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History[edit | edit source]
From the 11th to the 16th century, various tribes entered the region from all directions. From the 16th century to the 18th century, the coastal region was a major trading center for Europeans to search for slaves, earning Togo and the surrounding region the name The Slave Coast. In 1884, Germany declared a region including present-day Togo as a protectorate called Togoland. After World War I, rule over Togo was transferred to France.
Togo gained its independence from France in 1960. In 1967, Gnassingbé Eyadéma led a successful military coup d'état after which he became president of an anti-communist, single-party state. Eventually in 1993, Eyadéma faced multiparty elections, which were marred by irregularities, and won the presidency three times. At the time of his death, Eyadéma was the longest-serving leader in modern African history, having been president for 38 years. In 2005, his son Faure Gnassingbé was elected president.
Togo is a tropical, sub-Saharan nation, whose economy depends highly on agriculture, with a climate that provides good growing seasons. While the official language is French, many other languages are spoken in Togo, particularly those of the Gbe family. The largest religious group in Togo consists of those with indigenous beliefs, and there are significant Christian and Muslim minorities.
Timeline[edit | edit source]
1490 - Not much is known of the period before arrival of the Portuguese
1905 - This became the German colony of Togoland
1916 - Togo was divided into British and French zones
1957 - The residents of British Togoland voted to join the Gold Coast as part of the new independent nation of Ghana
1960 - The Togolese Republic was proclaimed