Togo Country Report
Almost weekly anti-government protests since August 2017, led by a united opposition, have reduced President Faure Gnassingbé's grip on power since winning a third term in April 2015. At least 16 people have been killed in confrontations with the security forces, whose loyalty to the president could weaken if demonstrations persist, increasing military coup risks. Protesters want Gnassingbe's resignation, the reintroduction of presidential term limits and electoral reform, but reject the terms of a constitutional referendum which will likely drive further demonstrations. Togo has experienced steady economic growth over the last five years, but the IMF warned in October 2017 that the political climate could affect consumer and investor sentiment. Islamist militant groups posemoderate risks of gun attacks 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 an ongoing concern although Togo improved its ranking in Transparency International's corruption perceptions index in 2015 to 107th from 126th but then fell back to 116th in 2016. Almost weekly anti-government protests since August 2017 pose risks of disruption to business operations and cargo movements.
Piracy risks in the Gulf of Guinea are increasingly limited to abduction of crews. Hijacking of tankers for fuel is proving difficult, and less commercially viable due to lower oil prices. Pirates are instead increasingly focusing on sea robbery and kidnapping, usually in Nigerian waters, with only one reported attack in Togolese waters since 2015. Security forces are slow to respond to attacks, and crews without access to a citadel on board are most vulnerable to death and injury risks when they resist. Islamist militant groups in West Africa pose moderate risks of gun attacks on venues popular with Westerners in Lomé.
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 presidents of Côte d'Ivoire, Benin, Burkina Faso, Ghana, and Niger involved in a UN-initiated mediation mission. Civil war risks, as a result of the protests, have increased. The army's loyalty to President Gnassingbé – particularly among the lower ranks – is likely to wane if the unrest continues beyond six months, raising the risk of a military coup.
Almost weekly anti-government protests since August 2017, led by a united opposition, have weakened President Gnassingbé and forced a constitutional referendum. Its terms however have been rejected, increasing the likelihood of continued demonstrations in the three-month outlook, especially in the main cities of Lomé and Sokodé. 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