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

For the latest updates on the key economic responses from governments to address the economic impact of the COVID-19 pandemic, please consult the IMF's policy tracking platform Policy Responses to COVID-19.

Togo was enjoying dynamic economic performances until the Covid-19 halted this trend. According to IMF estimates, Togo’s GDP grew by a modest 1.8% in 2020, impacted by the lockdown measures and the collapse of trade. Economic activity recovered in 2021, GDP growth reaching 4.8%, and an acceleration is expected for 2022 (5.9%) and 2023 (6.1%) (IMF). This performance will mainly be driven by agriculture, phosphate exports, and port traffic.

The country has implemented a USD 70 million plan to respond to the coronavirus pandemic. Decreased revenues and increased spending deteriorated public finances. Budget deficit soared from -0.9% GDP in 2019 to -6.9% GDP in 2020, and remained high in 2021 (-5.9%) (Coface). It is expected to narrow slightly to -5% GDP in 2022, due to the recovery of economic activity at the port of Lomé, which accounts for 60% of government revenue (Coface). Public debt continued to increase to reach 62.9% GDP in 2021, and is expected to slowly reduce to 62.6% GDP in 2022 and 61.6% GDP in 2023 as fiscal consolidation efforts are resumed (IMF). Estimated at 1.8% in 2020, inflation increased to 2.7% in 2021 due to higher food and oil prices, and is expected to decrease to 2.5% in 2022 and 2.2% in 2023, remaining well below the WAEMU’s criterion. The authorities are pursuing the USD 7.8 billion National Development Plan 2018-2022, which focuses on infrastructure, logistics, natural resources and food processing, as well as inclusion and social development. Committed to structural reforms, the country has also expressed its interest in an Extended Credit Facility (ECF) program from the IMF.

According to the World Bank, 62% of the workforce have been affected by the effects of the pandemic, the most impacted sectors being services and agriculture. In 2020, the unemployment rate in the country was at 4% (ILO Estimate). The poverty level is twice as high in rural areas (58.8%) than in urban areas (26.5%) and only 46.9% of the population has access to electricity (World Bank).

 
Main Indicators 201920202021 (e)2022 (e)2023 (e)
GDP (billions USD) 7.22e7.59e8.499.3610.27
GDP (Constant Prices, Annual % Change) 5.5e1.8e4.85.96.1
GDP per Capita (USD) 893e916e1,0001,0761,152
General Government Gross Debt (in % of GDP) 52.460.362.962.661.6
Inflation Rate (%) 0.71.8e2.72.52.2
Current Account (billions USD) -0.06-0.11-0.23-0.25-0.26
Current Account (in % of GDP) -0.8-1.5e-2.7-2.7-2.5

Source: IMF – World Economic Outlook Database , October 2021

Note: (e) Estimated Data

Main Sectors of Industry

The agricultural sector contributes to 18.8% of GDP and employs 32% 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 foodstuff still needs to be imported. The agricultural sector is vulnerable to climate conditions, and in 2021 cotton production decreased by 43% due to flooding (Coface).

The industrial sector is quite limited in Togo, accounting for only 22.7% of GDP and 19% of the total employment. With an estimated 60 million metric tons of reserves, 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 fuels a dynamic cement industry.

The services sector is estimated to account for 49.3% of GDP, giving employment to 48% 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 services industry.

 
Breakdown of Economic Activity By Sector Agriculture Industry Services
Employment By Sector (in % of Total Employment) 32.4 19.2 48.4
Value Added (in % of GDP) 18.8 22.7 49.3
Value Added (Annual % Change) 1.3 5.3 0.9

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 53% 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. Duties applied in the country are higher than in neighboring countries (with an average rate of 10.3%). However, Togo has developed a transport infrastructure network, which has enabled it to improve its position as a regional hub. Togo's main exports are plastic materials, phosphates, cement, beauty products, motorcycles, palm oil and cotton; and main imports include electrical energy, medicaments, vehicles, chemicals, oil products, cooking products, foodstuffs, and machinery. Main exports destinations include Burkina Faso, Mali, Benin, Niger, Ghana and India; while imports come essentially from China, France, India, Ghana, Japan, Nigeria and Germany (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 2020, total exports remained stable at USD 1.01 billion while total imports slightly increased to USD 2.17 billion (WTO). Togo’s imports of services decreased to USD 407 million, while export of services decreased to USD 451 million (WTO). Exports of goods and services decreased by -4.7% compared to 2019, while imports of goods and services increased by 0.8% (World Bank).

 
Foreign Trade Indicators 20162017201820192020
Imports of Goods (million USD) 2,3821,8742,1162,0912,166
Exports of Goods (million USD) 1,2901,0161,0801,0551,008
Imports of Services (million USD) 397427464447407
Exports of Services (million USD) 530531589576451
Imports of Goods and Services (Annual % Change) 1.0-11.45.31.40.8
Exports of Goods and Services (Annual % Change) 6.7-0.72.02.1-4.7
Imports of Goods and Services (in % of GDP) 40.032.932.731.331.1
Exports of Goods and Services (in % of GDP) 26.925.323.923.121.8
Trade Balance (million USD) -965-644-782-757n/a
Trade Balance (Including Service) (million USD) -822-502-626-596n/a
Foreign Trade (in % of GDP) 66.958.156.754.452.9

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

 

Main Partner Countries

Main Customers
(% of Exports)
2019
Burkina Faso 13.1%
Benin 10.9%
India 10.6%
Niger 8.1%
Ghana 7.9%
See More Countries 49.5%
Main Suppliers
(% of Imports)
2019
China 22.5%
France 8.4%
United States 6.8%
India 5.0%
Netherlands 4.8%
See More Countries 52.5%

Source: Comtrade, Latest Available Data

 
 

Main Products

1.0 bn USD of products exported in 2020
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 9.0%
Natural calcium phosphates and natural aluminium...Natural calcium phosphates and natural aluminium calcium phosphates, natural and phosphatic chalk 8.8%
Cement, incl. cement clinkers, whether or not...Cement, incl. cement clinkers, whether or not coloured 8.4%
Beauty or make-up preparations and preparations...Beauty or make-up preparations and preparations for the care of the skin, incl. sunscreen or sun tan preparations (excl. medicaments); manicure or pedicure preparations 8.3%
Motor-cycles, incl. mopeds, and cycles fitted with...Motor-cycles, incl. mopeds, and cycles fitted with an auxiliary motor, with or without side-cars; side-cars 6.8%
See More Products 58.8%
2.2 bn USD of products imported in 2020
Electrical energyElectrical energy 5.1%
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) 5.1%
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) 3.9%
Polymers of ethylene, in primary formsPolymers of ethylene, in primary forms 3.4%
Motor-cycles, incl. mopeds, and cycles fitted with...Motor-cycles, incl. mopeds, and cycles fitted with an auxiliary motor, with or without side-cars; side-cars 3.4%
See More Products 79.1%

Source: Comtrade, Latest Available Data

 
 

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

 

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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: 2023
Main Political Parties
Although political parties are allowed in Togo, the country is a one party dominant state with 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 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 in 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

Source: World Press Freedom Index, Reporters Without Borders

 

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

COVID-19 epidemic evolution
To find out about the latest status of the evolution of the COVID19 pandemic and the most up-to-date statistics on the COVID19 disease in Togo, please visit the Togolese government platform. The platform provides a daily
epidemiological update, which includes key national figures.
For the international outlook you can consult the latest
situation reports published by the World Health Organisation as well as the global daily statistics on the coronavirus pandemic evolution including data on confirmed cases and deaths by country.
Sanitary measures
To find out about the latest public health situation in Togo and the current sanitary measures in force, please consult the Togolese government platform including updated information on the containment measures put in place and public health recommendations.
Travel restrictions
The COVID-19 situation, including the spread of new variants, evolves rapidly and differs from country to country. All travelers need to pay close attention to the conditions at their destination before traveling. Regularly updated information for all countries with regards to Covid-19 related travel restrictions in place including entry regulations, flight bans, test requirements and quarantine is available on TravelDoc Infopage.
It is also highly recommended to consult COVID-19 Travel Regulations Map provided and updated on the daily basis by IATA.
The US government website of Centers of Disease Control and Prevention provides COVID-19 Travel Recommendations by Destination.

The UK Foreign travel advice also provides travelling abroad advice for all countries, including the latest information on coronavirus, safety and security, entry requirements and travel warnings.
Import & export restrictions
For information on all the measures applicable to the movement of goods during the period of sanitary emergency due to the COVID-19 outbreak (including possible import and export restrictions, if any), please consult the portal of the Togolese Directorate-General for Customs and Indirect Duties.
For a general overview of trade restrictions due to COVID-19 pandemic, please consult the section dedicated to Togo on the International Trade Centre's COVID-19 Temporary Trade Measures webpage.
Economic recovery plan
Information on the economic recovery plan put in place by the Togolese government to deal with the consequences of the COVID19 pandemic on the Togolese economy is available here.
For a general overview of the main economic policy measures (fiscal, monetary and macroeconomic) taken by the Togolese government to limit the socio-economic impact of the COVID-19 pandemic, please consult the section dedicated to Togo in the IMF’s Policy Tracker platform.
Support plan for businesses
Information on the local business support programme set up by the Togolese government to help small and medium enterprises cope with the economic impacts of the COVID19 are available here
For a general overview of international SME support policy responses to the COVID-19 outbreak, please refer to the World Bank's Map of SME-Support Measures in Response to COVID-19.
Support plan for exporters
Official government sources do not provide information on specific programmes for exporting companies following the coronavirus epidemic outbreak.
 

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Latest Update: April 2022