Natural resources, energy and environment
Togo’s most important natural resource is phosphate, which is used in the production of fertilizers. Energy is imported from Nigeria in the form of oil and natural gas. Electricity is generated in its own hydropower plants, but Togo is dependent on electricity imports. Forest deforestation is a major environmental problem.
The phosphate deposits are located in southern Togo and are estimated to be among the largest in Africa. The export of phosphate benefits from the proximity to the deep-water port of the capital Lomé. Production was pulled during the 1990s and 2000s with serious problems such as outdated equipment and mismanagement of the business. Another problem was that parts of the phosphate deposits contained high levels of environmentally hazardous cadmium, which made several countries hesitant to buy Togolese phosphate.
- COUNTRYAAH: Major exports by Togo with a full list of the top products exported by the country. Includes trade value in U.S. dollars and the percentage for each product category.
Production fell sharply, but increased again in the 2010s after a technical upgrading of the phosphate industry. The sector was supplemented by a plant for the production of fertilizers, while reserves of another type of phosphate ore (carbonated phosphate) began to be broken. Since 2007, the state owns and controls the sole phosphate industry, which had previously been jointly owned by a French company.
In Togo, gold, limestone, diamonds and marble are also mined. Small deposits are also found of iron ore, zinc and platinum, among others. Oil and natural gas have been found off the coast of Togo, but the deposits have so far been too small for profitable recovery.
For its energy supply, Togo is dependent on imported fuel. All oil is purchased from outside, mainly from Nigeria. From there, Togo also receives natural gas through a pipeline that also reaches Benin and Ghana.
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Togo, together with Benin, operates a hydroelectric power plant in the Mono River. Together, the two countries are building a second hydropower plant in the same river. A third hydropower plant is located at the town of Kpalimé. A small oil and gas-fired thermal power plant is located in Lomé. Around 70 percent of the electricity consumed in Togo is now generated in the country. The remainder is imported from Ghana and to a lesser extent from the Ivory Coast. Togo’s electricity grid is connected to the electricity networks in Benin and Nigeria. About half of the population has access to electricity.
More than two-thirds of Togo’s energy needs are covered by wood and charcoal, which has more serious consequences for the environment. Forest deforestation is a major environmental problem as well as land degradation. In recent years, the country’s coasts have also been increasingly relocated. The coastal destruction is seen as a consequence of the port facility in Lomé, since this has disturbed the natural movements of sand in the area. At the same time, the environmental situation in many Togolese cities has improved in recent years thanks to the better handling of the waste treatment.
FACTS – ENERGY AND ENVIRONMENT
Energy use per person
464 kilos of oil equivalent (2014)
Electricity consumption per person
155 kWh, kWh (2014)
Carbon dioxide emissions in total
2 622 thousand tonnes (2014)
Carbon dioxide emissions per inhabitant
0.4 ton (2014)
The share of energy from renewable sources
71.3 percent (2015)
Togo is a member of the UN Security Council
Togo is elected to the UN Security Council for a period of two years.
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