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Togo

1997 Togo

According to Countryaah, Togo was populated by the ewes people, who still make up a third of the population. They are akin to the Ibo and Yorubans in Nigeria and the Ashantis in Ghana. They were poor, lived in peace and their late state formations used the Dagomba kingdoms in the northern part of the area as role models.

The huge human trafficking gave the area the sad name of the Slave Coast. From here, millions of slaves were shipped in 16-19. century to be sold on the American continent.

Togo became a German colony in 1884 after small local chieftains along the coast signed "treaties" with the Germans, but German domination did not last long. During World War I, English and French troops occupied the country, and after the war it was divided between them with the approval of the League of Nations. The western part was incorporated in Ghana in 1956 following a referendum organized by the British, while the eastern part remained under French colonial rule.

In 1958, Sylvanus Olympio of the Unité Togolaise won the election in the country, then called "the overseas territory of Togo". His program was oriented towards independence but moderated. The country gained its independence in 1960, and by that time everyone had forgotten a contract signed in 1957 with Benin's Mining Company. According to this document, the French consortium owned the deposits of phosphate, which was the country's most important natural resource. It was a significant cut in the joy of independence. In 1963, Olympio was assassinated by a military uprising led by Etienne Gnassingbe Eyadema, who was then an officer in the armed forces. In the same year, Olympio embarked on a series of fundamental reforms inspired by N'Krumah's radical reform program in neighboring Ghana.

Olympio was succeeded in the presidential post by Nicolás Grunitzky of Parti Togolais du Progrčs. He had been in opposition to the assassinated president and his neo-colonialist tendency. In 1967 he was overthrown at a coup d'état by General Etienne Gnassingbe Eyadema, who inaugurated himself as new head of state.

In 1969, the Association of the Togo People (RPT) was formed, which served as the country's only legal party and chaired by Eyadema. His government was basically characterized by nationalist attitudes, which he later backed down from. In 1972, he nationalized 35% of the mining company, in 1975 51%, and in 1976 the entire production and export of phosphate was nationalized.

On December 30, 1979, a new presidential constitution was adopted, and Eyadema was elected president for a seven-year term. His government benefited from the favorable economic development based on tourism, oil and rising global phosphate prices. But in 1981, international prices fell to half, and the international economic crisis also led to a drastic reduction in tourism from Europe. The current account deficit increased and the foreign debt reached $ 1 billion.

In June 1984, the government signed a loan rescheduling agreement with the Paris Club, setting even tougher terms than the IMF had already provided. The consequence was total wage halt, reduced state investment to a minimum and the introduction of new sources of income such as the fiercely criticized "solidarity tax" which lowered all wages by 5%.

In January 1985, the so-called "Lomé-3" agreement was signed in the capital of Togo, setting the framework for cooperation between the ACP countries (the old colonial areas of Africa, the Caribbean and the Pacific) and the EU.

In January, Eyadema was re-elected for a further 7-year term with 99.95% of the vote. After a brief interruption of contacts, Togo signed a new agreement with the IMF in 1988. With a deficit in both the trade and balance of payments and a foreign debt that amounted to $ 1.27 billion in 1990, the government launched an economic crisis program that included the privatization of public companies.

 

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