Year Founded: 1960
Just like Benin, Togo is a long, thin country from north to south. Its economic development is mainly driven by the seaside areas facing the Gulf of Guinea. Compared with other African countries, Togo lacks high-value natural resources. Its economy mainly relies on the export of agricultural goods and the country is highly dependent on imports of consumer goods. Over the past 20 years, its volatile political situation has been hindering its economic development. In 2015, 69% of Togolese families lived below the poverty line. Over the past 5 years, the GDP per capita has grown significantly, from US$570 to US$900. This is credited largely to the government’s efforts to reform the economy such as investing in public infrastructure construction, tax reform, and privatization of public utilities, as well as IMF and the World Bank’s assistance in improving government finance management.