Togo Country Report
The stalled opposition dialogue with the government over constitutional reform resumed in June 2018, but anti-government protests have continued. The Alliance Nationale pour le Changement (ANC) opposition coalition had agreed to suspend protests in February 2018 during the Ghana-mediated dialogue, but they resumed in April after the failure of that round of talks. The ANC's main demands include President Faure Gnassingbé's resignation, presidential term limits, and electoral reform. Parliament's mandate is due to end in August 2018 but no date has yet been set for legislative elections. Public-sector strike action over pay and conditions has continued, with the IMF warning that the political climate could affect consumer and investor sentiment. West African extremist groups posemoderate risks of attack on venues popular with expatriates in Lomé.
Bureaucratic inertia, a patronage system, a shortage of skilled workers and inadequate infrastructure, including regular power supply, are major challenges for business operations. Corruption is also an ongoing concern. Widespread anti-government protests pose risks of disruption to business operations and cargo movements. Ongoing public-sector strikes over pay and conditions also disrupt the operating environment. The IMF has warned that the political climate could affect consumer and investor sentiment.
Gulf of Guinea piracy risks have increased following the hijacking of three tankers in Beninese waters in early 2018. The pirate gangs' motive is more likely the abduction of crews for ransom. In May 2018, a lone pirate attempted to board a vessel 140 nautical miles south of Lomé but was thwarted by crew members. Security forces are often slow to respond to attacks. Islamist militant groups in West Africa pose moderate risks of gun attacks on venues popular with expatriates in Lomé. Togo is participating in border security operations with its neighbours against contraband and terrorism-related activities.
Instability caused by anti-government protests in Togo since August 2017 has caused concern to its neighbours; nevertheless, the risk of interstate war to resolve the crisis is very low. Diplomatic moves are much more likely, with the involvement of ECOWAS and Ghana as the lead mediator in talks between the opposition and government. The stalled dialogue tentatively resumed in June 2018, but continued failure is likely to further ignite opposition protests across the country. The army's loyalty to President Gnassingbé – particularly among the lower ranks – is likely to wane in the event of continuing widespread unrest, raising the risk of a military coup.
Anti-government protests that began in August 2017, led by a united opposition, have weakened President Gnassingbé. The protests were suspended in February 2018 but resumed in April after talks with the government stalled. Government-imposed restrictions on demonstrations are likely to ignite defiant protests in major cities, as will attempts to hold legislative elections, due this year, without the electoral reform sought by the opposition. Robust response by the security forces, using live ammunition, poses high risks of death and injury, while street battles and vandalism are likely to cause damage to government and commercial property.
Vaccinations required to enter the country
Proof of vaccination against yellow fever is required for all travelers over one year of age entering the country.
Hepatitis A: A vaccine is available for anyone over one year of age. The vaccine may not be effective for certain people, e.g. those born before 1945 and who lived as a child in a developing country and/or have a past history of jaundice (icterus). These people can instead get a shot of immune globulin (IG) to boost their immunity against the disease.
Hepatitis B: A vaccine is available for children at least two months old.
Diphtheria-Tetanus-Polio: A booster shot should be administered if necessary (once every ten years).
Typhoid Fever: If your travels take you to regions with poor sanitary conditions (for children two years old and up).
Rabies: For prolonged stays in an isolated region (for children from when they can walk).
Meningococcal Meningitis: For prolonged stays, or in case your travels will put you in close contact with a local population affected by an epidemic of the disease (for children over the age of two years).
Malaria: Recommended preventive medication - mefloquine (sometimes marketed as Lariam) or doxycycline (sometimes marketed as Vibramycin).
For Children: All standard childhood immunizations should be up-to-date. In the case of a long stay, the BCG vaccine is recommended for children over one month and the MMR (measles-mumps-rubella) vaccine for children over nine months.
The rainy season lasts from April to October in the south of the country and from April to June in the north. Between mid-September and mid-October there is a second, shorter rainy season. The rest of the year the weather is dry although days are often cloudy, particularly when the Harmattan, a desert wind, passes through the country. The central regions of Togo are cooler, especially around Mount Klouto.
Voltage: 220 V ~ 50 Hz