Economy - overview: Togo has enjoyed a period of steady economic growth fueled by political stability and a concerted effort by the government to modernize the country’s commercial infrastructure, but discontent with President Faure GNASSINGBE has led to a rapid rise in protests, creating downside risks. The country completed an ambitious large-scale infrastructure improvement program, including new principal roads, a new airport terminal, and a new sea-port. The economy depends heavily on both commercial and subsistence agriculture, which provides employment for around 60% of the labor force. Some basic foodstuffs must still be imported. Cocoa, coffee, and cotton and other agricultural products generate about 20% of export earnings with cotton being the most important cash crop. Togo is among the world's largest producers of phosphate and seeks to develop its carbonate phosphate reserves, which provide more than 20% of export earnings.
The government's decade-long effort, supported by the World Bank and the IMF, to implement economic reform measures, encourage foreign investment, and bring revenues in line with expenditures has moved slowly. Togo completed its IMF Extended Credit Facility in 2011 and reached a Heavily Indebted Poor Country debt relief completion point in 2010 at which 95% of the country's debt was forgiven. Togo continues to work with the IMF on structural reforms, and in January 2017, the IMF signed an Extended Credit Facility arrangement consisting of a three-year $238 million loan package. Progress depends on follow through on privatization, increased openness in government financial operations, progress toward legislative elections, and continued support from foreign donors.
Togo’s 2017 economic growth probably remained steady at 5.0%, largely driven by infusions of foreign aid, infrastructure investment in the port and mineral sectors, and improvements in the business climate. Foreign direct investment inflows have slowed in recent years.
Definition: This entry briefly describes the type of economy, including the degree of market orientation, the level of economic development, the most important natural resources, and the unique areas of specialization. It also characterizes major economic events and policy changes in the most recent 12 months and may include a statement about one or two key future macroeconomic trends.
Source: CIA World Factbook - This page was last updated on January 20, 2018