highest mountain in Togo is Mont Agou with a height of 986 m above sea level. e longest river is the Mono with a length of about 400 km. It ows from north to south and has a useable waterway of about 50 km.
|Total population||7,15 Mio. (Juli 2013)|
|Population density||118 persons per km2|
Annual population growth rate
Life expectancy, men
Life expectancy, women
|78 per 1000 births (Germany: 3,4 per 1000)|
|Primary education completion rate||74,6%|
|Average monthly income||23.230 FCFA (35,50 €)|
|Labour force||about 30%|
Coffee, cocoa, rice, beans, peanuts, cotton, palm oil, phosphates, iron and limestone
56,785 km2 (about the size of Hessen and Baden-Wuerttemberg together), stretching
hot and humid tropical: Rainy seasons from April to June and from October to November in the south: between April and September in the north
|Capital||Lomé (1,2 Millionen Einwohner)|
The official and commercial language is French; the Ewé und Mina languages are widely spoken in the south and the Kabiyè language in the north. There are also about 40 tribal languages.
50% animist, 26% catholic, 15% muslim, 9% protestant
Sources: German Foreign Oce, CIA World Factbook, Chambre de Commerce et d‘Industrie du Togo, World Population Foundation
The ocial language in Togo is French. However, it is not spoken by all of the population. e main African (Togolese) native languages are Ewe, Mina and Kabyè in the south, and Kabyè, Moba, Lamba in the north. Kotokoli and Hausa are very common in parts of the central and northern areas of Togo. Overall, there are 39 languages in active use in Togo.
Due to trading contacts with other countries in the region as well as migrations of small minorities, other languages from neigh- bouring states and other west African states are also spoken, for example Akan from Ghana and Yoruba from Nigeria.
Togo has about 5.6 million inhabitants and is a multi-ethnic country with some 42 dierent ethnic groups. The statistically most important group are the Ewe with around 40 % of the population, followed by the Kabyè with around 23 % and the Akebou with some 13 %. The Ewe/Mina are strongly represented in the south, the Kotokoli in the centre and the Kabyè in the north.
Native religions play a central role in Togo. About 51% of the popula- tion are adherents to native religions. As in the African states of Benin and Ghana, “voodoo” is practised in parts of Togo. This original West African religion derives its name from a word from the West African Fon ethnic group for “spirit” or possibly “Godhead”. Christian faiths were brought to Togo with the colonisation of the country in the late 19th century. It was principally Catholic missionaries who established numerous parishes in the country. Today, about 29 % of the population are Christian, overwhelmingly of the Catholic faith. 20 % of the population are Muslim.
State education in Togo begins with nursery schools. Nursery and primary schools are often co-located. Parents are really keen of getting an education for their children. Because of this children are sent to school very early if there is no nursery in the neighbourhood.
Children are legally obliged to attend the “École Primaire” (prima- ry school). This lasts for six study years and is divided into “Cours Préparatoire“ (CP) 1 and 2, “Cours Élémentaire“ (CE) 1 and 2 und “Cours Moyen“ (CM) 1 and 2.
After primary school comes the “Collège d ́Enseignement Général” (CEG). Here the four study years are divided into the “Sixième” (6e), “Cinquième” (5e), “Quatrième” (4e) and “Troisième” (3e). At the end of this period children have to pass the “Brevet d ́Études du Premier Cycle” (BEPC). An intermediate examination has to be passed aer each study year in order to qualify for the next study year.
After this, young people usually attend the “Lycée” (High School). is is divided into the “Seconde” (2e), “Première” (1e), BAC I (a kind of vocational diploma, baccalaureate) and “Terminale” (Tle), BAC II (requirement for college study). As an alternative there are also vocational schools (“Formation Technique et Professionnelle“) or on-the-job training with a tradesman.
Education in state schools has been free of charge since 2009. However, families must pay for school uniforms, notebooks and books themselves. Compulsory education is six years. In the primary schools there is a qualied teacher, who is assisted by teaching assistants, for each class year. e enrolment rate in primary schools has been growing over the years. While this was 85 % in 1996 it was at 94 % in 2008. The literacy rate is currently around 60 % and rising.
Private schools charge school feels and are therefore able to in- crease the number of qualied teachers and provide schoolbooks.
Income in Togo is mainly derived from farming and trade. Put into greater detail, 59.3 % of households in Togo derive their income from farming, 13.9 % from agro-pastoral activities, 7.7 % from farming coupled with artisanal activities and 13 % from retail trading and wage labour. Structural problems, the heavy dependence on farming and cyclical problems like increasing food prices or the world-wide economic crisis have produced a situation where 53.4 % of households suffer from food insecurity (11.4 % greatly, 42.9 % moderately).
The political events of the last two decades and the economic impact of climate change have made private households in the region particularly vulnerable to unexpected events such as illness of family members (24.4 % give to this as a reason for a worsening food situation),
poor harvests (18 %), deaths (7.6 %), or destruction of crops by pests, diseases and animals (6.1 %). According to the Togo Red Cross, only 30.1 % of the population have access to clean drinking water and 24 % of children are affected by malnutrition. The excessive runoof surface water due to deforestation is increasingly leading to an insucient accumulation of groundwa- ter. e sporadically excessive use of fertilizers and pesticides coupled with a lack of sanitary facilities in the countryside is leading to deterioration in the quality of the surface water. Most of the rivers dry out during the dry season, which particularly affects the rural population.
The health situation is especially in need of improvement due to the lack of sanitation, particularly in rural regions. Nationwide only 43 % of women give birth in a health centre, which leads to a high rate of infant mortality. According to the Red Cross only 29.5 % of children in Togo are inoculated. Child mortality is 10 %, often caused by bacterial, viral and parasitic diseases. The most commonly occurring diseases are malaria, diarrhoeal diseases and prostate conditions in older age. Because of the poor economic situation and poorer health provision in the rural regions, many people migrate into the cities to find work and a better income. As a result, 4 out of 10 villages in Togo are affected by rural flight.