Capital : Lomé
Size: 21 900 sq m Popn: 3 763 000
Europeans were drawn here by the slave trade in the C18th and stayed for the palm oil in the C19th. At first, the French predominated but Germany made Togoland a protectorate in 1884. It was captured by Anglo-French forces in 1914 and divided between Britain and France under a League of Nations mandate in 1922, continuing under United Nations trusteeship unti 1946.
British Togoland voted to cede to Ghana in 1957 and became the Volta region. French Togoland voted to become an autonomous republic within the French Union, achieving self-government in 1956 and full independence in 1960 under the United Togolese party. Sylvanus Olympio was elected to rule but was unpopular with France. He was assassinated in 1963 and the army overthrew the government. His brother-in-law Nicolas Grunitzky's civilian government lasted until Col. Kléber Dadjo seized power in 1967, Lt.Col. Étienne Eyedéma becoming President four months later and adopting the African first name Gnassingbe. Modelling his regime on Mobutu of Zaire, he reconciled warring tribal factions, tried to develop the neglected Northern regions, campaigned for a reunified Togo and steadily introduced constitutional reforms, creating a parliament in 1979. Terrorism and Ghanaian raids took place during the 1980s and France and Zaire sent troops. He survived an overthrow attempt backed by Ghana and Bokina Faso in 1986 and announced a multi-party system in 1991. A pro-democracy conference reduced his presidential power and formed an interim government under Joseph Kokou Koffigoh. During autumn 1991, Eyedéma's troops made three attempts to remove it. They were unsuccessful, but in August 1992, Koffigoh agreed to return much of Eyedéma's powers. In a referendum of September 1992, support for a new multi-party constitution was clear.
Togo is culturally and religiously diverse. The largest tribes are the Ewe and Kabre and their languages exist alongside the official ones of English and French. Christian, Muslim and Voodoo beliefs have about 30% of the population each with 10% following traditional beliefs.
This collection of names was compiled by Kate Monk and is ©1997, Kate Monk.
Copies may be made for personal use only.
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