Togo, officially the Togolese Republic, is a country in West Africa. With these facts about Togo, let’s learn more about its history, culture, economy, people, government, poverty and its flag.
Fact 1. Togo and its surrounding regions were known as “the slave coast” between the 16th and the 18th century because Europeans would come to the region in search of slaves.
Fact 2. Togo has a rich history of religion. Almost half of the Togolese population are christian, many of them being protestants, independent or other christian communities.
Fact 3. Togo has secular celebrations. Some of the celebrations include: 1 January – Fete Nationale and 27 April – Independence day. These celebrations open a window for job opportunities and they attract more tourists.
Fact 4. Traditional healing methods are widely used in Togo. Each center has an herbalist. Medical treatments usually involve frequent visits to the house of Vodou and the local Fetish priest. However, the traditional treatment is not much effective in relation to proved high rate of infant mortality in Togo.
Fact 5. Public show of affection is minimal in Togo. Only men and boys are allowed to walk holding hands. Coupling is discretely secret and it is not steered by parents. It is only in some ethnic groups like the Tchama that parents make arrangements for courting.
Fact 6. Togolese usually have two to three meals a day and they are very hospitable. Each meal consists a large portion of starch such as maize, cassava and rice. Proteins served with day meals usually include; goat meat, fish and beans.
Fact 7. Food is not served in ceremonial functions except when carrying out animist rituals when animals are sacrificed, cooked and served. However, beer and gin are essential. The French three or four meal course is served to the wealthy middle class Togolese during functions.
Fact 8. The society in Togo was divided according to traditional and non-traditional lines. The kings, Vodou priests and paramount chiefs are the elite. The educated, business professionals and government officials entail modern elite.
Fact 9. Children remain at home till they reach five years of age. Kids go to school for formal education once they cross this age limit.
Fact 10. Togo’s population is challenged with parasitic, venereal, intestinal and respiratory health problems.
Fact 11. Togo means ‘house of sea’ in Ewe language.
Fact 12. Togo had a great railway network during the reign of the German. During the outbreak of First World War in 1914, Togo was drawn into conflict. It was invaded by the British and French armies during the Togo-land campaign. In 1916, the territory was divided into French and British zones and this was made formal in 1922.
Fact 13. Togo became independent in 27 April 1960. In a smooth transition, Togo served its constitutional ties with France. It shed its UN trusteeship and became fully independent with Olympio as the president.
Fact 14. Olympio’s government was overthrown and he was assassinated in a coup on 13 January 1963. The coup was led by army’s non commissioned officers who were dissatisfied with the conditions following their discharge from the French army.
Fact 15. Grunitzky was the first prime minister of Togo. Two days after Olympio was assassinated, Grunitzky came back to Togo to head the government as prime minister.
Also read: Facts about Benin
Fact 16. Gnassingbe Eyadema was the longest serving president of Togo and died in 2005. He served for thirty eight years, after being the longest dictator to hold occupation in Africa.
Fact 17. The Ewe who migrated from Nigeria in the fourteenth century form the major ethnic group in Togo.
Fact 18. Togo was put on the World stage by the national soccer team which reached the FIFA World Cup in 2006.
Fact 19. The Portuguese arrived in Togo in the 15th century but did not settle due.
Fact 20. Slavery was abolished in Togo in the nineteenth century.
Facts about Togolese people and Togo’s economy
Fact 21. Cocoa, coffee and cotton generate 40% of Togo’s exports.
Fact 22. Cotton is the most important cash crop.
Fact 23. The government contributes in accountability of taxes collected by spending 25.5 percent of gross domestic output in development.
Fact 24. Bargain, bargain and bargain. Togolese business people inflate prices so as to make handsome profits. So if you are in the country, always bargain for the price and see for yourself how low you can buy the item for.
Fact 25. Togo has many limestone mines which have created employment opportunities. The mine have increased Togo’s contribution to Africa export market.
Fact 26. The constitution of Togo has well stipulated laws on the protection of real private property and inheritance.
Fact 27. Togo is a member of West African economic and monetary union. The foreign and domestic investors are treated equally.
Fact 28. Togo’s safe territorial waters have become good zones for international shippers amid regional surge in maritime piracy.
Fact 29. Togo is one of the world’s largest producers of phosphate, with coffee, cocoa and cotton accounting for 40 percent of export earnings.
Fact 30. In the year 2014, the federal government of Togo reduced fees payed by businesses to register with tax authorities and implemented electronic customs system to simplify importing and exporting process.
Government and poverty
Fact 31. There is high infant mortality. 125 children out of 1,000 die before they reach five years, owing to luck of resources such as water, road infrastructure, medical facilities and good education on nutrition to parents.
Fact 32. Togolese health care system is poor due to lack of resources to put up modern health facilities and high population growth rate.
Fact 33. Togo has low percentage of educated adults, the highest number being women who can not read and write.
Fact 34. Little funds allocated to youth development projects has led to increase in poverty hence more crimes.
Fact 35. The Togo government only provides 24.7 percent of the money required for education.
Fact 36. Education in Togo is of low quality. This has led to graduates who are not fully baked to run the current dynamic world.
Fact 37. Togo is ranked forty fourth position out of the fifty most underdeveloped countries in the world. This reflects to low per capita income of the general population of Togo.
Fact 38. Togo ranks 152nd on 2009 United Nations Human Development Index.
Fact 39. Human trafficking is widespread in Togo. Children, especially girls are sold to forms of exploitative arrangements, which amount to slavery.
Fact 40. The Mont Agou at 986 m above sea level is the highest mountain in Togo.
Fact 41. The Mono River with a length of 400 km, running from north to south, is the longest river in the country.
Fact 42. It is a long, thin country in West Africa (See map above.)
Fact 43. Considering its area, Togo is twice the size of Maryland.
Fact 44. Togo has 3 National Parks, 10 faunal reserves and 84 forest reserves.
Some health statistics
As per WHO, the top ten causes of death in Togo included: Lower respiratory infections, HIV/AIDS, Malaria, Diarrhoeal diseases, Stroke, Premature birth complications, Birth asphyxia and birth trauma, Meningitis, Ischaemic heart disease and Protein-energy malnutrition.
Togo spent 5.2% of its GDP on health care in 2014 and $76 per capita.
Quick/fast country facts about Togo
|Land Area||21,925 sq mi|
|Population||7,552,318 (2015 est.)|
|Official Language||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)|
|Borders||Ghana, Benin, Burkina Faso|
|Currency||CFA franc (XOF)|
|Religion||Christian 29%, Muslim 20%, indigenous beliefs 51%|
|Average Life Span||64.51 years (2015)|
Life expectancy at birth indicates the number of years a newborn infant would live if prevailing patterns of mortality at the time of its birth were to stay the same throughout its life.
|Time Zone||GMT (UTC+0)|
|GDP (estimate 2015)||$4.165 billion (2015 est.)|
|Drives on the||Right|