Economic and Political Overview

flag Togo Togo: Economic and Political Overview

In this page: Economic Indicators | Foreign Trade in Figures | Sources of General Economic Information | Political Outline | COVID-19 Country Response

 

Economic Indicators

Despite a challenging regional context and international circumstances, Togo demonstrates robust growth, propelled by strong domestic demand and sustained public and private investments. In 2023, growth reached an estimated 5.4%. However, this marked a moderation from the 5.8% recorded in 2022, reflecting a government transition from an expansionary fiscal policy stance to a more restrained approach. Economic growth is expected to stabilize at 5.3% this year and in 2025, as further fiscal consolidation measures are offset by increased consumer spending and private investment.

Concerning public finances, a sluggish implementation of scheduled public investment and proposed additional spending cuts outlined in the revised 2023 budget led to a reduction in the fiscal deficit to 5.8% of GDP, compared to 8.3% in 2022 (World Bank). In December 2023, the IMF staff and Togolese authorities reached a staff-level agreement on economic policies and reforms. This agreement will be supported by a new 42-month arrangement under the Extended Credit Facility (ECF), amounting to approximately USD 390 million. The aim is to address urgent spending needs, particularly arising from escalating security concerns, and to uphold stability and social inclusion. The primary reforms aim to achieve a reduction in the budget deficit to 3% of GDP by 2025 while safeguarding spending that can foster growth and improve economic inclusion. The fiscal strategy partly depends on implementing measures to boost domestic resource mobilization by 0.5% of GDP annually. Additionally, the authorities will streamline public expenditure. Public debt increased to 67.2% of GDP in 2023 and is expected to follow a downward trend over the forecast horizon, landing at 66% in 2025 (IMF). Meanwhile, inflation is projected to fall from 5% in 2023 to 2.8% in 2024 thanks to purchasing power support from the government.

In 2022, the unemployment rate in the country was at 3.8% (World Bank, ILO estimate). The poverty rate is anticipated to decrease to 24.8% in 2025, marking a significant decline from the estimated 28.4% in 2022 (World Bank). Poverty rates are higher in female-headed households (45.7%) compared to male-headed households (45.2%). Women continue to face greater vulnerability due to limited access to economic opportunities, education, healthcare, and other essential socioeconomic resources. The country’s GDP per capita (PPP) was estimated at USD 2,601 in 2022 by the World Bank.

 
Main Indicators 20222023 (E)2024 (E)2025 (E)2026 (E)
GDP (billions USD) 8.149.119.8610.6211.45
GDP (Constant Prices, Annual % Change) 5.85.45.35.35.5
GDP per Capita (USD) 9201,0041,0611,1161,175
General Government Gross Debt (in % of GDP) 66.367.267.666.064.3
Inflation Rate (%) n/a5.02.82.02.0
Current Account (billions USD) -0.26-0.28-0.27-0.24-0.25
Current Account (in % of GDP) -3.2-3.1-2.7-2.3-2.2

Source: IMF – World Economic Outlook Database , Latest available data

Note: (e) Estimated Data

Main Sectors of Industry

The agricultural sector contributes to 18.3% of GDP and employs 31% of the active workforce (World Bank). The main food crops include cassava, yams, maize, millet, and sorghum, with cocoa, coffee, and cotton as cash crops (generating about 20% of export earnings). Although many farmers practice subsistence farming, some basic foodstuffs still need to be imported. The agricultural sector is vulnerable to climate conditions and parasite infestation. For the agricultural campaign 2023/24, more than 1.5 million tons of cereals are expected according to the production forecasts of the Directorate of Agricultural Statistics, Computing, and Documentation (DSID).

The industrial sector is quite limited in Togo, accounting for one-fifth of both GDP and total employment. With an estimated 30 million metric tons of reserves (USGS), phosphate is the country's most important commodity, making Togo one of the world's largest producers of phosphate. Hence, mining is the main industrial sub-sector, followed by food processing. The country also has clinker deposits, which fuel a dynamic cement industry. Manufacturing as a whole accounts for 14% of the country’s GDP, while mineral rents have a share of 4.9% (World Bank).

The services sector is estimated to account for 52.1% of GDP, giving employment to 49% of the active population. The sector has been growing consistently in recent years, and trade is its biggest contributor. The Lomé Port, which is one of the largest ports in the region, is a major asset as the transport of goods to neighboring countries is boosting the services industry. The country is also investing in its tourism sector: it welcomed one million tourists in 2022, and in the 2024 budget, the government allocated XOF 2 billion for the development of the tourism sector.

 
Breakdown of Economic Activity By Sector Agriculture Industry Services
Employment By Sector (in % of Total Employment) 30.9 20.4 48.7
Value Added (in % of GDP) 18.3 20.5 51.3
Value Added (Annual % Change) 5.0 7.3 6.2

Source: World Bank - Latest available data.

 

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Monetary Indicators 20162017201820192020
CFA Franc BCEAO (XOF) - Average Annual Exchange Rate For 1 MUR 16.6816.8816.3816.5014.63

Source: World Bank - Latest available data.

 
 

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Indicator of Economic Freedom

Definition:

The Economic freedom index measure ten components of economic freedom, grouped into four broad categories or pillars of economic freedom: Rule of Law (property rights, freedom from corruption); Limited Government (fiscal freedom, government spending); Regulatory Efficiency (business freedom, labour freedom, monetary freedom); and Open Markets (trade freedom, investment freedom, financial freedom). Each of the freedoms within these four broad categories is individually scored on a scale of 0 to 100. A country’s overall economic freedom score is a simple average of its scores on the 10 individual freedoms.

Score:
57,5/100
World Rank:
113
Regional Rank:
18

Economic freedom in the world (interactive map)
Source: Index of Economic Freedom, Heritage Foundation

 
 

Country Risk

See the country risk analysis provided by Coface.

 

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Foreign Trade in Figures

In Togo, foreign trade represents 58% of the GDP, according to the World Bank’s latest available data. The country has been a member of the WTO since 1995. Key challenges to trade include certain public monopolies and customs procedures. Togo's main exports are phosphates (22.2%), articles for the conveyance or packaging of goods (7.7%), petroleum oils (6.9%), soya beans (5.7%), and beauty or make-up preparations (5.6%); whereas imports are led by petroleum oils (5.4%), polymers of ethylene (3.9%), medicaments (3.7%), motor cars (3.5%), and motorcycles (2.9% - data Comtrade).

Togo’s main export destinations in 2022 were India (17%), Burkina Faso (12.4%), Benin (9.4%), Ivory Coast (8.4%), Mali (7.5%), and France (7%). Imports came chiefly from China (19.8%), France (8.9%), India (6.1%), Nigeria (4.4%), Ghana (4.1%), and Saudi Arabia (3.2% - data Comtrade).

Togo’s trade balance is structurally in deficit, a trend that is expected to continue due to the high oil bill and purchases of capital goods. In 2022, total exports stood at USD 1.4 billion against USD 2.6 billion in imports (+8.3% and +6.8% y-o-y, respectively). As per services, exports totaled USD 548 million, slightly above imports (USD 464 million – data WTO). In the same year, the World Bank estimated the country’s trade deficit at 9.9% of its GDP.

 
Foreign Trade Indicators 20182019202020212022
Imports of Goods (million USD) 2,1162,0912,2522,4962,666
Exports of Goods (million USD) 1,0801,0551,2071,3321,443
Imports of Services (million USD) 465449438445464
Exports of Services (million USD) 622610514570548
Imports of Goods and Services (Annual % Change) 4.13.11.66.95.1
Exports of Goods and Services (Annual % Change) 0.83.46.55.3-1.1
Imports of Goods and Services (in % of GDP) 33.332.532.532.034.9
Exports of Goods and Services (in % of GDP) 24.624.223.723.225.0
Trade Balance (million USD) -782-757-744n/an/a
Trade Balance (Including Service) (million USD) -626-596-668n/an/a
Foreign Trade (in % of GDP) 58.056.756.255.259.8

Source: WTO – World Trade Organisation ; World Bank , Latest Available Data

 

Main Partner Countries

Main Customers
(% of Exports)
2022
India 17.0%
Burkina Faso 12.4%
Benin 9.4%
Ivory Coast 8.4%
Mali 7.5%
See More Countries 45.3%
Main Suppliers
(% of Imports)
2022
China 19.8%
France 8.9%
India 6.1%
Nigeria 4.4%
Ghana 4.1%
See More Countries 56.7%

Source: Comtrade, Latest Available Data

 
 

Main Products

1.4 bn USD of products exported in 2022
Natural calcium phosphates and natural aluminium...Natural calcium phosphates and natural aluminium calcium phosphates, natural and phosphatic chalk 22.2%
Articles for the conveyance or packaging of goods,...Articles for the conveyance or packaging of goods, of plastics; stoppers, lids, caps and other closures, of plastics 7.7%
Petroleum oils and oils obtained from bituminous...Petroleum oils and oils obtained from bituminous minerals (excl. crude); preparations containing >= 70% by weight of petroleum oils or of oils obtained from bituminous minerals, these oils being the basic constituents of the preparations, n.e.s.; waste oils containing mainly petroleum or bituminous minerals 6.9%
Soya beans, whether or not brokenSoya beans, whether or not broken 5.7%
Beauty or make-up preparations and preparations...Beauty or make-up preparations and preparations for the care of the skin, incl. sunscreen or suntan preparations (excl. medicaments); manicure or pedicure preparations 5.6%
See More Products 51.9%
2.8 bn USD of products imported in 2022
Petroleum oils and oils obtained from bituminous...Petroleum oils and oils obtained from bituminous minerals (excl. crude); preparations containing >= 70% by weight of petroleum oils or of oils obtained from bituminous minerals, these oils being the basic constituents of the preparations, n.e.s.; waste oils containing mainly petroleum or bituminous minerals 5.4%
Polymers of ethylene, in primary formsPolymers of ethylene, in primary forms 3.9%
Medicaments consisting of mixed or unmixed...Medicaments consisting of mixed or unmixed products for therapeutic or prophylactic uses, put up in measured doses "incl. those in the form of transdermal administration" or in forms or packings for retail sale (excl. goods of heading 3002, 3005 or 3006) 3.7%
Motor cars and other motor vehicles principally...Motor cars and other motor vehicles principally designed for the transport of persons, incl. station wagons and racing cars (excl. motor vehicles of heading 8702) 3.5%
Motorcycles, incl. mopeds, and cycles fitted with...Motorcycles, incl. mopeds, and cycles fitted with an auxiliary motor, with or without side-cars; side-cars 2.9%
See More Products 80.5%

Source: Comtrade, Latest Available Data

 
 

To go further, check out our service Import Export Flows.

 
 

Main Services

Source: United Nations Statistics Division, Latest Available Data

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Sources of General Economic Information

Ministries
Ministry of Economy and Finance
Ministry of Foreign Affairs
Ministry of Justice
Ministry of Territorial Administration
Ministry of Defense
Statistical Office
National Institute of Statistics (INSEED)
Central Bank
Central Bank of West African States (BCEAO)
Stock Exchange
Regional Securities Exchange
Search Engines
Google Togo
Economic Portals
Togo-Presse
Republic of Togo
Togo First

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Political Outline

Current Political Leaders
President: Faure Gnassingbé (since 4 May 2005, reelected in 2010, 2015, 2020)
Prime Minister: Victoire Sidémého Dzidudu Dogbe Tomegah  (since 28 September 2020)
Next Election Dates
Presidential: 2025
National Assembly: 2024
Main Political Parties
Although political parties are allowed in Togo, the country is a one-party dominant state with the Union for the Republic (UNIR) in power (gaining 59 of the 91 seats in the 2018 elections). Opposition parties are widely considered to have no real chance of gaining power. The Union of Forces for Change (UFC) - a social democratic party, won 7 seats; independents took 18 seats and smaller parties captured the remainder (including the Patriotic Movement for Democracy and Development, the New Togolese Commitment and the Pan-African Democratic Party).
Type of State
Republic, under transition to multiparty democratic rule.
Executive Power
The president is the head of state and head of government, and is elected by popular vote for a five-year renewable term. The prime minister is appointed by the president. The Council of Ministers is appointed by the president (who also presides over it) on the advice of the prime minister. Executive power is exercised by the government (title IV of the Constitution). The Prime Minister assures the execution of the laws.
After a consultation with the prime minister and the president of the National Assembly, the president of the republic can decide to dissolve the parliament.
Legislative Power
Legislative power is vested in both the government and parliament. Togo has a unicameral parliament, with the members of the 91-seat National Assembly being elected every five years through proportional representation in multimember districts. The National Assembly votes the law as last resort and controls the action of the Government (art. 81 of the Constitution).
 

Indicator of Freedom of the Press

Definition:

The world rankings, published annually, measures violations of press freedom worldwide. It reflects the degree of freedom enjoyed by journalists, the media and digital citizens of each country and the means used by states to respect and uphold this freedom. Finally, a note and a position are assigned to each country. To compile this index, Reporters Without Borders (RWB) prepared a questionnaire incorporating the main criteria (44 in total) to assess the situation of press freedom in a given country. This questionnaire was sent to partner organisations,150 RWB correspondents, journalists, researchers, jurists and human rights activists. It includes every kind of direct attacks against journalists and digital citizens (murders, imprisonment, assault, threats, etc.) or against the media (censorship, confiscation, searches and harassment etc.).

World Rank:
74/180
 

Indicator of Political Freedom

Definition:

The Indicator of Political Freedom provides an annual evaluation of the state of freedom in a country as experienced by individuals. The survey measures freedom according to two broad categories: political rights and civil liberties. The ratings process is based on a checklist of 10 political rights questions (on Electoral Process, Political Pluralism and Participation, Functioning of Government) and 15 civil liberties questions (on Freedom of Expression, Belief, Associational and Organizational Rights, Rule of Law, Personal Autonomy and Individual Rights). Scores are awarded to each of these questions on a scale of 0 to 4, where a score of 0 represents the smallest degree and 4 the greatest degree of rights or liberties present. The total score awarded to the political rights and civil liberties checklist determines the political rights and civil liberties rating. Each rating of 1 through 7, with 1 representing the highest and 7 the lowest level of freedom, corresponds to a range of total scores.

Ranking:
Partly Free
Political Freedom:
5/7

Political freedom in the world (interactive map)
Source: Freedom in the World Report, Freedom House

 

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COVID-19 Country Response

Travel restrictions
Regularly updated travel information for all countries with regards to Covid-19 related entry regulations, flight bans, test and vaccines requirements is available on TravelDoc Infopage.
To find information about the current travel regulations, including health requirements, it is also advised to consult Travel Regulations Map provided and updated on a daily basis by IATA.
Import & export restrictions
A general overview of trade restrictions which were adopted by different countries during the COVID-19 pandemic is available on the International Trade Centre's COVID-19 Temporary Trade Measures webpage.
Economic recovery plan
For the general overview of the key economic policy responses to the COVID-19 pandemic (fiscal, monetary and macroeconomic) undertaken by the government of Togo please consult the country's dedicated section in the IMF’s Policy Tracker platform.
Support plan for businesses
For an evaluation of impact of the Covid pandemic on SMEs and an inventory of country responses to foster SME resilience, refer to the OECD's SME Covid-19 Policy Responses document.
You can also consult the World Bank's Map of SME-Support Measures in Response to COVID-19.

 

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Latest Update: April 2024