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Country Reports

Togo Country Report

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Risk Level

Low
Moderate
Elevated
High
Very High
Severe
Extreme

Overview

Executive Summary

President Faure Gnassingbé is likely to win a fourth term in office in the presidential election due in February 2020, consolidating his hold over the country after the ruling Union for the Republic (UNIR) gained a landslide victory in municipal elections in June 2019 and maintained its majority in December 2018's parliamentary elections. Opposition protests are likely in the lead-up to elections, but current divisions among opposition parties mean they are unlikely to be on a scale witnessed in 2017–18 when security forces violently dispersed thousands of people calling for Gnassingbé's resignation. The abduction of two French tourists in northern Benin in May 2019 underscores the risk of a similar incident in northern Togo. Regular public-sector strikes, usually over pay, conditions, and the cost of living, increase risks to the operating environment, with cargo movements at Lomé port likely to be affected. The risk of violent crime is increasing in Lomé. Togo’s real GDP growth is forecast at 1% in 2020 and 4.2% in 2021. The phosphate, clinker, and cotton sectors will remain key growth drivers. The government is keen to encourage private-sector growth across all sectors. It has affirmed its commitment to macroeconomic prudence, and its willingness to accept policy advice from multilateral development partners will be a key indicator of the implementation of this commitment. Continued donor assistance is expected to help strengthen the country's political and public-finance institutions. External financing needs could be challenged through 2021 owing to a slowdown in foreign direct investment, which covers over 40% of Togo’s external financing needs.
Last update: September 26, 2020

Operational Outlook

Bureaucratic inertia, corruption, patronage, shortage of skilled workers and inadequate infrastructure pose challenges to the business environment. Anti-government street protests have subsided since legislative elections in December 2018, although ongoing public-sector strikes over pay and conditions pose continued risks to business operations, including disruption to transport and cargo movements at Lomé port. Crime rates are rising, particularly in Lomé.

Last update: September 30, 2020

Terrorism

Elevated

According to Togo's security minister, kidnap-for-ransom incidents targeting ethnic-Peul citizens increased in the first six months of 2019 in Agou, Yoto, and Haho, although he did not name the perpetrators. These are probably inter-communal incidents and unlikely to target foreigners. However, terrorism risks posed by Sahelian jihadists have increased in northern Togo, following the May 2019 abduction of two French tourists in northern Benin, indicating the increased presence jihadists in Burkina Faso and Niger. Shipping is at increased risk in the Gulf of Guinea from Nigeria-based pirates. Three tankers were hijacked off Lomé port in separate incidents in November, May, and March 2019, and several crew members kidnapped.

Last update: September 30, 2020

Crime

Street robberies are a common occurrence, while carjacking and checkpoint robberies are increasing due to the presence of a handful of well-organised gangs who operate across national borders in the region, especially near Burkina Faso. Amateur criminals often act as street currency traders. Violent crime is increasing in Lomé, including at the port, market areas, and the seafront, by gangs armed with knives, machetes, firearms or makeshift weapons. Crews face increasing risk of being abducted by Nigeria-based pirates off Lomé port. The National Police and Gendarmerie are slow to respond to distress calls. Public services are generally inefficient and bribery is a common practice.

Last update: September 30, 2020

War Risks

Civil war risks have receded after anti-government protests lost momentum in the aftermath of legislative elections which, although boycotted by the main opposition parties, went ahead peacefully in December 2018. Civil society groups have threatened protests against the 2020 presidential electoral process but these are unlikely to pose a renewed risk of civil war. Inter-state war risks are low as Togo enjoys good relations with its neighbours, with which it participates in border security operations against contraband and terrorism-related activities.

Last update: September 30, 2020

Social Stability

Very high

The opposition ANC coalition boycotted legislative elections in December 2018 and announced it was re-grouping as a "citizens' movement", but almost two years of anti-government street protests have since abated. Demonstrations are now often banned by the authorities, and protesters are likely to be dissuaded by heavy-handed responses by the security forces, using tear gas, rubber bullets, baton charges, and sometimes live ammunition. Civil society groups and opposition parties are likely to protest as the February 2020 presidential election approaches but will probably be swiftly dispersed by police.

Last update: September 30, 2020

Health Risk

Severe

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.

Routine Vaccinations

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).

Other Vaccinations

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.

Last update: April 5, 2019

Practical Information

Climate

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.

Useful Numbers

Country Code: +228
Police: 117
Fire Dept.: 118

Electricity

Voltage: 220 V ~ 50 Hz

Outlets:

Last update: April 5, 2019