More information about Togo is available on the Togo Page and from other Department of State publications and other sources listed at the end of this fact sheet.
The United States established diplomatic relations with Togo in 1960, following its independence from a French-administered trusteeship. In 1963, Togo experienced the first post-independence presidential assassination in Africa, led by Eyadema Gnassingbe. Eyadema formally became president in 1967 and ruled until his death in 2005. The current president, Faure Gnassingbe, is Eyadema’s son. While Faure came to power in a flawed 2005 election, the international community deemed subsequent presidential and parliamentary elections generally free and fair. Togo went through a period of political upheaval in 2017 and early 2018 as the historically divided opposition united in an effort to prevent President Faure Gnassingbe from standing for a fourth presidential term in 2020. Regional mediation culminated in the opposition boycotting legislative elections in December 2018. The ruling party, controlling all votes in parliament, subsequently adopted constitutional reforms limiting presidential mandates to two terms. These reforms, however, are not retroactive, allowing President Faure the ability to stand for the 2020 and 2025 elections. In June 2019, the government held local elections for the first time in 32 years, expanding the number of elected officials from 91 to over 1,600. The government has undertaken significant economic reforms over the last several years, including professionalizing the security forces, in part through U.S. assistance. Togo launched a realistic and comprehensive five-year national development plan in 2018 that guides future development and economic initiatives. The United States and Togo have good relations and the United States seeks to work with Togo to consolidate democratic gains and economic growth.
U.S. Assistance to Togo
In fiscal year 2018, the United States provided approximately $14 million in assistance to Togo, including $6 million in health funding and $0.4 million in international military education and training aid. Although USAID does not have a mission in Togo, a handful of regionally and centrally managed program activities are present. The USAID West Africa Regional Mission located in Accra, Ghana manages USAID regional program activities in Togo, including approximately $2 million a year for family planning and $1 million a year for HIV/AIDS programs. In fiscal year 2020, PEPFAR will start a two-year, $18 million program in Togo.
The Peace Corps established its presence in Togo in 1962, and has 84 volunteers in the field, working on projects in agriculture, education, and health. Togo has made significant efforts to maritime and regional security; in particular, contributing over 1,200 troops to United Nations Peacekeeping Operations. In February 2019, the Millennium Challenge Corporation signed a $35 million Threshold program to aid reforms in the telecommunications industry and land title sector.
Bilateral Economic Relations
Togo has a market-oriented economy, and the country is eligible for preferential trade benefits under the African Growth and Opportunity Act. Togo hosted the 2017 Africa Growth and Opportunity Act Forum. The United States has a significant trade surplus with Togo. U.S. exports to Togo include fuel oil, vehicles, petroleum products, machinery, and food products, while U.S. imports from Togo include cocoa and coffee. Togo’s export processing zone, established with U.S. Government support, has attracted private investors interested in manufacturing, pharmaceuticals, cosmetics, and food processing, primarily for the export market. A 100-megawatt power plant is among the largest electricity investments in Togo and one of the largest single private U.S. investments in West Africa. The two countries have signed a treaty on investment and economic relations. The United States also has a trade and investment framework agreement with the West African Economic and Monetary Union, of which Togo is a member. Togo is working with the United States and other development partners to improve the investment climate and commercial infrastructure. Togo has the deepest port on the west coast of Africa. The government is working to expand the port and road network to make Togo a better option for regional transshipment.
Togo’s Membership in International Organizations
Togo and the United States belong to a number of the same international organizations, including the United Nations, International Monetary Fund, World Bank, and World Trade Organization.
Principal embassy officials are listed in the Department’s Key Officers List.
Togo maintains an embassy in the United States at 2208 Massachusetts Avenue NW, Washington, DC 20008; tel: (202) 234-4212.
More information about Togo is available from the Department of State and other sources, some of which are listed here: