France and Togo

Political relations

France and Togo have a history of strong relations.

France conducts its cooperation in line with European Union action in particular but not exclusively. 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

President Faure Gnassingbé made a working visit to France in November 2013 (after his official visit in September 2006 and his working visit in November 2008). He also participated in the Elysée Summit for Peace and Security in Africa in December 2013, and in the Republican march in January 2015 held in Paris in the wake of the terrorist attacks.

President Gnassingbé attended the Paris Climate Conference (COP21) in December 2015. On this occasion he met with French Prime Minister Manuel Valls.

Laurent Fabius, France’s Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Development, met with Arthème Ahoomey-Zunu, Togo’s Prime Minister, in January 2013 and with Robert Dussey, Togo’s Minister of Foreign Affairs and African Integration in October 2013. Minister Dussey met with his counterpart, Jean-Marc Ayrault, in May 2016.
In May 2016, André Vallini, Minister of State for Development and Francophonie and Jean Marie Le Guen, Minister of State for Relations with Parliament, attached to the Prime Minister, each made a visit to Togo.

Interparliamentary relations were given fresh impetus in 2015 with the creation of the Togo France Friendship Group in the Togolese National Assembly. The Chairman of the Group at the French National Assembly, Jean-Yves le Bouillonnec, visited Lomé twice in 2015. A senatorial delegation followed in September before a Togolese delegation visited Paris in October.

Economic relations

With €570.7 million in exports in 2015, France was one of Togo’s main suppliers, although a portion of these products were intended to then be exported to countries in the sub-region. France mainly sells Togo refined oil, pharmaceutical products, cereals, automobiles and engines.

French imports stood at €9.3 million in 2015, Togo’s main clients being its neighbours Burkina Faso, Benin, Niger and Mali. India was also an important trade partner in terms of exports, especially for phosphates.

Some 20 French businesses are working in Togo. France is one of the main holders of foreign direct investments, with stock amounting to €53.2 million in 2014.

Cultural, scientific and technical cooperation

France is the leading bilateral donor of development assistance to Togo, with €160 million earmarked for the period 2014-2017.

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 focusing on five pillars:

• Developing sectors with strong growth potential;
• Strengthening economic infrastructure;
• Developing human capital, social protection and employment;
• Strengthening governance;
• Promoting participative, balanced and sustainable development.

The projects of the Agence Française de Développement concern water and sanitation, health, education, urban development and support for the private sector.
The embassy is also implementing a fund to support civil societies in the South, 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”.

Security and defence cooperation

In view of the security challenges in the Gulf of Guinea region, there is extensive security and defence cooperation between France and Togo.

In this connection, the country benefits from the priority solidarity funds: “Support for the maritime security system reform in the Gulf of Guinea”, “Support for civil aviation safety in Africa”, “Support for training of domestic security forces in Africa” and “Support for the fight against cocaine trafficking in West Africa”.

An extraordinary summit of Heads of State and Government of the African Union on maritime security will be held on 15 October 2016 in Lomé.

Updated: 29/06/2016