Reviving Togo's economy

Developing agriculture to provide jobs and income

According to the report, agriculture remains the sector that directly increases the income of the poor, but there is still much to be done in order to take advantage of the opportunities and improve Togo’s competitiveness with regard to traditional export products such as cotton, coffee, and cocoa. The cotton industry deserves priority attention given the large number of the poor involved in it. The coffee and cocoa industries require a new global strategy centered on improving yields. Furthermore, if proper focus is placed on the potential of food production, in particular by encouraging exports to the sub-region of food products for which local demand is already adequately met, economic growth and income generation should increase significantly. However, it is important to strive to resolve certain cross-cutting issues in order to make the best use of the country’s agricultural potential, in particular through land tenure reform, development of rural roads, use of market information systems, and modernisation of research and dissemination services, among other means.


Potential sources of economic growth

A review of the Diagnostic Trade Integration Study reveals that the key sectors driving economic growth in Togo are still phosphates, cotton, food crops, cement, and transit and free zone trade. To derive the greatest benefit from these different sectors and quickly revitalise the Togolese economy, the report recommends that a number of priority actions be implemented as soon as possible.

These include in particular: revive the phosphate sector and renew confidence in the future of the cotton sector by improving governance, facilitating the entry of a strategic private investor in both sectors, and building the capacities of cotton producers’ organisations; Promote the production of food crops for export to the subregion and effective alternatives for imports; Expand the Togolese free zone and redirect its activities toward highly labour-intensive sectors and access to markets beyond the subregion, based on a cost/benefit analysis of the zone and a target study; Develop a stable and transparent regulatory framework in order to attract solid private investors who are prepared to make a long-term commitment, while ensuring that the State possesses the necessary resources for development; Invest in infrastructure and services at the Port Autonome de Lomé in order to maintain and consolidate its role as a regional “hub”; and Promote lawful transit and re-export trade by rehabilitating roads, developing regulations, and enhancing competition in road transport.
The Government has already undertaken efforts in this regard, particularly in the cotton, food crop, business environment, infrastructure, and electricity sectors, among others.
These efforts are supported by development partners such as the World Bank, which provides substantial support in promoting good governance and finances a number of projects under way in the country with respect to infrastructure, transport and trade facilitation, the financial sector and governance, and, soon, agriculture.

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