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From the 11th to the 16th centuries, various ethnic groups settled the Togo region. From the 16th to the 18th centuries, the coastal region became a major slave trading center and the surrounding region  took on the name of "The Slave Coast." In 1884, Germany declared a region including present-day Togo as a protectorate called Togoland. After World War I, rule over Togo was transferred to France. French Togoland became Togo upon independence in 1960. Gen. Gnassingbe EYADEMA, installed as military ruler in 1967, ruled Togo with a heavy hand for almost four decades. Despite the facade of multi-party elections instituted in the early 1990s, the government was largely dominated by President EYADEMA, whose Rally of the Togolese People (RPT) party has been in power almost continually since 1967 and its successor, the Union for the Republic, maintains a majority of seats in today's legislature. Upon EYADEMA's death in February 2005, the military installed the president's son, Faure GNASSINGBE, and then engineered his formal election two months later. Democratic gains since then allowed Togo to hold its first relatively free and fair legislative elections in October 2007. Since 2007, President GNASSINGBE has started the country along a gradual path to democratic reform. Togo has since held multiple presidential and legislative elections deemed generally free and fair by international observers. Despite those positive moves, political reconciliation has moved slowly, and the country experiences periodic outbursts of violent protest by frustrated citizens. Recent constitutional changes to institute a runoff system in presidential elections and establish term limits has done little to reduce the resentment many Togolese feel after over 50 years of one-family rule.

Visit the Definitions and Notes page to view a description of each topic.



Western Africa, bordering the Bight of Benin, between Benin and Ghana


total: 56,785 sq km

land: 54,385 sq km

water: 2,400 sq km

country comparison to the world: 126

Area - comparative

slightly smaller than West Virginia

Land boundaries

total: 1,880 km

border countries (3): Benin 651 km, Burkina Faso 131 km, Ghana 1098 km

Maritime claims

territorial sea: 30 nm; note: the US does not recognize this claim

exclusive economic zone: 200 nm


tropical; hot, humid in south; semiarid in north


gently rolling savanna in north; central hills; southern plateau; low coastal plain with extensive lagoons and marshes


highest point: Mont Agou 986 m

lowest point: Atlantic Ocean 0 m

mean elevation: 236 m

Natural resources

phosphates, limestone, marble, arable land

Land use

agricultural land: 67.4% (2018 est.)

arable land: 45.2% (2018 est.)

permanent crops: 3.8% (2018 est.)

permanent pasture: 18.4% (2018 est.)

forest: 4.9% (2018 est.)

other: 27.7% (2018 est.)

Irrigated land

70 sq km (2012)

Major watersheds (area sq km)

Atlantic Ocean drainage: Volta (410,991 sq km)

Population distribution

one of the more densely populated African nations with most of the population residing in rural communities, density is highest in the south on or near the Atlantic coast as shown in this population distribution map

Natural hazards

hot, dry harmattan wind can reduce visibility in north during winter; periodic droughts

Geography - note

the country's length allows it to stretch through six distinct geographic regions; climate varies from tropical to savanna

People and Society


8,283,189 (July 2021 est.)

note: estimates for this country explicitly take into account the effects of excess mortality due to AIDS; this can result in lower life expectancy, higher infant mortality, higher death rates, lower population growth rates, and changes in the distribution of population by age and sex than would otherwise be expected

country comparison to the world: 100


noun: Togolese (singular and plural)

adjective: Togolese

Ethnic groups

Adja-Ewe/Mina 42.4%, Kabye/Tem 25.9%, Para-Gourma/Akan 17.1%, Akposso/Akebu 4.1%, Ana-Ife 3.2%, other Togolese 1.7%, foreigners 5.2%, no response 0.4% (2013-14 est.)

note: Togo has an estimated 37 ethnic groups


French (official, 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)


Christian 42.3%, folk religion 36.9%, Muslim 14%, Hindu <1%, Buddhist <1%, Jewish <1%, other <1%, none 6.2% (2020 est.)

Demographic profile

Togo’s population is estimated to have grown to four times its size between 1960 and 2010. With nearly 60% of its populace under the age of 25 and a high annual growth rate attributed largely to high fertility, Togo’s population is likely to continue to expand for the foreseeable future. Reducing fertility, boosting job creation, and improving education will be essential to reducing the country’s high poverty rate. In 2008, Togo eliminated primary school enrollment fees, leading to higher enrollment but increased pressure on limited classroom space, teachers, and materials. Togo has a good chance of achieving universal primary education, but educational quality, the underrepresentation of girls, and the low rate of enrollment in secondary and tertiary schools remain concerns.

Togo is both a country of emigration and asylum. In the early 1990s, southern Togo suffered from the economic decline of the phosphate sector and ethnic and political repression at the hands of dictator Gnassingbe EYADEMA and his northern, Kabye-dominated administration. The turmoil led 300,000 to 350,000 predominantly southern Togolese to flee to Benin and Ghana, with most not returning home until relative stability was restored in 1997. In 2005, another outflow of 40,000 Togolese to Benin and Ghana occurred when violence broke out between the opposition and security forces over the disputed election of EYADEMA’s son Faure GNASSINGBE to the presidency. About half of the refugees reluctantly returned home in 2006, many still fearing for their safety. Despite ethnic tensions and periods of political unrest, Togo in September 2017 was home to more than 9,600 refugees from Ghana.

Age structure

0-14 years: 39.73% (male 1,716,667/female 1,703,230)

15-24 years: 19.03% (male 817,093/female 820,971)

25-54 years: 33.26% (male 1,423,554/female 1,439,380)

55-64 years: 4.42% (male 179,779/female 200,392)

65 years and over: 3.57% (male 132,304/female 175,074) (2020 est.)

This is the population pyramid for Togo. A population pyramid illustrates the age and sex structure of a country's population and may provide insights about political and social stability, as well as economic development. The population is distributed along the horizontal axis, with males shown on the left and females on the right. The male and female populations are broken down into 5-year age groups represented as horizontal bars along the vertical axis, with the youngest age groups at the bottom and the oldest at the top. The shape of the population pyramid gradually evolves over time based on fertility, mortality, and international migration trends. <br/><br/>For additional information, please see the entry for Population pyramid on the Definitions and Notes page.

Dependency ratios

total dependency ratio: 77.1

youth dependency ratio: 72

elderly dependency ratio: 5.1

potential support ratio: 19.4 (2020 est.)

Median age

total: 20 years

male: 19.7 years

female: 20.3 years (2020 est.)

country comparison to the world: 196

Birth rate

32.34 births/1,000 population (2021 est.)

country comparison to the world: 25

Death rate

5.39 deaths/1,000 population (2021 est.)

country comparison to the world: 185

Net migration rate

-1.86 migrant(s)/1,000 population (2021 est.)

country comparison to the world: 167

Population distribution

one of the more densely populated African nations with most of the population residing in rural communities, density is highest in the south on or near the Atlantic coast as shown in this population distribution map


urban population: 43.4% of total population (2021)

rate of urbanization: 3.6% annual rate of change (2020-25 est.)

Major urban areas - population

1.874 million LOME (capital) (2021)

Sex ratio

at birth: 1.03 male(s)/female

0-14 years: 1.01 male(s)/female

15-24 years: 1 male(s)/female

25-54 years: 0.99 male(s)/female

55-64 years: 0.9 male(s)/female

65 years and over: 0.76 male(s)/female

total population: 0.98 male(s)/female (2020 est.)

Mother's mean age at first birth

20.9 years (2013/14 est.)

note: median age at first birth among women 25-49

Maternal mortality ratio

396 deaths/100,000 live births (2017 est.)

country comparison to the world: 28

Infant mortality rate

total: 42.64 deaths/1,000 live births

male: 47.4 deaths/1,000 live births

female: 37.75 deaths/1,000 live births (2021 est.)

country comparison to the world: 34

Life expectancy at birth

total population: 70.99 years

male: 68.37 years

female: 73.69 years (2021 est.)

country comparison to the world: 167

Drinking water source

improved: urban: 92.3% of population

rural: 56% of population

total: 70.9% of population

unimproved: urban: 7.7% of population

rural: 44% of population

total: 29.1% of population (2017 est.)

Physicians density

0.08 physicians/1,000 population (2018)

Hospital bed density

0.7 beds/1,000 population (2011)

Sanitation facility access

improved: urban: 80.4% of population

rural: 16.2% of population

total: 41.6% of population

unimproved: urban: 19.6% of population

rural: 83.8% of population

total: 57.4% of population (2017 est.)

Major infectious diseases

degree of risk: very high (2020)

food or waterborne diseases: bacterial and protozoal diarrhea, hepatitis A, and typhoid fever

vectorborne diseases: malaria, dengue fever, and yellow fever

water contact diseases: schistosomiasis

animal contact diseases: rabies

respiratory diseases: meningococcal meningitis


definition: age 15 and over can read and write

total population: 66.5%

male: 80%

female: 55.1% (2019)

School life expectancy (primary to tertiary education)

total: 13 years

male: 14 years

female: 12 years (2017)

Unemployment, youth ages 15-24

total: 9.5%

male: 12.3%

female: 7.4% (2017 est.)


Environment - current issues

deforestation attributable to slash-and-burn agriculture and the use of wood for fuel; very little rain forest still present and what remains is highly degraded; desertification; water pollution presents health hazards and hinders the fishing industry; air pollution increasing in urban areas

Environment - international agreements

party to: Biodiversity, Climate Change, Climate Change-Kyoto Protocol, Climate Change-Paris Agreement, Comprehensive Nuclear Test Ban, Desertification, Endangered Species, Hazardous Wastes, Law of the Sea, Nuclear Test Ban, Ozone Layer Protection, Ship Pollution, Tropical Timber 2006, Wetlands, Whaling

signed, but not ratified: none of the selected agreements

Air pollutants

particulate matter emissions: 32.71 micrograms per cubic meter (2016 est.)

carbon dioxide emissions: 3 megatons (2016 est.)

methane emissions: 3.06 megatons (2020 est.)


tropical; hot, humid in south; semiarid in north

Land use

agricultural land: 67.4% (2018 est.)

arable land: 45.2% (2018 est.)

permanent crops: 3.8% (2018 est.)

permanent pasture: 18.4% (2018 est.)

forest: 4.9% (2018 est.)

other: 27.7% (2018 est.)


urban population: 43.4% of total population (2021)

rate of urbanization: 3.6% annual rate of change (2020-25 est.)

Revenue from coal

coal revenues: 0% of GDP (2018 est.)

country comparison to the world: 175

Major infectious diseases

degree of risk: very high (2020)

food or waterborne diseases: bacterial and protozoal diarrhea, hepatitis A, and typhoid fever

vectorborne diseases: malaria, dengue fever, and yellow fever

water contact diseases: schistosomiasis

animal contact diseases: rabies

respiratory diseases: meningococcal meningitis

Waste and recycling

municipal solid waste generated annually: 1,109,030 tons (2014 est.)

municipal solid waste recycled annually: 22,181 tons (2012 est.)

percent of municipal solid waste recycled: 2% (2012 est.)

Major watersheds (area sq km)

Atlantic Ocean drainage: Volta (410,991 sq km)

Total water withdrawal

municipal: 140.7 million cubic meters (2017 est.)

industrial: 6.3 million cubic meters (2017 est.)

agricultural: 76 million cubic meters (2017 est.)

Total renewable water resources

14.7 billion cubic meters (2017 est.)


Country name

conventional long form: Togolese Republic

conventional short form: Togo

local long form: Republique Togolaise

local short form: none

former: French Togoland

etymology: derived from the Ewe words "to" (river) and "godo" (on the other side) to give the sense of "on the other side of the river"; originally, this designation applied to the town of Togodo (now Togoville) on the northern shore of Lake Togo, but the name was eventually extended to the entire nation

Government type

presidential republic


name: Lome

geographic coordinates: 6 07 N, 1 13 E

time difference: UTC 0 (5 hours ahead of Washington, DC, during Standard Time)

etymology: Lome comes from "alotime" which in the native Ewe language means "among the alo plants"; alo trees dominated the city's original founding site

Administrative divisions

5 regions (regions, singular - region); Centrale, Kara, Maritime, Plateaux, Savanes


27 April 1960 (from French-administered UN trusteeship)

National holiday

Independence Day, 27 April (1960)


history: several previous; latest adopted 27 September 1992, effective 14 October 1992

amendments: proposed by the president of the republic or supported by at least one fifth of the National Assembly membership; passage requires four-fifths majority vote by the Assembly; a referendum is required if approved by only two-thirds majority of the Assembly or if requested by the president; constitutional articles on the republican and secular form of government cannot be amended; amended 2002, 2007, last in 2019 when the National Assembly unanimously approved a package of amendments, including setting presidential term limits of two 5-year mandates

Legal system

customary law system

International law organization participation

accepts compulsory ICJ jurisdiction with reservations; non-party state to the ICCt


citizenship by birth: no

citizenship by descent only: at least one parent must be a citizen of Togo

dual citizenship recognized: yes

residency requirement for naturalization: 5 years


18 years of age; universal

Executive branch

chief of state: President Faure GNASSINGBE (since 4 May 2005) 

head of government: Prime Minister Victoire Tomegah DOGBE (since 28 September 2020)

cabinet: Council of Ministers appointed by the president on the advice of the prime minister

elections/appointments: president directly elected by simple majority popular vote for a 5-year term (no term limits); election last held on 22 February 2020 (next to be held  February 2025); prime minister appointed by the president

election results: Faure GNASSINGBE reelected president; percent of vote - Faure GNASSINGBE (UNIR) 72.4%, Agbeyome KODJO (MPDD) 18.4%, Jean-Pierre FABRE (ANC) 4.4%, other 5%

Legislative branch

description: unicameral National Assembly or Assemblee Nationale (91 seats; members directly elected in multi-seat constituencies by closed, party-list proportional representation vote to serve 5-year terms)

elections: last held on 20 December 2018 (next to be held in 2023)

election results: percent of vote by coalition/party - NA; seats by party - UNIR 59, UFC 6, NET 3, MPDD 3, other 2, independent 18; composition - men 75, women 16, percent of women 17.6%

Judicial branch

highest courts: Supreme Court or Cour Supreme (organized into criminal and administrative chambers, each with a chamber president and advisors); Constitutional Court (consists of 9 judges, including the court president)

judge selection and term of office: Supreme Court president appointed by decree of the president of the republic upon the proposal of the Supreme Council of the Magistracy, a 9-member judicial, advisory, and disciplinary body; other judicial appointments and judge tenure NA; Constitutional Court judges appointed by the National Assembly; judge tenure NA

subordinate courts: Court of Assizes (sessions court); Appeal Court; tribunals of first instance (divided into civil, commercial, and correctional chambers; Court of State Security; military tribunal

Political parties and leaders

Action Committee for Renewal or CAR [Yaovi AGBOYIBO]
Alliance of Democrats for Integral Development or ADDI [Tchaboure GOGUE]
Democratic Convention of African Peoples or CDPA [Brigitte ADJAMAGBO-JOHNSON]
Democratic Forces for the Republic or FDR [Dodji APEVON]
National Alliance for Change or ANC [Jean-Pierre FABRE]
New Togolese Commitment [Gerry TAAMA]
Pan-African National Party or PNP [Tikpi ATCHADAM]
Pan-African Patriotic Convergence or CPP [Edem KODJO]
Patriotic Movement for Democracy and Development or MPDD [Agbeyome KODJO]
Socialist Pact for Renewal or PSR [Abi TCHESSA]
The Togolese Party [Nathaniel OLYMPIO]
Union of Forces for Change or UFC [Gilchrist OLYMPIO]
Union for the Republic or UNIR [Faure GNASSINGBE]

International organization participation


Diplomatic representation in the US

chief of mission: Ambassador Frederic Edem HEGBE (since 24 April 2017)

chancery: 2208 Massachusetts Avenue NW, Washington, DC 20008

telephone: [1] (202) 234-4212

FAX: [1] (202) 232-3190

email address and website:

Diplomatic representation from the US

chief of mission: Ambassador Eric W. STROHMAYER (since 11 April 2019)

embassy: Boulevard Eyadema, B.P. 852, Lome

mailing address: 2300 Lome Place, Washington, DC 20521-2300

telephone: [228] 2261-5470

FAX: [228] 2261-5501

email address and website:

Flag description

five equal horizontal bands of green (top and bottom) alternating with yellow; a white five-pointed star on a red square is in the upper hoist-side corner; the five horizontal stripes stand for the five different regions of the country; the red square is meant to express the loyalty and patriotism of the people, green symbolizes hope, fertility, and agriculture, while yellow represents mineral wealth and faith that hard work and strength will bring prosperity; the star symbolizes life, purity, peace, dignity, and Togo's independence

note: uses the popular Pan-African colors of Ethiopia

National symbol(s)

lion; national colors: green, yellow, red, white

National anthem

name: "Salut a toi, pays de nos aieux" (Hail to Thee, Land of Our Forefathers)

lyrics/music: Alex CASIMIR-DOSSEH

note: adopted 1960, restored 1992; this anthem was replaced by another during one-party rule between 1979 and 1992


Economic overview

Togo has enjoyed a period of steady economic growth fueled by political stability and a concerted effort by the government to modernize the country’s commercial infrastructure, but discontent with President Faure GNASSINGBE has led to a rapid rise in protests, creating downside risks. The country completed an ambitious large-scale infrastructure improvement program, including new principal roads, a new airport terminal, and a new seaport. The economy depends heavily on both commercial and subsistence agriculture, providing employment for around 60% of the labor force. Some basic foodstuffs must still be imported. Cocoa, coffee, and cotton and other agricultural products generate about 20% of export earnings with cotton being the most important cash crop. Togo is among the world's largest producers of phosphate and seeks to develop its carbonate phosphate reserves, which provide more than 20% of export earnings.

Supported by the World Bank and the IMF, the government's decade-long effort to implement economic reform measures, encourage foreign investment, and bring revenues in line with expenditures has moved slowly. Togo completed its IMF Extended Credit Facility in 2011 and reached a Heavily Indebted Poor Country debt relief completion point in 2010 at which 95% of the country's debt was forgiven. Togo continues to work with the IMF on structural reforms, and in January 2017, the IMF signed an Extended Credit Facility arrangement consisting of a three-year $238 million loan package. Progress depends on follow through on privatization, increased transparency in government financial operations, progress toward legislative elections, and continued support from foreign donors.

Togo’s 2017 economic growth probably remained steady at 5.0%, largely driven by infusions of foreign aid, infrastructure investment in its port and mineral industry, and improvements in the business climate. Foreign direct investment inflows have slowed in recent years.

Real GDP (purchasing power parity)

$17.45 billion note: data are in 2017 dollars (2020 est.)

$17.15 billion note: data are in 2017 dollars (2019 est.)

$16.26 billion note: data are in 2017 dollars (2018 est.)

note: data are in 2017 dollars

country comparison to the world: 154

Real GDP growth rate

4.4% (2017 est.)

5.1% (2016 est.)

5.7% (2015 est.)

country comparison to the world: 63

Real GDP per capita

$2,100 note: data are in 2017 dollars (2020 est.)

$2,100 note: data are in 2017 dollars (2019 est.)

$2,100 note: data are in 2017 dollars (2018 est.)

note: data are in 2017 dollars

country comparison to the world: 213

GDP (official exchange rate)

$5.232 billion (2018 est.)

Inflation rate (consumer prices)

0.6% (2019 est.)

0.9% (2018 est.)

-0.9% (2017 est.)

country comparison to the world: 50

Credit ratings

Moody's rating: B3 (2019)

Standard & Poors rating: B (2019)

GDP - composition, by sector of origin

agriculture: 28.8% (2017 est.)

industry: 21.8% (2017 est.)

services: 49.8% (2017 est.)

GDP - composition, by end use

household consumption: 84.5% (2017 est.)

government consumption: 11.4% (2017 est.)

investment in fixed capital: 23.4% (2017 est.)

investment in inventories: -1.4% (2017 est.)

exports of goods and services: 43.1% (2017 est.)

imports of goods and services: -61% (2017 est.)

Agricultural products

cassava, maize, yams, sorghum, beans, oil palm fruit, rice, vegetables, cotton, groundnuts


phosphate mining, agricultural processing, cement, handicrafts, textiles, beverages

Labor force - by occupation

agriculture: 65%

industry: 5%

services: 30% (1998 est.)

Household income or consumption by percentage share

lowest 10%: 3.3%

highest 10%: 27.1% (2006)


revenues: 1.023 billion (2017 est.)

expenditures: 1.203 billion (2017 est.)

Public debt

75.7% of GDP (2017 est.)

81.6% of GDP (2016 est.)

country comparison to the world: 40

Fiscal year

calendar year

Current account balance

-$383 million (2017 est.)

-$416 million (2016 est.)

country comparison to the world: 114


$1.67 billion note: data are in current year dollars (2019 est.)

$1.7 billion note: data are in current year dollars (2018 est.)

country comparison to the world: 163

Exports - partners

India 16%, Benin 15%, Burkina Faso 6%, France 6%, Morocco 5% (2019)

Exports - commodities

refined petroleum, crude petroleum, electricity, calcium phosphates, cotton (2019)


$2.26 billion note: data are in current year dollars (2019 est.)

$2.33 billion note: data are in current year dollars (2018 est.)

country comparison to the world: 170

Imports - partners

China 18%, South Korea 13%, India 11%, Belgium 10%, Netherlands 8%, United States 5% (2019)

Imports - commodities

refined petroleum, motorcycles, crude petroleum, rice, broadcasting equipment (2019)

Reserves of foreign exchange and gold

$77.8 million (31 December 2017 est.)

$42.6 million (31 December 2016 est.)

country comparison to the world: 182

Debt - external

$1.442 billion (31 December 2017 est.)

$1.22 billion (31 December 2016 est.)

country comparison to the world: 161

Exchange rates

Communaute Financiere Africaine francs (XOF) per US dollar -

617.4 (2017 est.)

593.01 (2016 est.)

593.01 (2015 est.)

591.45 (2014 est.)

494.42 (2013 est.)

Unemployment, youth ages 15-24

total: 9.5%

male: 12.3%

female: 7.4% (2017 est.)

country comparison to the world: 142


Electricity access

electrification - total population: 43% (2019)

electrification - urban areas: 77% (2019)

electrification - rural areas: 19% (2019)


Telephones - fixed lines

total subscriptions: 46,499 (2020)

subscriptions per 100 inhabitants: less than 1 (2020 est.)

country comparison to the world: 159

Telephones - mobile cellular

total subscriptions: 6,516,510 (2020)

subscriptions per 100 inhabitants: 78.71 (2020 est.)

country comparison to the world: 112

Telecommunication systems

general assessment: system based on a network of microwave radio relay routes supplemented by open-wire lines and a mobile-cellular system; telecoms supply 8% of GDP; 3 mobile operators; 12% of residents have access to the Internet; mobile subscribers and mobile broadband both increasing (2020)

domestic: fixed-line less than 1 per 100 and mobile-cellular 77 telephones per 100 persons with mobile-cellular use predominating (2019)

international: country code - 228; landing point for the WACS submarine cable, linking countries along the west coast of Africa with each other and with Portugal; satellite earth stations - 1 Intelsat (Atlantic Ocean), 1 Symphonie (2020)

note: the COVID-19 pandemic continues to have a significant impact on production and supply chains globally; since 2020, some aspects of the telecom sector have experienced downturn, particularly in mobile device production; many network operators delayed upgrades to infrastructure; progress towards 5G implementation was postponed or slowed in some countries; consumer spending on telecom services and devices was affected by large-scale job losses and the consequent restriction on disposable incomes; the crucial nature of telecom services as a tool for work and school from home became evident, and received some support from governments

Broadcast media

1 state-owned TV station with multiple transmission sites; five private TV stations broadcast locally; cable TV service is available; state-owned radio network with two stations (in Lome and Kara); several dozen private radio stations and a few community radio stations; transmissions of multiple international broadcasters available (2019)

Internet users

total: 1.99 million (2021 est.)

percent of population: 12.36% (2019 est.)

country comparison to the world: 132

Broadband - fixed subscriptions

total: 52,706 (2020)

subscriptions per 100 inhabitants: less than 1 (2020 est.)

country comparison to the world: 142


National air transport system

number of registered air carriers: 1 (2020)

inventory of registered aircraft operated by air carriers: 8

annual passenger traffic on registered air carriers: 566,295 (2018)

annual freight traffic on registered air carriers: 10.89 million mt-km (2018)

Airports - with paved runways

total: 2

2,438 to 3,047 m: 2 (2019)

Airports - with unpaved runways

total: 6

914 to 1,523 m: 4

under 914 m: 2 (2013)


62 km gas


total: 568 km (2014)

narrow gauge: 568 km 1.000-m gauge (2014)

country comparison to the world: 112


total: 11,734 km (2081)

paved: 1,794 km (2018)

unpaved: 8,157 km (2018)

urban: 1,783 km (2018)

country comparison to the world: 133


50 km (seasonally navigable by small craft on the Mono River depending on rainfall) (2011)

country comparison to the world: 102

Merchant marine

total: 411

by type: bulk carrier 1, container ship 9, general cargo 265, oil tanker 56, other 80 (2021)

country comparison to the world: 47

Ports and terminals

major seaport(s): Kpeme, Lome

Military and Security

Military and security forces

Togolese Armed Forces (Forces Armees Togolaise, FAT): Togolese Army (l'Armee de Terre), Togolese Navy (Forces Naval Togolaises), Togolese Air Force (Armee de l’Air), National Gendarmerie (2021)

note - the Gendarmerie falls under the Ministry of Defense but also reports to the Ministry of Security and Civil Protection on many matters involving law enforcement and internal security

Military expenditures

2% of GDP (2020 est.)

3.1% of GDP (2019)

2% of GDP (2018)

1.9% of GDP (2017)

1.8% of GDP (2016)

country comparison to the world: 63

Military and security service personnel strengths

approximately 9,000 personnel, including about 8,000 Army (2021)

Military equipment inventories and acquisitions

the FAT's small inventory is a mix of older equipment from a variety of countries, including Brazil, France, Germany, Russia/former Soviet Union, the UK, and the US; since 2010, it has received limited amounts of newer--largely secondhand--equipment; the Navy has received patrol boats from China, France, South Africa, and the US (2021)

Military deployments

925 Mali (MINUSMA) (Sep 2021)

Maritime threats

the International Maritime Bureau reports the territorial and offshore waters in the Niger Delta and Gulf of Guinea remain a very high risk for piracy and armed robbery of ships; in 2020, there were 98 reported incidents of piracy and armed robbery at sea in the Gulf of Guinea region; although a 24% decrease from the total number of incidents in 2019, it included all three hijackings and 9 of 11 ships fired upon worldwide; while boarding and attempted boarding to steal valuables from ships and crews are the most common types of incidents, almost a third of all incidents involve a hijacking and/or kidnapping; in 2020, a record 130 crew members were kidnapped in 22 separate incidents in the Gulf of Guinea, representing 95% of kidnappings worldwide; approximately 51% of all incidents of piracy and armed robbery are taking place off Nigeria, which is a decrease from the 71% in 2019 and an indication pirates are traveling further to target vessels; Nigerian pirates are well armed and very aggressive, operating as far as 200 nm offshore; the Maritime Administration of the US Department of Transportation has issued a Maritime Advisory (2021-002 - Gulf of Guinea-Piracy/Armed Robbery/Kidnapping for Ransom) effective 9 January 2021, which states in part, "Piracy, armed robbery, and kidnapping for ransom continue to serve as significant threats to US-flagged vessels transiting or operating in the Gulf of Guinea.”

Military service age and obligation

18 years of age for military service; 2-year service obligation; the military is an all-volunteer force (2021)

Military - note

the first Togolese Army unit was created in 1963, while the Air Force was established in 1964; the Navy was not established until 1976; since its creation, the Togolese military has a history of interfering in the country’s politics with assassinations, coups, influence, and a large military crackdown in 2005 that killed hundreds; over the past decade, it has made some efforts to reform and professionalize; over the same period, the military has increased its role in UN peacekeeping activities and as of 2021, more than 10% of the Army was deployed on peacekeeping missions; Togolese police have also been deployed on peacekeeping operations, and Togo maintains a regional peacekeeping training center for military and police in Lome; the Navy and Air Force have increasingly focused on combating piracy and smuggling in the Gulf of Guinea

Transnational Issues

Disputes - international

in 2001, Benin claimed Togo moved boundary monuments - joint commission continues to resurvey the boundary; talks continue between Benin and Togo on funding the Adjrala hydroelectric dam on the Mona River

Refugees and internally displaced persons

refugees (country of origin): 8,391 (Ghana) (2021)

Illicit drugs

transit hub for Nigerian heroin and cocaine traffickers; money laundering not a significant problem