Traditional Togolese tissue art as well as
wood carvings are of great interest today. Good examples
of this craft can be seen at the Museum of African Art
in the capital Lomé (Musée International du Golfe de
Dance (including the ancient glow dance of the tem
people) and, above all, music from Togo has gained
international attention (see and listen to, for example,
Jimi Hope on Youtube). Drums are a common instrument and
each region has its own special rhythm.
Latest population statistics of Togo, including religious profiles and major languages spoken as well as population growth rates in next three decades.
The author Félix Couchoro wrote the novel L'Esclave (Slaven)
in 1929, which is considered the first French-speaking
African novel. A few decades later, Sam Obianim and
Kwasi Fiawoo, among others, wrote novels and plays in
the language ewe.
CFA franc will be eco 2020
Eight West African countries using the regional CFA franc agree in Abidjan in
Ivory Coast that the currency should be renamed eco. It will continue to be
linked to the euro, but the eight countries (Benin, Burkina Faso, Guinea-Bissau,
Ivory Coast, Mali, Niger, Senegal and Togo) will no longer have to keep 50
percent of their foreign exchange reserves in France, and France should no
longer have any representative on the board of the currency union. The change
will take effect in 2020. Critics of the CFA fringe see it as a remnant from the
colonial era, while its proponents see it as a guarantee of financial stability.
Presidential election in February
The government announces that presidential elections will be held on February
22, 2020. For the first time, it will be possible for Togolese citizens abroad
to vote for Togo's embassies. The electoral movement will run between February 6
and February 20. In November, opposition parties and several NGOs appealed that
the election should be postponed so that the Constitutional Court, the Electoral
Authority and the voter register can be reformed and reviewed before the
election is held, but they have not been granted that request.
The right of demonstration is restricted
Parliament adopts a law that further limits the right of the Togolese to
demonstrate; Now people are prohibited from demonstrating at main roads and
central places in the cities as well as near government buildings. In addition,
protests may only be conducted during the day, between 11am and 6pm. The number
of permitted demonstrations in a city is also limited. The right of
demonstration has been gradually reduced since a wave of protest marches against
President Gnassingbe's plans to change the constitution in order to remain in
power in 2017 and 2018 were held.
Local elections are conducted
For the first time since 1987, local elections are being held. Unir wins an
overwhelming share of the seats in the local parishes. The turnout is 52.5
The constitution is changed
Parliament adopts a series of constitutional amendments. They mean that the
president can only be re-elected once, that is, sit for two terms. However, this
means that President Fauré Gnassingbé may run for re-election twice more and
remain in the presidential post until 2030, since the change does not apply
retrospectively. The president shall be elected for five years and the election
shall be held for two rounds. The constitutional amendment also means that
former presidents are granted life assurance immunity. They cannot be arrested,
prosecuted or brought to justice for actions committed during their term of
office. Members of Parliament can now sit for two six-year terms. Previously,
they could be re-elected for an unlimited number of five-year periods.
Free trade agreements come into force
The African Free Trade Agreement AfCFTA (see March 2018)
enters into force for the 24 of 44 countries, including Togo, which ratified it.
The old government remains
President Gnassingbé appoints Prime Minister Komi Selom Klassou for a new
term in office. The entire old government remains unchanged.
Togo gets its first female president
Togo's new parliament elects Yawa Djibodi Tsegan as president of the
Legislative Assembly. Tsegan, who represents the ruling Unir, thus becomes the
country's first female president.