Togo's main port and growing road transport sector have an important role in the sub-regional economy. The commercial and transport sector earns 35 percent of Togo's GDP. Togo has 9,600 kilometers (5,965 miles) of roads, 1,600 kilometers (994 miles) of which are paved. The World Bank has introduced a US$200 million transport infrastructure program, which was instituted in 1997. Parts of the 700 kilometer (435 miles) north-south road (the main road to Burkina Faso) have already been rehabilitated. The main east-west road which links Togo to Benin and Ghana also has money earmarked for rehabilitation. The railway network is limited and needs modernizing. There are 275 kilometers (171 miles) of track leading from Lomé to Blitta, and 262 kilometers (163 miles) from Kpalimé to Aného.
Lomé's deep-water port has benefitted from under-capacity in other countries and competes successfully within the region. In the 1970s the port grew rapidly, reflecting increased trade with Niger, Burkina Faso, and Mali. Togo's social upheaval and a general regional economic downturn has led to a trade slump, with re-exports dropping from 2.7 million metric tons to 1.1 million metric tons in 1993. Under a government privatization program, new installations are planned, including computerization to speed up loading and unloading in order to make the port competitive.
Telecommunications are operated by Togo Telecom, which is a parastatal . Togo Telecom sought to increase the number of telephone lines in the country from 21,500 in 1998 to 30,400 in 2000. The company has been slated for privatization since 1997. One of its subsidiaries, Togocellulaire, manages the digital network, which had 6,000 subscribers by the end of 1998.
Apart from the government-run Togo Presse , there are several outspoken opposition newspapers. Since 1998 privately-owned television and radio stations have been allowed to operate alongside the parastatals.
In a US$400 million agreement with Nigeria, Ghana, and Benin in 1999, Togo hopes to find a solution to its energy supply problems. A gas pipeline will supply industry and power stations in recipient countries, which should reduce Togo's dependence on Ghana's unpredictable hydroelectricity supply. The pipeline should be in operation by 2002, and is funded by ECOWAS, the World Bank, the United States, and Italy, and will be managed by Chevron Oil of the United States. The problems of Togo's dependency on Ghana for energy were highlighted in 1998, when it received less than 5 percent of its requirements for electricity, severely disrupting the economy.
CEET, the Togolese electricity company, still relies heavily on Ghana. The hydroelectric dam that is jointly owned by Togo and Benin has produced output only sporadically. In 1996 CEET produced 35.1 million kilowatt-hours,
|Country||Newspapers||Radios||TV Sets a||Cable subscribers a||Mobile Phones a||Fax Machines a||Personal Computers a||Internet Hosts b||Internet Users b|
|a Data are from International Telecommunication Union, World Telecommunication Development Report 1999 and are per 1,000 people.|
|b Data are from the Internet Software Consortium ( http://www.isc.org ) and are per 10,000 people.|
|SOURCE: World Bank. World Development Indicators 2000.|
hours, but 349.3 million kilowatt hours (kWh) were required. CEET has also been earmarked for privatization.