Republic of Togo
CAPITAL : Lomé
FLAG : The national flag consists of five alternating horizontal stripes of green and yellow. A five-pointed white star is at the center of a red square that spans the height of the top three stripes.
ANTHEM : Terre de nos aïeux (Land of Our Fathers).
MONETARY UNIT : The Communauté Financière Africaine franc (CFA Fr) is a paper currency of 100 centimes. There are coins of 1, 2, 5, 10, 25, 50, 100, and 500 CFA francs and notes of 50, 100, 500, 1,000, 5,000, and 10,000 CFA francs. CFA Fr1 = $0.00167 (or $1 = CFA Fr 597.577) as of May 2003.
WEIGHTS AND MEASURES : The metric system is the legal standard.
HOLIDAYS : New Year's Day, 1 January; National Liberation Day, 13 January; Economic Liberation Day, 24 January; Victory Day, 24 April; Independence Day, 27 April; Labor Day, 1 May; Martyrs' Day, 21 June; Assumption, 15 August; All Saints' Day, 1 November; Anniversary of the failed attack on Lomé, 24 September; Christmas, 25 December. Movable religious holidays include Easter Monday, Ascension, Whitmonday, 'Id al-Fitr, and 'Id al-'Adha'.
TIME : GMT.
The Ministry of Tourism has indicated that about 29% of the population are Christian and about 12% are Sunni Muslim. The remaining 59% practice a variety of traditional indigenous religions or other faiths, including Vodoun (Voodoo), which is believed to have orginated in the region that is now Togo.
In 2002, Togo's armed forces numbered approximately 9,450. The army numbered some 9,000 troops including a Presidential Guard unit. Equipment included two main battle tanks and nine Scorpion tanks. The 250-member air force had 16 combat aircraft, and the 200-member naval unit had 2 coastal patrol vessels. Paramilitary forces numbered 750. Defense spending in 2001 was $21.9 million or 1.8% of GDP.
Although much of Togo once was forested, the country now must import wood. Production of roundwood in 2000 was estimated at 5,805,000 cu m (2.1 billion cu ft), of which 94% was for fuel.
The Togolese Insurance Group is 63% state owned; about a half-dozen French companies were also operating in Togo in the 1990s.
Taxes are levied on individual incomes and on corporate profits and capital gains. A transactions tax, a tax on fuel consumption, and social security contributions are also paid. There are also registration and stamp taxes and a tax on income from securities. A 5% "solidarity" surtax on salaries was imposed in 1983 as an austerity measure. There was a value-added tax of 18% in 1998.
There are no export controls. Tariffs are based on a nondiscriminatory schedule at 5%, 10%, or 20% and there is a customs stamp tax and a 3% statistical tax. A common external tariff (CET) for members of the West African Economic and Monetary Union (WAEMU) is set at a maximum of 22% for goods coming from outside the WAEMU. Restricted or prohibited goods include arms, ammunition, narcotics, and explosives.
As of the late 1990s, the National Library in Lomé had a collection of approximately 18,000 volumes, and the University of Benin library had 70,000. There is a public library with 26 service points holding a total of 63,000 volumes.
As of the late 1990s, Togo had eight museums. The National Museum, founded in Lomé in 1975, has ethnography, history, and art exhibits.
Togo's most prominent statesman was Sylvanus Olympio (1902–63), who led his country's fight for independence and was its first president. Gnassingbé Éyadéma (b. Étienne Éyadéma, 1937) became president of Togo since 1967. Edem Kodjo (b.1938) was OAU secretary-general, 1978–84.
Togo has no territories or colonies.
Decalo, Samuel. Togo. Santa Barbara, Calif.: Clio, 1995.
Calvert, Albert Frederick. Togoland. London: Laurie, 1918.
Cornevin, Robert. Histoire du Togo. Paris: Berger-Levrault, 1969.
Curkeet, A. A. Togo: Portrait of a West African Francophone Republic in the 1980s. Jefferson, N.C.: McFarland and Co.,1993.
Decalo, Samuel. Historical Dictionary of Togo. 3rd ed. Lanham, Md.: Scarecrow Press, 1996.
Knoll, Arthur J. Togo under Imperial Germany, 1884–1914: A Case Study in Colonial Rule. Stanford, Calif.: Hoover Institution Press, 1978.