The area where Togo is located has,
throughout history, been of interest to both local kings
and European colonial powers. A number of different
people immigrated here and from here slaves were shipped
to America. In the 19th century, Germany became a
protective power over what they called Togoland. After
Germany's defeat in the First World War, the area was
transferred to England and France. In 1956, the French
(eastern) part became an autonomous republic within the
French Commonwealth under the name
Togo. In 1960 Togo became independent.
The first Ewe people began to migrate into the area
from present-day Nigeria during the 13th and 13th
centuries. The Portuguese came to the area in 1481 as
the first Europeans. Along the coast of Togo, European
forts and trading stations were established. In the 17th
century, people from today's Ghana, Burkina Faso and
Ivory Coast started to migrate to Togo.
Comprehensive guide to and popular abbreviations of Togo, covering history, economy, and social conditions.
Even before the colonial era, Ewe served as a link
between warriors, who captured slaves, and traders in
the coastal cities, who resold them. In the 1840s,
German missionaries and merchants arrived in the area.
In 1884, an agreement was signed between Germany and the
leaders of the peoples of the area. Germany was thereby
made "protectionist" - in effect colonial rulers - over
what came to be called Togoland. The Germans founded
large plantations and built up a well-functioning
After World War I, and Germany's defeat in 1918, the
League of Nations (NF, the forerunner of the United
Nations) took over responsibility for the Togoland
colony, which was divided into two parts: France was
given responsibility for the eastern part, the present
Togo, and Britain the west (which lies in today’s
Ghana). The Ewe people in southern Togoland thus became
divided, which later periodically led to contradictions.
After the end of the Second World War, France and
Britain continued to be responsible for Togoland, now on
behalf of the UN. In 1956, a referendum was held under
the UN's oversight of the area's future status. In the
British area, a majority voted for an association with
the Gold Coast (now Ghana), despite strong opposition
from ewe. The people of the French part chose to make
this a self-governing republic within the French
Commonwealth. It was named Togo.
The French appointed Nicolas Grunitzky, leader of
Togo's progress party, as prime minister, but when
elections were held in 1958, the Committee for a United
Togo, led by Grunitzky's brother-in-law, businessman
Sylvanus Olympio, prevailed. Olympio, who was a strong
advocate for the reunification of the Eu people, was
appointed prime minister and then became president when
the country became independent in 1960.
Yet another minister is dismissed
Municipal Minister Pascal Bodjona is dismissed and arrested a month later for
suspected fraud attempt against an oil magnate from the United Arab Emirates.
The Prime Minister resigns
Prime Minister Gilbert Houngbo and several other ministers are surprisingly
departing without publicizing why. In a brief press release, it says that
President Gnassingbé accepts the resignation. In recent times, the government
has received increasingly harsh criticism for failing to improve the living
conditions of its inhabitants. By all accounts, the President has dismissed
Houngbo in an attempt to appease the opposition. New Prime Minister Kwesi
Ahoomey-Zunu has been appointed new Prime Minister after just over a week.
Protest against new electoral laws
The newly formed opposition-led group Collective Save Togo (Collectif Sauvons
le Togo, CST) protests against the new electoral laws (see May 2012).
In Lomé, the protesters clash with the riot police for several days. Tens of
thousands of people take part in the protests.
New electoral laws are adopted
The National Assembly approves new electoral laws. The number of MPs is
increased from 81 to 91 and the boundaries of constituencies are tightened. The
opposition opposes the changes, which in both cases are suspected of favoring
the ruling party, and calls for the constitution that applied before 1992 to be
reintroduced. According to it, there is a limit to how many times the president
can be re-elected.
The Truth Commission reports
A Truth and Reconciliation Commission appointed in the fall of 2011 to
investigate various forms of abuse committed in the country between 1958 and
2005 presents its report after examining 523 of the nearly 22,400 testimonies
collected. The testimonies have been about violence that occurred in connection
with general elections, coups, terrorist attacks, arrests, disappearances,
murders and ethnic contradictions fueled by politically led militias. The
Commission notes that the perpetrators of the violence have rarely or never been
punished and that many of them still hold positions of power. The Truth
Commission presents a list of 68 recommendations aimed at promoting respect for
human rights, strengthening the rule of law, creating reconciliation between
people's groups and preventing new conflicts. The Commission proposes, inter
alia, that the electoral system, the judiciary,
The president forms a new party
President Gnassingbé dissolves the ruling party RPT and creates a new party
called the Union for the Republic (Union pour la Republique, Unir).