A country of about 1,600,000 inhabitants, Togo recently celebrated its tenth anniversary of independence from France.
A country of about 1,600,000 inhabitants, Togo recently celebrated its tenth anniversary of independence from France. These ten years have seen great development of Togo's economic and social resources.
Lome, the country's capital and chief port lies on the Gulf of Guinea, Togo's southern border. 100,000 people live in the city of modern buildings and wide streets.
A new deep-water port financed largely by West German aid was opened in April 1968 in time for Togo's eighth independence celebrations. Building the port took over two years and required dredging the harbour and building docks on a coastline naturally devoid of inlets. Two large warehouses on the main wharf facilitate storing goods in transit, and rail and road links to and from the port are being built.
Togo's main exports are mainly agricultural -- coffee, cocoa, millet and pepper -- but phosphates are now being mined in large enough quantity to be worth exporting. The Compagnie Togolaise des Mines de Benin handles most of the phosphate mining and exporting. It was formed with French capital but the Togo Government is a shareholder. Marble quarries are also being built and large iron ore deposits have been discovered. Togo is associated with the European Economic Community, but the country has its own Five-Year Development Plan to improve transport and communications, provide housing, boost the rural economy, industry and commerce, and improve education and health standards within the country. The plan is being financed from funds derived from phosphate revenues and international assistance.
Togo became a member of the Conseil de L'Entente in 1966. A political and economic association of self-governing states who were formerly a part of French West Africa, the Council includes among its members Dahomey, Ivory Coast, Niger and Upper Volta. (Dahomey and Upper Volta border Togo on the east and north; the western border adjoins Ghana). The Council meets twice a year, the place rotating annually between the capitals of the member states. A new centre being built in Lome will provide facilities for members of the Council when Togo is the host country.