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.

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People in Sokodé, Togo

Togo is one of the poorest countries in the world. 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 the past few years, it has undertaken major reform efforts. 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.

Support for the government's reform course

So far, the reforms that have been launched have not yet had a far-reaching impact on people's daily lives. Poverty, unemployment and shortage of skilled labour are widespread. Corruption and internal tensions are obstacles for the country's political, economic and social development. Germany wants to support the course of reform on which Togo has embarked. To that end, it agreed a reform partnership with the country in May 2021.

More information on the German-Togolese Reform Partnership can be found below 

German development cooperation with Togo

Federal Minister Gerd Müller meets Togolese President Fauré Gnassingbé in Lomé on 14 June 2021.

Federal Minister Gerd Müller meets Togolese President Fauré Gnassingbé in Lomé on 14 June 2021.

Federal Minister Gerd Müller meets Togolese President Fauré Gnassingbé in Lomé on 14 June 2021.

In 1993, Germany stopped its development cooperation with Togo, and there was no programme of cooperation for almost 20 years. Development cooperation was only resumed in 2012, after the country had made demonstrable progress in the fields of democracy, rule of law and human rights. Germany is currently Togo's largest bilateral donor.

Its most recent commitment for development cooperation, which was made at the government negotiations in May 2021 and during a visit of Minister Müller to Togo in June 2021, amounted to 100 million euros. It may be possible for Germany to commit another 42.9 million euros at a later point.

As part of the BMZ 2030 reform process, the programme of Togolese-German development cooperation was restructured. In the future, it will focus on the following core areas:

  • Training and sustainable growth for decent jobs
    (Areas of intervention: technical and vocational education and training, private sector and financial sector development)
  • A world without hunger
    (Areas of intervention: food security, rural development, agriculture)
  • Peaceful and inclusive societies
    (Area of intervention: good governance)

The BMZ also assists Togo 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.

Emergency COVID-19 Support Programme

The BMZ is also providing assistance to Togo's efforts to address the COVID-19 pandemic. To that end, Financial Cooperation funding has been reallocated and additional resources have been provided for a GIZ health project. In addition, in-kind contributions have been provided, for instance laboratory equipment and ventilators. In the Kara Region, a pandemic action plan was implemented and an isolation centre was set up with German support.

Reform partnership with Togo

Press release 14 June 2021

In November 2020, the BMZ entered into negotiations with Togo on a reform partnership. The partnership is intended to foster sustainable economic development and contribute towards stability and political participation in the West African country.

The two sides agreed that the partnership should focus on the area of intervention of "Good governance" and on the core area of "Training and sustainable growth for decent jobs". There will be close cooperation with other donors, especially the European Union.

Through reform partnerships, the German Development Ministry supports reform-minded countries in fostering private-sector involvement so as to create more jobs. In this way, the BMZ is putting the Marshall Plan with Africa and the G20 Compact with Africa initiative into action. Reform partnerships are based on a "more for more" principle: commitments and disbursements are usually tied to the implementation of specific reforms. 

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

Core area "Training and sustainable growth for decent jobs" Creating training opportunities and jobs for young people Internal link

The programme of Togolese-German development cooperation is intended to provide quality, relevant vocational training for young people and to make the country more attractive for private investors.

A woman in Togo harvesting salad

Core area "A world without hunger" 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. 

Market in Togo

Core area "Peaceful and inclusive societies" 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.

Current situation

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

Achievements and challenges Internal link

The Togolese government is willing to pursue reforms and to engage in dialogue. However, at present the country is still faced with a lack of strong and independent institutions. The fight against widespread corruption remains a challenge as well.

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

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.