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Togo: recent political and economic development

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  • Kohnert, Dirk

Abstract

Backed by peaceful but undemocratic presidential (2010) and legislative (July 2013) elections the Gnassingbé regime consolidated its power. In view of the absolute majority of the ruling party, its inclination for meaningful constitutional and electoral reforms, as demanded by the opposition and international donors, was further reduced. Overriding concerns for stability in West Africa in view of growing Islamist threats in neighbouring countries made that the delayed democratic reforms including the time and again reported local elections were condoned by the donor community. However, simmering discontent of the hardliners among the security forces and the barons of the ruling party was still visible. The opposition tried in vain to overcome its divide between its moderate and radical wing. An alliance of opposition parties and civic groups opposed the regime peacefully by frequent, often violently suppressed demonstrations with little effect. Arson attacks on the markets of Lomè and Kara in January 2013 served as pretense to harass opposition leaders. Human rights records of the government remained tarnished. The tense political climate persisted in view of the upcoming presidential elections in April 2015 and the apparent determination of the President to stay in power a third and eventually even a fourth term whatever the cost. Despite undeniable improvements of the framework and outside appearance of major institutions of the regime during the survey period it remained a façade democracy. However, the international community, notably African peers, the AU and ECOWAS, but also the Bretton-Woods Institutions, China and the EU, followed a ‘laissez faire’ approach in the interest of stability and their proper national interest in dealings with the country. Economic growth perspectives remained promising, expected to increase to 6.0% in 2014 and 6.3% in 2015, last but not least because of heavy assistance by the international donor community. However, growth is neither sustainable nor inclusive. It is overshadowed by increasing inter-personal and regional inequality as well as an upturn in extreme poverty.

Suggested Citation

  • Kohnert, Dirk, 2015. "Togo: recent political and economic development," MPRA Paper 62029, University Library of Munich, Germany.
  • Handle: RePEc:pra:mprapa:62029
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    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. Kohnert, Dirk, 2007. "Togo: Failed election and misguided aid at the roots of economic misery," MPRA Paper 5207, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    2. Kohnert, Dirk, 2014. "African Agency and EU-African Economic Partnership Agreements," EconStor Open Access Articles, ZBW - German National Library of Economics, pages 149-155.
    3. Marco Gardini, 2012. "Land Transactions and Chieftaincies in Southwestern Togo," Africa Spectrum, Institute of African Affairs, GIGA German Institute of Global and Area Studies, Hamburg, vol. 47(1), pages 51-72.
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

    More about this item

    Keywords

    democratization; governance; fragile states; economic development; aid; EU; Togo; West Africa; ECOWAS;

    JEL classification:

    • A14 - General Economics and Teaching - - General Economics - - - Sociology of Economics
    • F35 - International Economics - - International Finance - - - Foreign Aid
    • H7 - Public Economics - - State and Local Government; Intergovernmental Relations
    • N97 - Economic History - - Regional and Urban History - - - Africa; Oceania
    • O17 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economic Development - - - Formal and Informal Sectors; Shadow Economy; Institutional Arrangements
    • O55 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economywide Country Studies - - - Africa
    • Z13 - Other Special Topics - - Cultural Economics - - - Economic Sociology; Economic Anthropology; Language; Social and Economic Stratification

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