- Following an estimated growth rate of 5.0% in 2012, the forecasts for 2013 and 2014 are favourable (about 5.3% and 5.5%), thanks to reform and investment.
- Constraints weigh heavily on the business environment, in particular for creation of companies and land ownership.
- Togo is working to bring its extractive industries in line with international standards in 2013 and to improve the sustainable management of natural resources.
The primary sector dominates the Togolese economy, contributing 38% to gross domestic product (GDP) in 2012, ahead of the tertiary sector (23%) and secondary sector (21%). Agriculture as a share of GDP remains a mainstay of the sector at 27%. Estimated growth of 5.0% for 2012 will come mainly from the primary and secondary sectors, in particular cotton, phosphate, and construction and public works, up from 2011. Together, these two sectors added 4.1% to real growth in 2012 (1.6% and 2.5% respectively), compared to 2.8% in 2011 (1.9% and 0.9% respectively). A public investment programme continues, which includes investment in roads and, combined with the revival of the phosphate and cotton sectors, is expected to support growth in 2013 and 2014, which could reach 5.3% and 5.5% respectively.
In 2012 the government prioritised investments and improving the macroeconomic situation. Despite increased fiscal revenue (+4.2% over 2011), at about 16.9% the tax burden remains lower than the 17% standard set by the West African Economic and Monetary Union (WAEMU). The deficit in the overall balance widened from -1.2% in 2011 to -3.1% in 2012. The expected 2.3% inflation rate for 2012 – under the community ceiling of 3% – is due to an estimated 4.5% fall in the price of communication services.
Politically, the conduct of legislative elections initially planned for the end of 2012 and postponed until 2013 will be a determining factor in maintaining calm in the country.
Togo’s population is very young, with 60% aged under 25. Youth unemployment and underemployment are particularly high at 8.1% and 20.5% respectively. Progress has been made on the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs), but it is unlikely that many will be met by 2015. The most notable progress has been made in primary education for all, with the primary school net enrolment ratio increasing from 74.6% in 2006 to 81.8% in 2011. Poverty fell by three percentage points over the same period, but extreme poverty rose from 28.6% to 30.4%, and a greater focus must be placed on growth to help the poor.
As for natural resource management, reforms linked to the Société nouvelle des phosphates du Togo (SNPT), the state-run phosphate company created in 2009, have begun to produce results. Production expanded by 28.4% in 2012. Improved governance in the cotton sector also helped production jump by 49.4% in 2012. Clinker and cement achieved an annual growth rate of over 5%.
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