Togo - Transportation

Togo has a relatively well-developed road system of about 7,520 km (4,673 mi), of which 2,376 km (1,476 mi) are paved in 2002. One main road, completely paved since 1980, runs north from Lomé to the border with Burkina Faso; another runs east along the coast from Lomé to Aného and onward to the Benin border; and a third runs west along the coast to the Ghana border. Because of extreme variations in weather, the roads that are not paved require constant attention; during the dry season, they are very dusty and crack easily, but during the rainy season they become extremely muddy and are frequently washed out. In 2000, there were 51,400 passenger cars and 24,500 commercial vehicles. Togo has 525 km (326 mi) of metergauge rail, including three major lines from Lomé: to Kpalimé (116 km/72 mi), to Aného (44 km/27 mi), and to Atakpamé and Blitta (276 km/171 mi). An 80-km (50-mi) spur goes to Tabligbo. The rail system is operated by Chemin de Fer Togolais.

Togo lacks a natural harbor, but in 1968 a major deepwater port east of central Lomé was completed with a loan from the Federal Republic of Germany (FRG). An autonomous free port at Lomé serves landlocked Burkina Faso, Niger, and Mali. There is also a phosphate-handling port at Kpémé. A small merchant-shipping fleet was created in 1974 as a joint venture with the FRG; in 2002 there was one ship (1,000 GRT or over) totaling 2,603 GRT.

There were nine airports in 2001, two of which had paved runways. The international airport at Lomé links Togo with other countries of West and Central Africa and with Europe; a second international airport, at Niamtougou, was completed in the early 1980s. Among the international airlines serving Togo is Air Afrique, of which Togo owns a 7% share. Air Togo operates domestic service, flying to airstrips at Atakpamé, Sokodé, Sansanné-Mango, Lama-Kara, Niamtougou, and Dapaong. In 2001, 46,400 passengers were carried on scheduled domestic and international airline flights.

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