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Togo (officially the Togolese Republic) is a country in West Africa bordered by Ghana to the west, Benin to the east and Burkina Faso to the north. It extends south to the Gulf of Guinea, on which the capital Lomé is located. Togo covers an area of approximately 57,000 square kilometres (22,000 sq mi) with a population of approximately 6.7 million.

Togo is a tropical, sub-Saharan nation, highly dependent on agriculture, with a climate that provides good growing seasons. The official language is French; however, there are many other languages spoken in Togo. Approximately one half of the population lives below the international poverty line of US$1.25 a day.

Togo gained its independence from France in 1960. In 1967, Gnassingbé Eyadéma led a successful military coup, after which he became president. At the time of his death in 2005, Eyadéma was the longest-serving leader in African history, after having been president for 38 years. In 2005, his son Faure Gnassingbé was elected president.

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The Code de l'indigénat was a set of laws creating, in practice, an inferior legal status for natives of French Colonies from 1887 until 1944–1947. First put in place in Algeria, it was applied across the French Colonial Empire in 1887–1889. A similar strategy was also employed by other European colonial powers, under the concept of Indirect rule.

French colonial policy is often contrasted with the British concept of Indirect rule pioneered by Frederick Lugard of the British East Africa Company in Uganda and later the Royal Niger Company in what is today Nigeria. Lugard devised a method of colonial administration which relied upon maintenance of pre-colonial chiefs and other political structures, who were in turn subject to the authority of British representatives.

The French government, in contrast, wrote much about the assimilation of colonial subjects, with the final aim of creating in their colonies integral parts of France, filled with African, Arab, or Asian Frenchmen. This combined with a Jacobin tradition of centralizing government, has given weight to the argument that French colonial rule stood in stark contrast to other models. But only small areas of France's colonial possessions were ever afforded full rights as Overseas Departments of the French state. Between 1865 and 1962, only 7,000 colonial subjects became French citizens, this in a global empire which, in 1939, counted some 69 million subjects. (Read more...)

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Credit: Godaften

A chameleon in Togo.

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In the news


Wikinews Togo portal
  • September 9: Vietnam's Le Van Cong wins gold in men's -49kg powerlifting at Rio Paralympics
  • March 7: Two candidates in Togo elections claim victory; votes counted
  • March 7: Polio vaccination campaign targets 85 million African children
  • January 11: Angolan police arrest two after attack on Togo football team
  • January 8: Togo footballers ambushed in Angola
  • July 22: Switzerland too much for Togo in Group G
  • July 22: France qualify with 2-0 win over Togo in Group G
  • June 24: Togo unanimously vote to abolish the death penalty
  • May 23: English football: Adebayor signs new Arsenal contract
  • June 13: Korea Republic win 2-1 against Togo in Group G



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Faure Gnassingbé 29112006.jpg

Faure Essozimna Gnassingbé (born June 6, 1966) has been the President of Togo since May 4, 2005. A son of President Gnassingbé Eyadéma, he was appointed to the government by his father, serving as Minister of Equipment, Mines, Posts, and Telecommunications from 2003 to 2005. When Eyadéma died on February 5, 2005, Gnassingbé was immediately installed as President with support from the army. Doubts regarding the constitutional legitimacy of the succession led to heavy regional pressure being placed on Gnassingbé, and he resigned on February 25. He then won a controversial presidential election on April 24 and was sworn in as President again. Gnassingbé is also the National President of the Rally of the Togolese People (RPT).

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