Togo. Parliamentary elections were scheduled in October but postponed due to contradictions between the opposition and the government on the electoral law. Another opposition requirement was that President Faure Gnassingbé should not be eligible for re-election in 2015.
Speculation that the election would be held increased when Prime Minister Gilbert Houngbo and the government resigned in July. His successor Kwesi Ahoomey-Zunu later invited talks on electoral reforms that the major opposition parties boycotted.
- AbbreviationFinder.org: Provides most commonly used acronyms and abbreviations for Togo. Also includes location map, major cities, and country overview.
During the year there were several protests against the government that the security forces brutally beat down. The women’s network, Collectif Sauvons le Togo (Let’s Save Togo), created headlines when it called for a week-long sex strike to pressure the president – whose family has ruled the country since 1967 – to resign. The network brought together both parties and individual organizations. A similar campaign was implemented in Liberia in 2003.
In April, Gnassingbé disbanded the Government Party Collection for the People of Togo (RPT), which had been founded in 1969 by his father, the country’s late president Gnassingbé Eyadéma. The RPT was replaced by the Party for the Republic (UNIR).
The hijacking of a Greek oil tanker off the country’s coast in August again reminded how piracy in the Gulf of Guinea has developed into a regional problem.
According to countryaah, the population of Togo in 2012 was 7,323,047, ranking number 102 in the world. The population growth rate was 2.660% yearly, and the population density was 134.6416 people per km2.
HUMAN AND ECONOMIC GEOGRAPHY
The population of Togo (4,397,000 residents In 1998), which is one of the poorest countries in the world, with extremely worrying social indicators, is growing at a very fast pace. Its distribution is very irregular: in the small coastal region, where the capital is located and which covers less than a tenth of the entire surface, over a third of the total population is gathered, with a density about four times higher than that of the rest of the country. This process has led to a consistent growth of the capital and of the urban population (in any case much less numerous than the rural one), but in mainly informal settlements, weighing down the general conditions of the maritime region.
Agriculture remains the main economic activity, practiced by about two thirds of the active population on just under half of the state area (now almost completely cleared), but it is not yet able to guarantee food self-sufficiency and requires supplements provided by international aid or the use of imports; the production of cotton, cocoa and coffee make a small contribution to exports.
Modern industry is almost non-existent: there are only a few plants in the food, textile and cement sectors. Mineral resources are modest and energy resources are nil; some relief to the trade balance comes from exports of phosphates, of which the country is quite rich.
During the 1990s, on the other hand, the production and sale of phosphates fell by about a third (although the estimated reserves are very large), mainly as a consequence of the international disengagement caused by the failure to respect agreements aimed at restoring a system of democratic representation in the country. This attitude of the international financial organizations culminated in 1993 with the suspension of non-humanitarian aid, which resumed the following year; despite France’s confirmed support for Togo, this suspension added its negative effects to those deriving from the confused internal political situation and the blockade (1991) of public investments, which had already severely penalized the country’s production, marking regresses of the order of over 10 % per year at the beginning of the 1990s. Like other countries in the area, moreover, Togo has suffered the consequences (especially in terms of inflation) of the devaluation of the CFA franc (Communauté Financière Africaine).
Towards the mid-nineties the economic situation seemed oriented towards a recovery and global GDP had recovered to the levels of the eighties, even if in 1996 the International Monetary Fund suspended its financing again (for several years the Togo has not reimbursed the due dates of its debt), pending more convincing privatization measures in the phosphate and cotton sectors.