France and Togo historically have strong relations. A joint programming document aligning the European Union, France and Germany was drawn up for the period 2014-2020, which supports the Togolese Government’s strategy for boosting growth and promoting employment.
Recent bilateral meetings:
- January 2015: President Gnassingbé took part in the Republican march in Paris.
- December 2015: President Gnassingbé with the French Prime Minister, on the sidelines of the Paris Climate Conference (COP21)
- May 2016: meeting between the Minister for Foreign Affairs, Cooperation and Regional Integration, Robert Dussey, and his counterpart Jean-Marc Ayrault.
- May 2016: visit by André Vallini, Minister of State for Development and Francophonie and Jean Marie Le Guen, Minister of State for Relations with Parliament.
- 14-15 October 2016: visit by Jean-Yves Le Drian, Defence Minister, for the African Union Summit on Maritime Security, Safety and Development in Africa.
- 28-29 October 2016: visit by Manuel Valls, Prime Minister.
France is one of Togo’s leading suppliers. Togo mainly imports products from sectors in which France holds long-standing comparative advantages (food and drink, medicine, fertilizers, perfumes, vehicles) and to a much lesser extent (6% of our sales), hi-tech products.
The huge drop in French exports to Togo in 2017 (down 48.1% to €295.9 million) is due to the fall in hydrocarbon deliveries for the subregion. With the increase in French imports (up 12.1% to €10.5 million), these variations led to France’s trade surplus being halved, dropping to €285.9 million.
France has a strong economic presence in Togo. According to INSEE, the main French subsidiaries in Togo employ 2,200 people.
Cultural, scientific and technical cooperation
France is the leading bilateral donor of development assistance to Togo, with contributions of €160 million in the period 2014-2017.
The projects of the French Development Agency mainly deal with water and sanitation, energy, education and vocational training, and to a lesser extent, urban development and support for the private sector.
The embassy is also implementing a fund to support civil societies in the South (FASCS), and several priority solidarity funds such as “Support for academic governance and Togolese higher education reform” and “Support for efforts to tackle human trafficking in Gulf of Guinea countries”. A PISCCA (Innovative Projects for Civil Society and Coalition of Actors) Fund finances nine development projects focusing on gender and sustainable development.
In Togo, the Institut français is helping to share French intellectual creation, promote international artistic exchanges, support Togolese cultural development and develop cultural dialogue.
Security and defence cooperation
In addition to the regular presence of French vessels in the area, which enables joint training exercises at sea, each call at Lomé enables targeted training periods. French forces based in Senegal regularly send detachments to Togo to help Togolese troops prepare for peacekeeping operations. This is in addition to structural cooperation actions conducted by military aid workers operating as technical advisers in the Togolese Armed Forces.
France also supports the defence medical services academy in Lomé (ESSAL), which was the first regionally-oriented national school (ENVR), created in 1998.
Updated: 5 December 2018