The country’s economy is dominated by commercial and subsistence farming. Food and cash crop production accounts for 47% of GDP, providing work for 65% of the population. The mining industry is one of Togo’s most promising economic sectors, with the country being the world’s fourth largest phosphate producer. Its estimated 60 million metric tons of reserves have potential to give this industry a boost.
Following the period of uncertainty in the 90s, Togo has worked hard since 2007 to revive its economy and lay the foundations for the solid growth which has been among the most significant seen in the region:
- Restoring security and stability at every level
- Building a logistics infrastructure to bolster the country (roads, port, airport) and developing the industries that will facilitate future growth (banking, telecoms and energy)
- Boosting the economy’s key production industries (agriculture)
This economic relaunch has helped to reposition Togo as a dynamic regional player and seen it achieve some significant initial economic successes, thereby earning the confidence of international investors, such as Bolloré, MSC, Asky, Ecobank head office, Etisalat, and Contour Global.
These successes have also witnessed to Togo’s ability and agility in rapidly carrying out major projects (e.g. two major investments in the port and the construction of the new airport terminal conducted simultaneously, in under two years).
Today, as it enters a new phase of accelerated development, Togo is continuing and extending the work already begun, in order to present an even more attractive ground for international investment and to reinforce the dynamics of investment.
For instance, improving the business climate is a top priority, as reflected by the setting up of a dedicated task-force rooted at the highest level of government and the implementation of initiatives with tangible impacts (e.g. Single Window for Foreign Trade).
Togo offers investors an intrinsically attractive market (with exemplary stability in the region), a gateway to the region (thanks in particular to its good transport infrastructure) and a quality partnership with the government.
In the specifics: More than twenty key projects in the nine key sectors and building on the strengths of the country offer investors the opportunity to branch out in Togo.
Positioned right on the Abidjan to Lagos coastal road, in the heart of West Africa, Togo is the hub for the West African Economic and Monetary Union and the rapidly integrating common market.
The country offers plenty of opportunity for investments, especially in the following areas:
Development of the rail, air, port and road infrastructure to make Togo a hub for West Africa.
Most of the clean electricity produced in Togo comes from thermal technologies, but Togo also has two hydroelectric plants.
66% of the Togolese population live in rural areas and consume less than 10% of the country’s electricity. To encourage a balanced development of the country and to improve the living conditions of both the urban and rural populations, the new energy policy guidelines focus on the development of renewable energy sources (solar, wind, biogas and hydropower systems). Each of these energy sources has greater or lesser energy potential, but as of yet all of them are largely untapped.
Agriculture currently employs 70% of the working population and accounts for 38% of GDP.
Of the usable agricultural land, which is estimated to be around 3.4 million hectares, food crops cover approximately 1,387,568ha (i.e. 41%), while 154,314ha are used for cash crops (i.e. 4.5%). The surface area of arable land that is not used (including the insufficiently developed land covered by forage and pasture) is estimated to be 37%, i.e. about 1.2 million ha.
As the backbone of the economy, its growth calls for productivity and added value.
Mining currently accounts for 17% of Togo’s exports and 10% of Togolese government revenue. Togo possesses resources in iron, manganese, chromite, bauxite, nickel, phosphates, limestone, peat, garnet, marble, decorative stones, and clay.
The country boasts some major tourist attractions with its beaches, natural parks, cultural life and the places of special interest such as the UNESCO World Heritage Site of Koutammakou.
The autonomous Port of Lomé
With a depth of 14 meters, the Port of Lomé is the only deep-water port of the West African coast that can accommodate third-generation ships.
Exceptional natural and nautical conditions
The port basin is bounded by two breakwaters of 950m and 1,720m in length which protect it from silting up. Moreover, Lomé has a low tidal range (1.20m) and moderate winds. These conditions therefore allow any type of ship to access the port at any time of day or night.
Thanks to the free port status of the Port of Lomé, there are no customs restrictions on the handling and transfer of goods within the port area, therefore time is saved in ship and cargo handling operations. The Port of Lomé includes a vast free trade zone for industrial use, in which industrial production units have been set up.
Grand domaine portuaire
The Port of Lomé, with an area of 900ha, is an international trading hub and also a magnet for trade and industry thanks to its large industrial free trade zone, now home to dozens of companies. These companies have the benefits of an excellent port infrastructure and flexible regulations, as well as tax, customs and financial benefits.
Optimal security on goods and cargo, and speed of operations
The Autonomous Port of Lomé is the safest port in West Africa. It is ISPS-certified (International Ship and Port Facility Security). One of the APL’s strengths thus also lies in the speed with which administrative formalities are conducted. This is the result of efforts made to simplify goods conveyance circuits.
Why invest in Togo ?
- Flourishing growth (of 4% on average over the last five years)
- A young, dynamic and abundant pool of labor
- The country’s geographic location at the heart of the sub-region, making it a natural hub for access to the West African market of 350 million people (ECOWAS)
- A strategic positioning with its deep-water port (14m deep), the only one in the sub-region
- Political stability
- West Africa’s leading financial center
- A new investment code with many advantages for investors
- Continuous improvements being brought to the business environment (up 15 places in the 2015 Doing Business rankings)
- Tax and customs benefits on exports for processing and service companies