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Background: French Togoland became Togo in 1960. Gen. Gnassingbe EYADEMA, installed as military ruler in 1967, ruled Togo with a heavy hand for almost four decades. Despite the facade of multiparty elections instituted in the early 1990s, the government was largely dominated by President EYADEMA, whose Rally of the Togolese People (RPT) party has maintained power almost continually since 1967 and maintains a majority of seats in today's legislature. Upon EYADEMA's death in February 2005, the military installed the president's son, Faure GNASSINGBE, and then engineered his formal election two months later. Democratic gains since then allowed Togo to hold its first relatively free and fair legislative elections in October 2007. After years of political unrest and condemnation from international organizations for human rights abuses, Togo is finally being re-welcomed into the international community.
Location: Western Africa, bordering the Bight of Benin, between Benin and Ghana
Area land: 54,385 sq km
Area water: 2,400 sq km
Coastline: 56 km
Country name conventional long form: Togolese Republic
Country name conventional short form: Togo
Country name former: French Togoland
Age structure: 0-14 years: 40.9% (male 1,387,537/female 1,381,040); 15-64 years: 56% (male 1,878,114/female 1,912,132); 65 years and over: 3.1% (male 92,689/female 120,481) (2011 est.);
Population growth rate: 2.762% (2011 est.)
Birth rate: 35.58 births/1,000 population (2011 est.)
Death rate: 7.96 deaths/1,000 population (July 2011 est.)
Net migration rate: 0 migrant(s)/1,000 population (2011 est.)
Sex ratio: at birth: 1.03 male(s)/female; under 15 years: 1 male(s)/female; 15-64 years: 0.96 male(s)/female; 65 years and over: 0.63 male(s)/female; total population: 0.97 male(s)/female (2011 est.);
Infant mortality rate: total: 51.48 deaths/1,000 live births; male: 58.43 deaths/1,000 live births; female: 44.32 deaths/1,000 live births (2011 est.);
Life expectancy at birth: total population: 62.71 years; male: 60.19 years; female: 65.3 years (2011 est.);
Total fertility rate: 4.69 children born/woman (2011 est.);
HIV/AIDS - adult prevalence rate: 3.2% (2009 est.);
HIV/AIDS - people living with HIV/AIDS: 120,000 (2009 est.);
HIV/AIDS - deaths: 7,700 (2009 est.);
Nationality: noun: Togolese (singular and plural); adjective: Togolese;
Ethnic groups: African (37 tribes; largest and most important are Ewe, Mina, and Kabre) 99%, European and Syrian-Lebanese less than 1%;
Religions: Christian 29%, Muslim 20%, indigenous beliefs 51%;
Languages: French (official and the language of commerce), Ewe and Mina (the two major African languages in the south), Kabye (sometimes spelled Kabiye) and Dagomba (the two major African languages in the north);
Literacy: definition: age 15 and over can read and write; total population: 60.9%; male: 75.4%; female: 46.9% (2003 est.);
GDP (purchasing power parity): $5.927 billion (2010 est.); $5.738 billion (2009 est.); $5.565 billion (2008 est.);
GDP (official exchange rate): $3.074 billion (2010 est.);
GDP - real growth rate: 3.3% (2010 est.); 3.1% (2009 est.); 1.8% (2008 est.);
GDP - per capita (PPP): $900 (2010 est.); $900 (2009 est.); $900 (2008 est.);
GDP - composition by sector: agriculture: 47.4%; industry: 25.4%; services: 27.2% (2009 est.);
Population below poverty line: 32% (1989 est.);
Household income or consumption by percentage share: lowest 10%: 3.3%; highest 10%: 27.1% (2006);
Labor force: 2.595 million (2007);
Labor force - by occupation: agriculture: 65%; industry: 5%; services: 30% (1998 est.);
Unemployment rate: NA%;
Budget: revenues: $602.3 million; expenditures: $692.1 million (2010 est.);
Industries: phosphate mining, agricultural processing, cement, handicrafts, textiles, beverages;
Industrial production growth rate: 2.5% (2010 est.);
Electricity - production: 230 million kWh (2007 est.);
Electricity - consumption: 640 million kWh (2007 est.);
Electricity - exports: 0 kWh (2008 est.);
Electricity - imports: 514 million kWh; note - electricity supplied by Ghana (2007 est.);
Statistics: CIA World Factbook.
The drug trade is fast turning large parts of West Africa into areas that are all but ungovernable, with major implications for international security.
Tope Akinwande reports on the quack doctors selling fake, often deadly 'medicines' in Africa and the international trade that supplies them.
The government of Togo has taken the unusual step of preparing a lawsuit against the human-rights group Amnesty International-with the legal assistance of high-powered French attorney Jacques Verges.