Newspapers in Togo
The daily distribution in Togo is very modest (4 newspaper excl. Per 1,000 residents, 2000). The only actual daily newspaper is the government agency Togo-Presse (circulation: about 8,000 copies). Democratization has meant that some opposition newspapers have started.
Radio and TV are mainly state-controlled; Radio diffusion du Togo (founded in 1953) broadcasts radio in French, English and domestic languages and Télévision Togolaise (founded 1973) TV in French and domestic languages in one channel. The opposition began broadcasting its own radio in 1992 (Radio Liberté). There are 265 radio and 32 TV receivers per 1,000 residents (2000).
According to ALLUNITCONVERTERS, traditional Togolese tissue art as well as wood carvings are of great interest today. Good examples of this craft can be seen at the Museum of African Art in the capital Lomé (Musée International du Golfe de Guinée).
Dance (including the ancient glow dance of the tem people) and, above all, music from Togo has gained international attention (see and listen to, for example, Jimi Hope on Youtube). Drums are a common instrument and each region has its own special rhythm.
The author Félix Couchoro wrote the novel L’Esclave (Slaven) in 1929, which is considered the first French-speaking African novel. A few decades later, Sam Obianim and Kwasi Fiawoo, among others, wrote novels and plays in the language ewe.
CFA franc will be eco 2020
Eight West African countries using the regional CFA franc agree in Abidjan in Ivory Coast that the currency should be renamed eco. It will continue to be linked to the euro, but the eight countries (Benin, Burkina Faso, Guinea-Bissau, Ivory Coast, Mali, Niger, Senegal and Togo) will no longer have to keep 50 percent of their foreign exchange reserves in France, and France should no longer have any representative on the board of the currency union. The change will take effect in 2020. Critics of the CFA fringe see it as a remnant from the colonial era, while its proponents see it as a guarantee of financial stability.
Presidential election in February
The government announces that presidential elections will be held on February 22, 2020. For the first time, it will be possible for Togolese citizens abroad to vote for Togo’s embassies. The electoral movement will run between February 6 and February 20. In November, opposition parties and several NGOs appealed that the election should be postponed so that the Constitutional Court, the Electoral Authority and the voter register can be reformed and reviewed before the election is held, but they have not been granted that request.
The right of demonstration is restricted
Parliament adopts a law that further limits the right of the Togolese to demonstrate; Now people are prohibited from demonstrating at main roads and central places in the cities as well as near government buildings. In addition, protests may only be conducted during the day, between 11am and 6pm. The number of permitted demonstrations in a city is also limited. The right of demonstration has been gradually reduced since a wave of protest marches against President Gnassingbe’s plans to change the constitution in order to remain in power in 2017 and 2018 were held.
Local elections are conducted
For the first time since 1987, local elections are being held. Unir wins an overwhelming share of the seats in the local parishes. The turnout is 52.5 percent.
The constitution is changed
Parliament adopts a series of constitutional amendments. They mean that the president can only be re-elected once, that is, sit for two terms. However, this means that President Fauré Gnassingbé may run for re-election twice more and remain in the presidential post until 2030, since the change does not apply retrospectively. The president shall be elected for five years and the election shall be held for two rounds. The constitutional amendment also means that former presidents are granted life assurance immunity. They cannot be arrested, prosecuted or brought to justice for actions committed during their term of office. Members of Parliament can now sit for two six-year terms. Previously, they could be re-elected for an unlimited number of five-year periods.
Free trade agreements come into force
The African Free Trade Agreement AfCFTA (see March 2018) enters into force for the 24 of 44 countries, including Togo, which ratified it.
The old government remains
President Gnassingbé appoints Prime Minister Komi Selom Klassou for a new term in office. The entire old government remains unchanged.
Togo gets its first female president
Togo’s new parliament elects Yawa Djibodi Tsegan as president of the Legislative Assembly. Tsegan, who represents the ruling Unir, thus becomes the country’s first female president.