The West African nation of Togo sits between the countries of Ghana to its west and Benin to the east. The southern climate is tropical, hot and humid, while the northern areas are semi arid and desert-like.

The country’s population is approximately 5,247,300, with about 32 percent of them living below the poverty line. It is considered to be a third-world country. Despite that, up to 65 percent of the population is employed.

According to www.radford.edu/Togo, “even in the capital city (of Lome), most streets are dirt and wherever possible, people are growing something for subsistence living.”

The population uses mostly bicycles, motorbikes and motorcycles for individual transportation. As the country has no oil or natural gas production of its own, all must be imported. The country does export coffee, cocoa, cotton and yams.

Nearly half of Togo is arable land, so commercial and subsistence agriculture is a way of life for many people. Natural resources include limestone, marble and phosphates. Deforestation is an issue, as most cooking is done with wood fires.

Politically, Togo emerged as an independent country in 1960. The Peace Corps arrived there in 1962, as did several other world organizations, seeking to aid the fledgling country.

In 1967, President Eyadema, a military ruler, was installed. He dominated the government until his death in 2005. During his reign, Togo often came under fire from international organizations for human rights abuses, and there has been political unrest. In the past, aid to Togo was frozen, but in the last several years, the European Union has resumed a partial co-op and development aid program there.


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