Togo - Country history and economic development



1884-1919. Togoland is a German protectorate.

1919. Britain and France take Togoland from Germany during World War I; they split the country—with France ruling French Togoland—and rule under a League of Nations mandate.

1960. On April 27, the newly named Republic of Togo becomes independent, and Sylvanus Olympio is elected president under a provisional constitution.

1963. President Olympio is assassinated by army officers, and Nicolas Grunitzky leads a provisional government as prime minister and, later, as president.

1967. President Grunitzky's government is overthrown by the military, and Colonel Etienne Gnassingbé Eyadema takes control.

1972. Eyadema is reelected to the presidency in a national referendum in which he is the only candidate.

1979. Eyadema is reelected once more in elections in which he is the only candidate. A new constitution provides for a national assembly which will consult with the president, but Eyadema holds all the power.

1991. Facing pressure from pro-democracy protestors, Eyadema agrees to a transitional government leading up to free elections. Kokou Joseph Koffigoh is selected as prime minister, and Eyadema's powers are limited.

1992. Fearing that Eyadema will not relinquish power, trade unions and opposition parties launch a general strike, which lasts for 9 months and decimates Togo's economy.

1993. Presidential elections are held, but alleged fraud keeps many opposition parties and voters away. Eyadema wins with 96 percent of the votes and declares the success of democracy in Togo.

1994. Multiparty legislative elections are held, giving parties opposed to Eyadema's RPT control in the legislature. Edem Kodjo is named prime minister but has little power in a country that is still dominated by Eyadema.

1994. The CFA franc is devalued, leading to a surge in exports for Togo.

1998. Presidential elections are again boycotted by the opposition and deemed flawed by outside observers. Eyadema retains presidency.

1999. CFA franc becomes tied to the euro. Legislative elections are won by Eyadema's RPT.

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