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Togo (/ˈtɡ/ (About this sound listen)), officially the Togolese Republic (French: République togolaise), is a sovereign state 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, where its capital Lomé is located. Togo covers 57,000 square kilometres (22,008 square miles), making it one of the smallest countries in Africa, with a population of approximately 7.6 million.

From the 11th to the 16th century, various tribes entered the region from all directions. From the 16th century to the 18th century, the coastal region was a major trading center for Europeans to search for slaves, earning Togo and the surrounding region the name "The Slave Coast". In 1884, Germany declared a region including present-day Togo as a protectorate called Togoland. After World War I, rule over Togo was transferred to France. Togo gained its independence from France in 1960. In 1967, Gnassingbé Eyadéma led a successful military coup d'état after which he became president of an anti-communist, single-party state. Eventually in 1993, Eyadéma faced multiparty elections, which were marred by irregularities, and won the presidency three times. At the time of his death, Eyadéma was the longest-serving leader in modern African history, having been president for 38 years. In 2005, his son Faure Gnassingbé was elected president.

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The Akan people of Ghana frequently name their children after the day of the week they were born and the order in which they were born. These names have spread through West Africa, from Benin/Dahomey (Fon) and Togo (Ewe) to the Côte d'Ivoire (Baoulé), and throughout the African diaspora. For example, in Jamaica the following day names have been recorded: Monday, Cudjoe; Tuesday, Cubbenah; Wednesday, Quaco; Thursday, Quao; Friday, Cuffee; Saturday, Quamin; Sunday, Quashee. English translations of these names were used in the United States during the nineteenth century; Robinson Crusoe's Friday may be conceptually related.

Most Ghanaians have at least one name from this system. Ghana's first president, Kwame Nkrumah, was so named for being born on a Saturday (Kwame) and being the ninth born (Nkrumah). Also, the seventh Secretary-General of the United Nations, Kofi Annan, was so named for being born on a Friday (Kofi).

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Transport in Togo.jpg
Credit: Ferdinand Reus

Transportation 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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Selected biography

Joseph Kokou Koffigoh (born 1948) is a Togolese politician who served as Prime Minister of Togo from 27 August 1991 to 25 April 1994. Elected as Prime Minister by the opposition-dominated National Conference in 1991, Koffigoh was given full executive powers and tasked with overseeing a transition to multiparty elections. Beginning in December 1991, however, President Gnassingbé Eyadéma increasingly reasserted his authority at Koffigoh's expense. Although Koffigoh remained in office, the opposition eventually abandoned him, feeling he had become too cooperative with Eyadéma.

Koffigoh has been the President of the Coordination of New Forces (CFN) since 1993. He was replaced as Prime Minister after the 1994 parliamentary election, in which the CFN performed poorly, although Koffigoh himself won a seat in the National Assembly. Later, he was Minister of Foreign Affairs from 1998 to 2000 and Minister of Regional Integration, in charge of Relations with Parliament, from 2000 to 2002.

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