Togo

  1. Video content

    Video caption: US Election: Clarkston, a haven for refugees

    People from over 40 different countries have found a home in Clarkston, a small town in the state of Georgia.

  2. Beached whale found dead on Lomé beach

    Blame Ekoue

    BBC News, Lomé

    whale

    A huge whale was found dead on a beach in the Togolese capital in the early hours of Wednesday morning.

    The exact cause of death of the whale, which measures about 10 meters long, remains unknown.

    The whale drew huge crowds despite the ban imposed on gatherings in the fight against coronavirus.

    This is the the second time in a week that a dead whale has been found at the beach in Lomé.

    Security forces have been deployed to prevent people from carving out meat to take home and eat.

  3. Historic appointment of woman as Togo prime minister

    Will Ross

    Africa editor, BBC World Service

    Togo's President Faure Gnassingbé has appointed the country's first ever female prime minister.

    Victoire Tomegah Dogbé is ​an economics and marketing graduate and had held a senior post in the president's office.

    Before that she spent a decade as the minister of grass roots development and youth employment.

    She had earlier worked for the United Nations Development Programme.

  4. Video content

    Video caption: Back to school during a pandemic: The new normal

    After months of virtual learning, some schools have now reopened their doors to pupils. But with the ongoing risk of coronavirus, what does the average school day now look like?

  5. Togo: First in Africa to eradicate sleeping sickness

    sleeping sickness protozoan
    Image caption: The sleeping sickness parasite gets into the bloodstream

    Togo has become the first African country to eliminate sleeping sickness as a public health problem, the World Health Organization (WHO) has said.

    It received "validation" of the sickness' elimination after not reporting a single case in the past 10 years, the WHO added.

    “Togo is a pathfinder in eliminating sleeping sickness, a disease which has threatened millions of Africans,” said Matshidiso Moeti, the WHO's regional director for Africa.

    Sleeping sickness, or human African trypanosomiasis, is caused by parasites which are transmitted by infected tsetse flies and is only found in 36 countries in sub-Saharan Africa.

    If left untreated it is almost always fatal.

    In 1995, about 25,000 cases were detected, while in 2019, fewer than 1,000 cases were found.

  6. 'My greatest happiness is building my own family'

    DJ Edu

    This Is Africa

    Almok
    Image caption: Almok's career break helped her see things differently

    She's been called Togo's Queen of Afropop and last year made a successful comeback with hits Mawu Bé Sekrétèr and Saka Saka, but for Almok it is her new side-project away from music that gives her most joy.

    "Coming home in the evening and embracing someone with lots of love, sharing meals with my children, I can’t explain... I just get a huge smile when I talk about it!"

    After getting married in 2017, Almok took time out to settle into family life, giving birth to a son in January 2019. She says the career break has helped her see things differently.

    "It's a really good time for me because success isn't my career and my popularity. For me, my greatest happiness is building my own family. I was blessed with a child, just one for the moment [but] I dream of having many."

    It is a change in priorities that seems fitting for an artist who broke onto the scene a decade ago with Le Mariage, a track written about love, perseverance and the sanctity of the marriage contract.

    “There are some marriages ending for such trivial reasons. I think when you choose someone and say 'yes' it is not by chance.

    "It’s true that during my break there were lots of rumours about how I wouldn't come back because my husband is a pastor and he wouldn't let me be back on stage – but I never said I was leaving and I was still performing at six-months pregnant."

    Almok's new roles as both a wife and mother mean she is more determined than ever to act as a role model.

    "I grew up in a Christian family and for me it is impossible to go near some topics in my songs. People look up to me and I hold on to the values I got from my parents.

    "With Saka Saka I have about 200,000 hits on YouTube, almost 100,000 on Instagram and in the video I am wearing a jacket and a tie, I am covered up to the neck. My popularity is increasing.

    "There is this loyal audience and when I came out with Mawu Bé Sekrétèr and Saka Saka it was a crazy success - I give thanks to that public for that.”

    Family life has inspired Almok in new ways – and for that her fans can also be thankful.

    The full interview will be broadcast on This Is Africa this Saturday, on BBC World Service radio, and partner stations across Africa.

  7. Togo bishop 'targeted in WhatsApp spying'

    Will Ross

    Africa editor, BBC World Service

    A prominent Catholic bishop and a priest in Togo are reported to have been targeted by spyware on their mobile phones – the first known cases that involve members of the clergy.

    Last year, the messaging service WhatsApp said 1,400 people around the world – including human rights activists – were being listened to using a spyware made in Israel.

    An investigation by the French newspaper Le Monde and the British Guardian revealed that Bishop Benoît Alowonou and five other critics of the Togolese government had been spied on via their mobile phones.

    It is not known who carried out the cyber-attack but not surprisingly some of the victims are pointing straight at their own government.

    The Israeli firm that produces the spying software admits it sells the product to governments around the world but says they are supposed to only use it to monitor criminals and terrorists.

    Togo is one of the most oppressive nations on the continent. The same family has held the presidency since 1967 and dissent is not tolerated.

  8. Togo's Gnassingbé sworn in for fourth term

    Togo's President Faure Gnassingbé talks to supporters in the capital, Lome
    Image caption: President Gnassingbé has been in power since 2005

    Togo's President Faure Gnassingbé was sworn for a fourth term on Sunday at a subdued ceremony in the capital, Lome.

    Mr Gnassingbé won re-election in February but opposition leader Agbéyomé Kodjo has rejected the results. The president's office denies allegations of widespread fraud.

    He has led Togo's population of eight million people since 2005 after taking over following the death of his father Gnassingbé Eyadema, who ruled for 38 years.

    French public broadcaster RFI reports that Sunday's event was attended by government officials and diplomats.

    President of the Constitutional Court Abdou Assouma, who was present, warned against any challenge to the election results, according to RFI.

    Read:

  9. Togo declares state of emergency over coronavirus

    Togo’s President Faure Gnassingbé
    Image caption: President Faure Gnassingbé said the gravity of the situation necessitated tough restrictions

    Togo’s President Faure Gnassingbé has declared a three-month state of emergency to stop the spread of coronavirus.

    He said the seriousness of the situation warranted the measures, which include the immediate start a curfew from 19:00-06:00 local time.

    A 5,000-strong unit of security agents was also being set up to tackle the pandemic as well as a $650m (£525,000) fund to help cushion the economy, the AFP news agency quoted the president as saying during a televised address.

    According to CGTN, China's state-run international TV station, during the state of emergency water and electricity is to be supplied free of charge.

    The West African nation has so far recorded 36 confirmed coronavirus infections and two deaths from the disease.

    More about coronavirus:

  10. Four countries receive Covid-19 donations

    Kennedy Gondwe

    BBC News, Lusaka

    Loading of boxes

    A pan-African infrastructure and logistics solutions company has donated an assortment of equipment to four African countries aimed at fighting the coronavirus.

    Arise, which is based in Libreville, Gabon donated 7m masks, 143,000 sets of protective clothing and 230,000 boxes of disinfectant gel to Ivory Coast, Benin, Togo and Mauritania.

    “In the context of global shortages in critical medical supplies, we are providing a large shipment of medical equipment," CEO Gagan Gupta said.

    The supplies were mainly manufactured in China.

    The Africa CDC, in its latest status reports, says the continent had just over 5,700 confirmed cases.

    See the map below for more information.

    Covid-19 map
  11. Coronavirus: Togo's first patient recovers

    BBC Monitoring

    The world through its media

    The first patient to contract Covid-19 in Togo has tested negative but is still under medical observation, state TV quotes the health minister as saying.

    The West African nation is now dealing with eight confirmed cases.

    The government had asked people arriving in Togo from high-risk countries "to exhibit the highest sense of responsibility and patriotism" and work with the authorities to curb the spread of the virus, Health Minister Moustafa Mijiyawa said.

    He urged the Togolese to "stay calm and not panic" but to follow strict crowd control measures put out by the government.

    Someone pouring hand sanitiser in Nigeria
    Image caption: Hand cleanliness is being encouraged across Africa

    More on coronavirus:

  12. Coronavirus cases climb to 400 across Africa

    Chi Chi Izundu

    BBC News, Lagos

    There are now more than 400 known cases of coronavirus across the continent, with nations imposing a range of measures to try to prevent the spread.

    According to the latest data, the breakdown is as follows: Algeria - 60; Benin - 1; Burkina Faso - 15; Cameroon - 5; Central African Republic - 1; Congo-Brazzaville - 1; DR Congo - 2; Egypt - 126; Eswatini - 1; Ethiopia - 5; Equatorial Guinea - 1; Gabon - 1; Ghana - 6; Guinea - 1; Ivory Coast - 3; Kenya - 3; Liberia - 2; Mauritania - 1; Morocco - 37; Namibia - 2; Nigeria - 3; Rwanda - 7; Senegal - 26; Seychelles - 4; Somalia - 1; South Africa - 62; Sudan - 1; Tanzania - 1; Togo - 1; Tunisia - 24.

    While many countries are closing schools, banning large gatherings and shutting borders, in Kenya telecom companies have slashed the cost of mobile money transfers in a bid to encourage people to go cashless.

    An anti-corruption court in Nairobi has relocated and set up outside the capital.

    There is increasing concern about the potential economic impact in Africa.

    People working in other parts of the world are likely to have less money available to send to their families back home so there is likely to be a drop in these remittances.

  13. Coronavirus: Togo announces first case

    Mary Harper

    Africa editor, BBC World Service

    Togo has become the fifth country in sub-Saharan Africa to confirm a case of coronavirus.

    The government said a woman from the capital Lome had tested positive.

    She has recently visited Benin, Germany, France and Turkey, and is being treated in isolation. Earlier on Friday, Cameroon reported its first case.

    There are now 30 confirmed cases of coronavirus on the continent, ranging from Egypt to South Africa.

  14. Togo court 'confirms' president's election win

    Faure Gnassingbé
    Image caption: Faure Gnassingbé has led Togo since 2005

    Togo's President Faure Gnassingbé has won elections with 71% of the vote, according to final results from the Constitutional Court, news agency Reuters reports.

    The main opposition says the election, held on 22 February, was marred by fraud.

    Mr Gnassingbé has led Togo since 2005, when he took over following the death of his father Gnassingbé Eyadema, who ahd ruled for 38 years.

  15. Map of Togo

    Provides overview, key facts and events, timelines and leader profiles along with current news about Togo

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  16. Opposition candidates allege fraud in Togo election

    President Faure Gnassingbé
    Image caption: President Faure Gnassingbé has been in power since 2005

    At least three Togolese opposition candidates in the presidential election have said the vote was marred by fraud.

    Provisional results from the presidential election in Togo indicate that the incumbent, Faure Gnassingbé, will secure a fourth term in power.

    The electoral commission cited provisional results as showing that Mr Gnassingbé had received 72% of the vote, compared with about 18% for the best-placed opposition candidate, Agbéyomé Kodjo.

    Mr Kodjo had earlier said the vote was marred by fraud, and that he considered himself the winner.

    Another candidate, Jean-Pierre Fabre conceded defeat through his campaign manager Patrick Lawson-Banku.

    "The first trends of the voting results put the candidates of the MPDD [which Mr Kodjo leads] and UNIR [the ruling party] in the lead," said Mr Lawson-Banku.

  17. Campaigns end as Togo president seeks fourth term

    Togolese President Faure Gnassingbé
    Image caption: President Faure Gnassingbé wants to extend his family's half-century in power

    Candidates have ended their campaigns ahead of the first round of Togo's presidential elections on Saturday.

    In his final public address in his hometown Kara, north of the capital Lomé, President Faure Gnassingbé told supporters that the future of the country was now in their hands and urged them to turn out to vote.

    President Gnassingbé took over from his late father and is seeking to extend his family's half-century domination of the West African nation.

    After weathering protests in 2017 and 2018, he pushed through constitutional changes last year, despite demonstrations by opposition supporters, enabling him to run again. In-fighting among the opposition saw the demonstrations fizzle out.

    President Gnassingbé is vying on a Union for the Republic (UNIR) party ticket and will be challenged by Jean-Pierre Fabre of the National Alliance for Change (ANC) party.

    Mr Fabre came second in the last two elections and has been unable to unite the opposition.

    Former Prime Minister Agbéyomé Kodjo, who served under Mr Gnassingbé's father, is also vying on a Patriotic Movement for Democracy and Development (MPDD) ticket.

    Mr Kodjo's latest presidential bid has been endorsed by Archbishop Philippe Fanoko Kpodzro, the Archbishop Emeritus of Lome and dean of the bishops of Togo.