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Discover Togo with Timothy Tye

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Landscape near Kpalimé, TogoLandscape near Kpalimé, Togo
photo source,_DSC00773_-_by_Fanfan.jpg
authorshipFrancois Jake Green
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Togo is a small country, also called the Togolese Republic, located in West Africa. It occupies a slim strip of land bordered by Ghana to the west, Burkina Faso to the north, and Benin to the east. The Gulf of Guinea forms the coastline of Togo to the south. Togo covers 56,785 sq km (21,925 sq mi) and has a population of 6.6 million people (2011 estimate). Its capital and biggest city is Lomé. French is the official language spoken here.

Togo observes the Greenwich Mean Time (UTC+0). Its official currency is the CFA franc (XOF). Traffic is driven on the right here. The electricity is 127-220V/50Hz using European plug. The phone IDD code is +228.

Beach in Aného, TogoBeach in Aného, Togo
photo source,_DSC01111_-_by_Fanfan.JPG
authorshipFrancois Jake Green
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In 2009, Togo had an estimated nominal GDP of $2.865 billion, equivalent to a per capita nominal GDP of $422. Its per capita GDP at purchasing power parity is $826. The economy of the country is still based on agriculture, which employs 65% of the labor force. Main crops include cotton, coffee and cocoa.

As with its neighbors, Togo was inhabited by various tribes. Many of them, particularly the Mina tribe, suffered from the slave trade in the 16th century. Togo became a German protectorate in 1884. It then became a German colony called Togoland in 1905. After the defeat of Germany in World War I, Togoland was administered jointly by Britain and France.

House in Taberma Valley in TogoHouse in Taberma Valley in Togo
photo source
authorshipErik Kristensen
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After the Second World War, the British administered Togoland joined the Gold Coast to form Ghana in 1957 while the French Togoland became an autonomous republic of the French Union in 1959. It attained its independence from France as Togo on 27 April, 1960.

The period immediately after independence was turbulent. The independence leader Sylvanus Olympio was assassinated in a military coup led by Sergeant Etienne Eyadema Gnassingbe, who later became the dictator of Togo for the next 38 years, the longest dictator on the continent.

At the voodoo fetish market in Lomé, TogoAt the voodoo fetish market in Lomé, Togo
photo source
authorshipDominik Schwarz
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Upon his death in 2005, he was succeeded by his son Faure Gnassinbé. Bowing to pressure, he resigned and ran for election, which was marred by violence that killed over four hundred people, and resulting in some 40,000 Togolese fleeing the country. Faure Gnassinbé won the election and is now the sitting president of Togo.

Planning your visit to Togo

All visitors from Western countries need a visa to enter Togo. The visa fee is 15,000 CFA for a week-long visit and 30,000 CFA to extend it to a month. You can fly to Lomé from Accra in Ghana or take a bus from there.

Major Cities in Togo

  1. Lomé - capital
  2. Aneho
  3. Atakpame
  4. Badou
  5. Dapaong
  6. Kara
  7. Kpalime
  8. Sokode

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