Togo is an independent republic which lies on the Gulf of Guinea between Ghana and Benin and forms part of the West African Region. The capital city is Lomé. Other major towns are Atakpame, Sokode and Kara.

The official language is French. The local currency is the CFA-franc. (US$ / CFA Franc – current exchange rate).

The economy is highly dependent on subsistence agriculture, which contributes about 40 percent of GDP and is the livelihood of about three-quarters of the labor force. The main agricultural exports are coffee, cotton and cocoa. Togo is a centre of commerce and trade in the region. Of all industries in Togo, phosphate mining is the most important, however, the industry has suffered as a result of the fall in world phosphate prices and increased foreign competition.

After the mid 1970s, the Togo government implemented an investment program and founded a number of public enterprises, which then became burdens to the economy. In 1994 Togo implemented an adjustment program, which aimed to create sustainable economic growth and achieve medium term economic viability. The programme was highly successful for the first two years, however, following the energy crises of 1998, the economic situation deteriorated and business confidence fell. Now, progress will rely on continued privatisation, increased government accounting transparency, and a possible downsizing of the military, which the government has relied on to stay in power.

Key sectors in the economy of Togo are its oil and mining industries. Electricity is provided by the parastatal utility Compagnie d’Eau et d’Electricite du Togo.

The international time zone for Togo is GMT and the international dialling code is +228. The principal airlines which fly to the international airport at Lome are Air Afrique, Air France, SABENA and KLM as well as several regional airlines. As at January 1996 visas are required by all visitors to Togo except nationals of certain West European countries, the UK and the USA.

Malaria, tuberculosis, cholera, hepatitis A, typhoid fever, yellow fever and schistosomiasis (bilharzia) may be contracted while travelling in Togo. Travellers should be aware that advance payment for medical services may be required. Prescription medicines should be carried in their original containers together with the prescription. Vaccinations should be obtained before entering Togo.

MBendi clients in this industry

International banking transactions can be carried out through the Banque Centrale des Etats de l’Afrique de l’Ouest and several commercial banks. Consulting and accounting services can be provided by Ernst & Young (through their office in Abidjan); they should also be able to advise on appropriate local legal and other service providers.

A superior insurance service is provided by the local representative of AfriNet, risk managers and insurance brokers of Africa.

The African Resource Network, comprising some of Africa’s leading consultancies in their fields, provides a unique one-stop African information / intelligence / research / advisory service via the Internet to companies and business-people around the world with an interest in doing business in Africa.

A superior insurance service is provided by the local representative of AfriNet, risk managers and insurance brokers of Africa.

Shaun Bakamoso

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