Togo’s economic performance has been relatively strong growing by about 5.5% in 2015 down from 5.9% in 2014. Togo has been subject to negative external shocks in terms of lower commodity prices for its main exports and slowdown of the economies of its neighbouring countries. The main drivers of economic growth have been agricultural production which accounts for approximately half of the country’s GDP and over 60% of its employment and the extractive industries. Inflation has remained under control, averaging 2.1% in 2016 due to a prudent monetary policy and low food prices. Togo’s external current account deficit remains substantial mainly due to reduced exports as the result of lower demand by the Togo’s main trading partners. Continuing government reforms to increase competition in hotels, electricity, banks and telecommunications along with support for agriculture and extractive industries, should drive projected growth to 5.9% in 2016 and 6.0% in 2017.
Why invest in Togo?
- Togo’s huge economic and human potential
- Investor-friendly environment
- A stable currency
- Peace, political stability and good geographical location
- Membership of regional economic organizations such as WAEMU and ECOWAS
- Investment in port , airport and other infrastructures
- Availability of skilled labour
- Availability of ICT companies
- Availability of nationwide optical fibre to interconnect businesses locally and internationally
Togo’s political landscape is dominated by the five main parties all of which have seats in the parliament. Togo is a republic headed by President Faure Gnassingbé, son of the late General Gnassingbé Eyadéma who has premised his leadership on ending Togo’s long political crisis and isolation from the donor community. Under Faure, the Togolese government has exhibited both a willingness to engage Togo’s active opposition in a political reform process and a growing tendency to depoliticize the military. There are periodic protests by political parties, students, and unions that are generally peaceful.
Togo’s population is estimated at 7 million in 2017 with estimated annual growth rate of 2.54% compared to the population of 6.3 million in 2010 population census. About 50% of Togo’s people live below the international poverty line of $1.25 USD per day.
It was estimated that 39.5% of the total population lived in urban areas in 2014. The people living in urban areas are projected to reach 50.0% of the total population by 2030.
Doing business in
The highlights of World Bank score of doing business in Togo are summarised as follows;
|Topics||World Bank 2017 Rank||World Bank 2016 Rank||Change in Rank|
|Starting a Business||123||130||
|Dealing with Construction Permits||180||179||
|Protecting Minority Investors||145||145||–|
|Trading across Borders||117||127||10|
The government is the in process of creating conducive environment for doing business.
Togo uses the CFA franc (FCFA), which is the common currency of most of the Francophone countries of West Africa. The currency is fixed to the Euro at a rate of 656 FCFA to 1 Euro, and the exchange system is free of restrictions for payments and transfers for international transactions. The 2012 Investment Code provides for the free transfer of revenues derived from investments, including the liquidation of investments, by non-residents. There are no restrictions on the transfer of funds to other FCFA-zone countries or to France. The transfer of more than FCFA 500,000 (about $1,000) outside the FCFA-zone requires Finance Ministry approval, which is routinely granted for foreign companies and individuals.
Togo has implemented certain reforms to accelerate the resolution of business disputes and enhance confidence in the enforceability of contracts. In November 2011, Togo created the Court of Arbitration and Mediation, which offers companies a forum to more rapidly resolve their disputes through agreed mechanisms for alternative dispute resolution. Additionally, in March 2013, Togo adopted legislation creating a new forum for enforcing contracts and resolving business disputes and designating three dedicated commercial chambers whose specialized magistrates have exclusive trial court level jurisdiction over contract enforcement and business disputes. Togo is a party to the Convention on the Settlement of Investment Disputes between States and Nationals of Other States (ICSID Convention – also known as the Washington Convention), which it ratified in 1967. Togo is a member of the World Trade Organization (WTO). The 2012 Investment Code allows the resolution of investment disputes involving foreigners through: (a) bilateral agreements between Togo and the investor’s government; (b) arbitration procedures agreed to between the interested parties; or (c) through the offices of the Convention on the Settlement of Investment Disputes between Togo and Nationals of Other States. Togo is also a member of the Organization for the Harmonization of Commercial Law in Africa (OHADA), which provides a forum and legal process for resolving legal disputes in 16 African countries.
Key development challenges
- Sharp socio-political tensions
- Poor business climate
- High levels of poverty and unemployment
- Low productivity of agricultural sector
- Underinvestment in terms of education and public health
Togo ranked number 116 out of the 176 countries that participated and scored 32 points out of 100 in the 2016 corruption perception index survey by Transparency International. In 2011, the government effectively implemented procurement reforms to increase transparency and reduce corruption.
Togo is generally a safe country for travellers but one should areas frequented by criminal elements. Lome has been ranked as medium threat for terrorist attacks.
Unemployment and skilled labour
Current information is not available.
Attitude to Foreign Direct Investment
Togo government is using all available forums and platforms in promoting its investment opportunities in areas of transportation, logistics, agribusiness, and energy and mining. The government is committed in creating conducive investment climate that offers facilities to those who choose to invest in Togo. In January 2012, the National Assembly adopted a new investment code, which prescribes equal treatment for Togolese and foreign businesses and investors; free management and circulation of capital for foreign investors; respect of private property; protection of private investment against expropriation; and investment dispute resolution regulation. The new code meets West African Economic and Monetary Union (WAEMU) standards.
Restrictions on Foreign investment
Both foreign and domestic private entities may establish and own business enterprises and engage in most forms of remunerative activity.
Intellectual Property (IP) Rights.
Togo is a member of the World Intellectual Property Organization and the Cameroon-based African Intellectual Property Organization. Togo has frequently demonstrated both the will and ability to crack down on counterfeit medical products and other goods.
Phosphates, limestone, marble, diamond and gold.
Investment Climate in Togo has been summarized to include the following
Sources of information