Togo is one of Africa's smallest countries, with modest
natural resources and limited population. By independence,
the country had a relatively developed economy, partly based
on the plantation economy and infrastructure developed under
German colonial rule, when Togo was developed into a
so-called pattern colony. However, after a prolonged
economic downturn, as well as political turmoil from the
1990s, Togo, at the beginning of the 2000s, belonged to the
socially and economically least developed countries in
Africa. Lack of political stability contributed to
withholding foreign aid in the 2000s. High population growth
has created pressure on limited land resources, and the
economic growth achieved has been unable to keep up with
Although Togo has some industry, agriculture is the main
trade route. Cotton is the most important export item in
competition with phosphate. Revenue from phosphate
extraction has been a cornerstone of the country's economy,
alongside agriculture. The state's ownership interests in
the business sector have been reduced through privatization
from the 1990s.
COUNTRYAAH, tourism has been a significant source of income, but the
visit dropped from the 1990s due to. the uncertain political
situation in the country.
Mining and energy
Togo has few but valuable mineral resources, and derives
its greatest revenue from the phosphate mines. Togo has
among the world's richest deposits of calcium phosphate, and
the country is the fifth largest producer of the mineral.
The phosphate deposits at Hahotoé, northeast of Lomé, are of
extremely high quality. Limestone and marble are also
extracted; the former is used, among other things, for local
cement production. There are also untapped deposits of
manganese, iron ore and chromite.
The consumption of electrical energy was in 2016 1,248
TWh, which was largely covered by imports from Ghana. Own
production takes place partly from Lomé thermal power plants
and a smaller hydroelectric power station (65 MW) at Kpalimé
and Nangbeto on the Mano River - the latter in collaboration
with Benin, and partly through extensive imports from Ghana.
The share of hydropower varies widely from year to year, but
in 2016 was around 80 per cent. Lack of electrical energy is
a barrier to economic development in Togo.
Exploration has been carried out for petroleum and
uranium, among others. In 1999, oil and gas discoveries were
reported, following a search by the Norwegian company
Petroleum Geo-Service (PGS).
Agriculture and fishing
Togo is an agricultural country, and agriculture still
accounts for around 40% of GNI and provides employment to
nearly 60% of the working population. After growth in the
first years after independence, growth was reduced in the
1970s; As a result of drought in the early 1980s, production
declined thereafter. Since the 1990s, agricultural
production has increased, and this year without drought,
Togo is mainly self-sufficient in food. Among the most
important agricultural products are cotton, cocoa, coffee,
palm kernels, copra, peanuts and maize. Tomatoes, herbs and
sugar cane are also grown for sale. Millet,manioc, yams,
beans and rice are grown for their own consumption. The
majority of the cultivation takes place on small farms. Of
domestic animals, most goats, sheep and pigs are kept.
The forest area has declined sharply in recent years,
amounting to approx. 15% of the land area.
Togo has a small coastline, and fishing is of less
importance and is not sufficient to meet local demand.
Togo's industrial sector is relatively small, and is
mainly based on the processing of raw materials from
agriculture and mining as well as the production of consumer
goods to replace imports, including food and textiles. In
the 1970s, it was invested in heavy industry, including the
production of cement, which Norwegian interests (Scanem)
later took on the ownership side through the Société des
ciment du Togo (CIMTOGO). Furthermore, oil refineries and
steelworks were established.
Togo's current account deficit has been sustained since
the late 1970s, and budget deficits are covered through
borrowing and foreign aid. Due to the political crisis of
the mid-1990s, much assistance was withheld. Main export
goods are cotton, calcium phosphate, cement, cocoa beans and
coffee. Part of the trade is illegal through smuggling.
Imports come essentially from Europe and Canada, while
neighboring countries are declining for a large part of
exports. A free trade zone at Lomé was established in 1990.
Transport and Communications
Togo has direct road links to neighboring countries Benin
and Ghana, and north of the country, with approx. 7520 km
road. Rail goes from the coast to Palimé and Aného. Larger
port of Lomé, which has international airport in Tokoin, as
well as in Niamtougou (between Kara and Kandé) in the north.