Togo: $ 350 million to become an emerging country

While the commodity crisis has overwhelmed many countries in the region, Togo still has an enviable growth rate. The financing agreements concluded at the end of January 2017 with the Bretton Woods institutions, namely for a $ 350 million US financing by the World Bank, will support the various measures taken by Togo which is looking forward to become an emerging country by 2030.

Following the announcement of a record $ 238 million financing agreement by the International Monetary Fund at the end of January, it is up to the World Bank Group to support Togo in its development policy with an amount of $ 350 million for the 2017-2020 period.

« We welcome this meeting as an important step in strengthening our partnership with Togo. It allowed us to discuss with the Togolese delegation and to agree on the major areas on which we will focus in the medium term » said Pierre Laporte, Head of the World Bank Group’s mission. These various agreements reinforce the Togolese officials on the relevant policies which have been developed in recent years to stimulate its vision to become an emerging country by 2030.

Good results supporting Togo

The secondary sector is the most important factor for growth, (2%) thanks to the good performance of the extractive and manufacturing industries. It is followed by services with (2%), which benefited from the increase in trade at the Lomé port and airport. Agriculture has experienced significant but fluctuating growth with year-on-year rates ranging from 0% in 2013 to 4% in 2014 and 2% in 2015. The construction and public works industry accounts for only 7% of GDP, while it registered the highest growth in 2015 (5.5%).

With respect to foreign trade, exports grew faster than imports, contributing to the decline in the current account deficit from 10.1% in 2015 to 9.8% in 2016. Despite the achievements, Nicolas Berlanga Martinez, the European Union’s representative to Lomé, believes that Togo will have to develop consistent public and private policies to effectively become an emerging country by 2030. « It is possible for Togo to become an emerging country provided the development is inclusive and that current challenges are being addressed. The emerging vision provides a medium-term goal to which all national forces and partners must stick for consistent public and private policies, » he said.

Investor confidence regained

In recent years, there has been an influx of international investors to Togo. For Mr. Anumu Ketoglo, Head of the forecasting Department at the Ministry of Finance and Economy, such results are not surprising as, since 2007, Togo has been working hard to boost economy and build the foundation of a vigorous growth which is one of the largest in the region today. This recovery has resulted in the confidence of international investors. «Today, in a new phase of development acceleration, Togo is continuing and expanding the current efforts to offer an even more attractive environment for international investment and strengthen investment momentum. Nevertheless, Togo must make even more efforts to become an emerging country in 2030, » he said.

A more proactive action

In his speech to the Nation delivered in January 2017, Faure Gnassingbé, confirmed his commitment to continue with the current major projects in Togo. « The year 2017 will be a more proactive and decisive public action in economic, social and political areas. My commitment, which is shared by the entire government, is to implement the major projects that we hold dear for our emerging vision, » he said.

According to the civil society organizations, much remains to be done to become an emerging country by 2030. « The senior officials’ vision for an emerging Togo by 2030 requires urgent and realistic measures to mobilize resources for the implementation of projects and programs. However, we must do everything possible to control the debt,» said KEPOMEY Koffi Déla, Executive Director of the national coordination of civil society in Togo. Still, some experts believe that the private sector needs to get more involved by investing in the growth sectors.


Author : Mawu Kouevi Folligan // Photo : Activités sur le port de Lomé © Mawu Kouevi Folligan

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