Togo is a country in West Africa bordered by Ghana to the west, Benin to the east and Burkina Faso to the north. In the south, the country owns a small part of the coast of the Gulf of Guinea, on which the capital of the country, Lome, is located.
The toponym "Togo", according to one version, comes from the word in the Ewe language, which means "area on the other side of the lagoon." According to another version, the name comes from the hydronym Togo. In 1905, the German colonial authorities named their colony Togoland, and in 1960 the country declared independence and received the name "Togolese Republic".
Little is known about the ancient history of Togo. Archaeological finds indicate that the ancient tribes knew how to make pottery and process iron. In the middle of the 15th century, the Portuguese arrived here, and the slave trade was established. At the end of the 18th century, the city of Lome was founded on the site of the settlement of the Ewe people.
In 1884, Gustav Nachtigal signed an agreement with several local leaders to establish a protectorate of the German Empire over Togo, along with part of the territory of modern Ghana. Its borders were determined after the capture by German troops of the interior of the country and the conclusion of agreements with France and Great Britain. On January 1, 1905, the territory of modern Togo was declared the German colony of Togoland.
During the First World War, Togoland was occupied by Great Britain and France, and the Anglo-French Condominium was proclaimed. On December 7, 1916, the condominium broke up, there was a division into the English and French zones. On July 20, 1922, Great Britain received a mandate from the League of Nations to govern the western part of Togo, and France - the eastern part. In 1945, the country received the right to send three representatives to the French Parliament. After the Second World War, the UN trusteeship regime was introduced. Management was retained by Great Britain and France.
On October 28, 1956, after a referendum, Togo received the official status of an autonomous republic within France. In February 1958, France granted Togo the status of a republic, retaining the right to control matters of defense, foreign relations and finances. In April 1958, the Togo Unity Committee party won the elections to the Chamber of Deputies. The new government was headed by Silvanus Olympio.
On April 27, 1960, Togo declared independence. Silvanus Olympio became the President of the Republic in 1961 with 99% of the votes. The opposition boycotted the elections. On April 9, 1961, the Constitution of the Togolese Republic was adopted, according to which the National Assembly became the supreme legislative body of Togo.
In December 1961, the leaders of the opposition parties were arrested, accused of preparing an anti-government conspiracy, and a decree was issued dissolving the opposition parties. On January 13, 1963, a military coup took place, during which Silvanus Olympio was killed. A state of emergency was declared in the country. The military transferred power to the interim government headed by Nicholas Grunitsky. In May 1963, Grunitsky was elected President of the Republic, the new leadership pursued a policy of developing relations with France.
On January 13, 1967, Gnassingbe Eyadema came to power as a result of a military coup. A ban was imposed on the activities of political parties, in November 1969 the party "Unification of the Togolese people" was created and a one-party system was introduced. After the military regime, Eyadema was elected President of the Republic, in 1986 Eyadema was re-elected as President of Togo.
In 1983, a privatization program was launched, and in 1991, the activities of political parties were allowed. In total, Eyadema ruled the country for 38 years, being re-elected several times. In April 2004, negotiations were held in Brussels between the European Union and Togo on the resumption of cooperation. In 1993, the European Commission froze the partnership, treating Eyadema's re-election in 1993, 1998 and 2003 as a power grab.
Eyadema passed away on February 5, 2005. According to the constitution, all the borders of the country were closed, and the chairman of the National Assembly, Fambare Ouattare Natchabé, was to become the acting chairman. But since he was in Benin, the military handed over power to Eyadema's son, For Essozimnu Gnassingbe. The constitution was amended to allow Gnassingbe to remain in office as President of the Republic until 2008.
International organizations called the actions of the military a coup d'état and called for elections to be held in Togo. In February 2005, a protest was held in Lome against the unconstitutional change of power. The government of Togo responded by banning demonstrations.
Gnassingbe was "re-elected" as president in 2010, 2015 and 2020.
The country covers an area of 56,785 km². It stretches for 579 km from south to north, and at its widest point it has a width of 160 km. The northern part of the country is occupied by plains, the central part - by a plateau with an average height of 200-400 meters above sea level, in the south - by coastal plains with lagoons and low blocky mountains that cross the country from southwest to northeast.
The highest point in Togo is Mount Agu - 987 meters, which is part of the Atacora mountain system.
The longest river is Mono, its length is 467 kilometers. The river flows south. Along the mouth of the river runs the border with Benin. Lake Togo is the largest in the country, with an area of about 50 km² and a depth of 2.5 meters.
On the territory of Togo there are minerals, for example: aluminum, bauxite, graphite, dolomites, iron, gold, limestone, kaolin, marble, phosphates, salt, uranium and chromium.
The climate is equatorial, hot. Humid in the south, semi-dry in the north. The average annual temperature is +24-27 °C.
Most of the country is covered with savannahs, 10% of the territory of Togo is forests. Currently, there is a reduction in forest tracts, this is already leading to the impoverishment of the fauna.