Political situation Encouraging reforms

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.

Voters in Togo at the 2013 parliamentary elections

Voters in Togo at the 2013 parliamentary elections

Voters in Togo at the 2013 parliamentary elections

The policy pursued by President Faure Gnassingbé, who has been in office since 2005, is geared towards development. The government is working to launch political and institutional reforms, improve key social areas such as education, health and infrastructure, and improve the business climate.

The current national development plan (Plan national de développement 2018–2022) explicitly takes up the goals of the United Nations 2030 Agenda and the Agenda 2063 of the African Union.

However, many dissenting voices consider that the government's reform programmes do not go far enough. Starting in August 2017, nationwide protests erupted. Protesters' main demand was to limit the power of the president and to prevent Faure Gnassingbé from serving for a fourth term. With the help of mediation efforts by the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS), a roadmap was drafted to overcome the crisis. In line with the agreement reached, parliamentary elections were held in December 2018, which were however boycotted by large sections of the opposition.

In May 2019, the parliament passed a constitutional reform which, among other things, limits the terms of the president and of members of parliament and provides for a second round of voting in presidential elections if no candidate reaches an absolute majority in the first round. In June 2019, the country saw the first local elections since 1987.

In February 2020, Faure Gnassingbé was reelected, winning 71 per cent of the votes in the first round of the presidential elections.