Infrastructure

Togo plays an important role in the Sub-Saharan African region’s transit trade. Togo has not only the Autonomous Port of Lomé (PAL) but also two international airports (Gnassingbé Eyadéma International Airport (AIGE). The PAL covers the majority of international maritime transport services and handles some 80 per cent of trade, as it is one of the few ports that can take large oil tankers and grain ships, and with warehouse facilities. However, considering that Togo has a soil rich in minerals, the infrastructure needed to exploit these assets to the fullest, in particular the road and rail networks, is not adequate for the task. Togo’s telecommunication sector suffers from a lack of competition that has resulted in high costs and problems of quality. According to the International Telecommunication Union, the number of fixed telephone subscription was 0.93 per 100 populations and the number for mobile telephone was 49.86 per 100 populations in 2012. Also, international telephony rates, which affect businesses, are particularly high in comparison with other West African countries, even though charges have recently fallen sharply. With respect to the banking sector, one of the four state-owned banks was sold to Benin-based Orabank in 2012 and foreign banks have gradually built their presence. Additionally, the microfinance system and traditional loan schemes called “tontines” play an important role for small-and medium-sized industries.