Upholsterer in Togo

Togo Great challenges and ambitious goals

After almost 40 years of dictatorial rule, Togo is now in a phase of democratisation and liberalisation. The country faces huge challenges in terms of development: Togo is one of the poorest countries in the world and part of the group of fragile states. On the current United Nations Human Development Index (HDI) it is ranked 167th out of 189 countries.

In its "Vision Togo 2030", the government has laid down the ambitious goal of becoming a middle-income country by 2030. In 2018, Togo was accepted into the G20 Compact with Africa initiative. The initiative was launched in 2017 under Germany's G20 Presidency. It seeks to foster private investment in Africa.

German development cooperation with Togo

Togo is one of the development partners with which Germany cooperates closely on the basis of intergovernmental agreements. Like most Western donors, Germany suspended its official development cooperation with the Togolese government in 1993. In the years that followed, support was only provided to projects run by civil society and faith-based organisations that did not involve government authorities and directly benefited the population. In 2012, Germany resumed official cooperation in response to the reform process launched by the Togolese government. Germany is the largest bilateral donor.

The priority areas of cooperation are good governance/decentralisation, agriculture/rural development and sustainable economic development with a focus on vocational training/youth employment.

Voters in Togo at the 2013 parliamentary elections

Encouraging reforms Internal link

Togo has been making progress on the road to democracy in recent years. Although there are still deficits in the fields of governance and human rights, some encouraging steps have been taken.

People in Sokodé, Togo

Progress and challenges Internal link

The Togolese government is ready for reform and dialogue. However, there is still a lack of strong and independent institutions and the fight against widespread corruption remains a challenge.

Child in a hospital in Togo

Severe deficits with regard to basic services Internal link

The political reforms and the stable economic growth which the country has seen in the past few years have so far had little impact on people's daily lives. About half of all people in Togo live in extreme poverty.

Lomé harbour, Togo

Trade hub in the Gulf of Guinea Internal link

It is evident that the Togolese government is working to achieve economic stability and increase government revenue. In its current development strategy, it has laid down the goal of making Togo a logistics and trade hub in West Africa.

German development cooperation with Togo

German Development Minister Gerd Müller at a meeting with Faure Gnassingbé, President of the Republic of Togo (October 2018)

German Development Minister Gerd Müller at a meeting with Faure Gnassingbé, President of the Republic of Togo (October 2018)

German Development Minister Gerd Müller at a meeting with Faure Gnassingbé, President of the Republic of Togo (October 2018)

After almost 20 years, Germany resumed its official development cooperation with Togo in 2012. In 2016, German Development Minister Gerd Müller made a commitment to deepen bilateral cooperation and expand it to cover all five regions of the country. In keeping with the Marshall Plan with Africa, the Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ) wants to help create opportunities for young people in Togo and contribute to sustainable development in one of the least developed countries of the world.

Official development cooperation focuses on the following priority areas:

  • Good governance/decentralisation
  • Agriculture/rural development
  • Sustainable economic development with a focus on vocational training/youth employment

The BMZ also assists the country in its efforts to strengthen its health system, especially with regard to maternal and child health and family planning, and in its efforts to establish decentralised, climate-friendly energy systems in rural areas.

At the government negotiations in March 2019, Germany made a pledge to Togo for 49.7 million euros in funding over two years. Of this sum, 33.7 million euros has been earmarked for Financial cooperation and 16 million euros for Technical Cooperation. In addition, the BMZ is making available up to 16.8 million euros under its special 'One World – No Hunger' initiative.

Market in Togo

Improved infrastructure and services at the local level Internal link

In the early 1990s, the Government of Togo launched a process of decentralisation. However, the process then stalled. Since 2016, it has gathered momentum again. The government has adopted a decentralisation roadmap, reformed administrative structures and created new municipalities.

A woman in Togo harvesting salad

Achieving food security and creating opportunities Internal link

Agriculture is vital to Togo's economic development, food security and labour market. However, at the moment the agricultural sector is still very traditional - there is little technology involved and the focus is on subsistence farming.

Vocational students enrolled in a motor vehicle mechanics course at a vocational school in Sokodé, Togo, are repairing a motorcycle.

Creating training opportunities and jobs for young people Internal link

Even though Togo's economy is suffering under a shortage of skilled labour, it is very difficult for young people to find training opportunities or jobs. The vocational training system has serious shortcomings.