NEW ECO­NOMIC MO­MEN­TUM FOR TOGO

The Africa Report - - ADVERTORIA­L -

The un­veil­ing of Togo’s 2018-2022 National Devel­op­ment Plan (NDP) in March last year af­firmed the gov­ern­ment ’s ob­jec tive of struc tu­rally trans­form­ing the econ­omy to pro­pel Ttogo into a new phase of sus­tain­ablee and in­clu­sive eco­nomic growth. Togo has a rep­u­ta­tion to up­hold: that of be­ingg the most re­formist countr y inn West Africa, ac­cord­ing to the World Bank.

Togo has a plan to se­cure its eco­nomic devel­op­ment. Pres­i­dent Faure E ssoz­imna Gnass­ingbé pre­sented the main points of the plan on 4 March in Lomé, in the pres­ence of many prom­i­nent fig­ures gath­ered at the Hô­tel du 2 Février, from Ecobank ’s CEO, Ade Ayeyemi, to the econ­o­mist Car­los Lopes and for­mer Prime Min­is­ter of Benin Li­onel Zin­sou. The au­di­ence also included nu­mer­ous in­ter­na­tional in­vestors and other stake­hold­ers in­ter­ested in the prospects that this medium-term strate­gic vi­sion has to of­fer. The ob­jec­tive of th eND Pis to struc­tural ly trans­form Togo’s econ­omy to create jobs and fight poverty by build­ing on the coun­try’ s com­par­a­tive ad­van­tages, start­ing with its po­si­tion as a nat­u­ral gate­way to the West African mar­ket.

An econ­omy that sup­ports the so­cial sec­tor

The NDP is in line with the Strat­egy for Ac­cel­er­ated Growth and Em­ploy­ment Pro­mo­tion (Scape), led by the To­golese gover nment from 2013 to 2017. Dur­ing this per iod, the countr y recorded an av­er­age growth rate of 5.6%. The new strat­egy im­ple­mented plans to pick up the pace from 2019, to reach 7.6% by 2022, in or­der to boost the econ­omy, and to con­sol­i­date so­cial wel­fare, which has been iden­ti­fied as one of the strate­gic pil­lars of the NDP. Togo aims to create a min­i­mum of 500,000 di­rec t jobs in five years, with the ob­jec tive of in­creas­ing the Hu­man Devel­op­ment I ndex by 15%. To fi­nance this am­bi­tious and struc­tured plan, the countr y is count­ing on the sup­por t of the pri­vate sec­tor in all its di­ver­sity. Of the 4,622 bil­lion CFA francs (7 bil­lion eu­ros) ear­marked for in­vest­ment, 65% is ex­pected to be raised from pri­vate in­vest­ment, mainly through the es­tab­lish­ment of Pub­lic-pri­vate Par tner­ships (PPPS) for the im­ple­men­ta­tion of de­vel­op­men­tal projects.

Climb­ing the Doing Busi­ness ranks

Togo is now con­sid­ered to be of one the sub-re­gion’ s highly de­sir­able in­vest­ment des­ti­na­tions. It has to be said that the coun­try has al­ready done a lot in re­cent years to sig­nif­i­cantly im­prove the busi­ness climate. Be­tween 2012 and 2019, Togo moved up 38 places in the World Bank’s Doing Busi­ness rank­ing, and cur­rently sits at 137th po­si­tion. This leap for ward can be largely at­trib­uted to the coun­try’ s strong progress on six key in­di­ca­tors, most no­tably in the ar­eas of cor­po­rate en­ergy sup­ply, tax pol­icy, and ease of star ting a busi­ness, etc.

This spirit of re­newal has made Togo one of the most re­formist coun­tries on the con­ti­nent to­day, ac­cord­ing to both the World Bank and the Mo Ibrahim Foundation. And this is just the be­gin­ning be­cause, featured promi­nently among the ND P’ S stated ob­jec­tives, is the de­ter­mi­na­tion to move up ten places ever y year in the Doing Busi­ness report.

+ 9.7% in­crease in per capita income for the du­ra­tion of the NDP

A lo­gis­tics and fi­nan­cial hub

To at­tract as many in­vestors as pos­si­ble from all sec­tors, Togo has nu­mer­ous ad­van­tages on of­fer. Firstly, its geostrate­gic lo­ca­tion means that it can serve all the hin­ter­land coun­tries. Ac­cord­ing to the United Na­tions Con­fer­ence on Trade and Devel­op­ment (UNCTAD), Togo is one of the five best-connected African coun­tries in terms of mar­itime routes. The au­tonomous port of Lomé is the only deep-wa­ter port on the West African coast that can ac­com­mo­date 3rd gen­er­a­tion ships, and is highly efficient and com­pet­i­tive, han­dling nearly 1.4 mil­lion con­tain­ers each year.

In ad­di­tion to be­ing a lo­gis­tics hub, the coun­try also serves as a fi­nan­cial centre, with ma­jor bank­ing in­sti­tu­tions based in Lomé and tak­ing ad­van­tage of the climate of po­lit­i­cal sta­bil­ity that Togo enjoys.

Last ly, the coun­try has a strong in­ter­na­tional pres­ence and priv­i­leged ac­cess to ma­jor trade mar­kets, such as the United States, with the African Growth and Opportunit­y Act (AGOA) agree­ments, and Europe, which grants the coun­try pref­er­en­tial treat­ment un­der the ACP-EU agree­ments. Togo is also a sig­na­tory to the free trade agree­ments ne­go­ti­ated within ECOWAS.

7.6% eco­nomic growth tar­geted for 2022

Togo takes its show on the road

On the strength of all these ar­gu­ments, a large del­e­ga­tion of To­golese po­lit­i­cal and eco­nomic lead­ers has been travelling the world over the past few weeks to pro­mote NDP projects in ma­jor fi­nan­cial cen­tres. On 5 and 6 June 2019, Togo pre­sented its plan to the Bri­tish busi­ness com­mu­nity at the 5 th An­nual De­bate Fo­rum, or­gan­ised by In­vest Africa in London. Led by Pres­i­dent Fa ureE.Gn ass in­gbé, the To­golese del­e­ga­tion made the most of this opportunit­y to meet more than 300 in­ter­na­tional in­vestors in­ter­ested in Africa and its devel­op­ment. The NDP is also the fo­cus of dis­cus­sions at the first Togo-euro­pean Union Eco­nomic Fo­rum be­ing held on 13 and 14 June 2019, in Lomé, and at­tended by the busi­ness com­mu­ni­ties of both part­ners( see box ).

Par­a­digm shift

The NDP, which was de­vised ac­cord­ing to an in­clu­sive and it­er­a­tive process, her­alds a real eco­nomic par­a­digm shift for Togo, based on the role of the pri­vate sec­tor as a driver of devel­op­ment. It seeks to fo­cus ef­forts on de­vel­op­men­tal projects that will have a pos­i­tive im­pact on the lives of the To­golese people.

The plan lists a range of ma­jor projects de­signed to ac­cel­er­ate growth, at­tract in­vestors and mod­ern is et he coun­try. The pri­vate sec­tor is in­vited to be fully in­volved in the im­ple­men­ta­tion phase through the nu­mer­ous PPPS that will be ne­go­ti­ated. The NDP is highly focused and struc­tured around three main com­po­nents, the first two be­ing eco­nomic: set­ting up a lo­gis­tics and fi­nan­cial hub of ex­cel­lence and de­vel­op­ing agri­cul­tural, manufactur­ing and ex­trac­tive in­dus­tries pro­cess­ing clus­ters, while the third is so­cial: con­sol­i­dat­ing devel­op­ment and strength­en­ing the mech­a­nisms for in­clu­sion.

Com­par­a­tive ad­van­tages

The main thrust of the NDP is there­fore to strengthen the coun­try’s com­par­a­tive ad­van­tages. To en­able Togo to be­come the lo­gis­tics hub it as­pires to be, the first com­po­nent in­cludes the split­ting of the RN1 be­tween Lomé and the Burk­ina Faso border, the con­struc­tion of a lo­gis­tics plat­form in Adak­pamé, and the devel­op­ment of air­por t in­fra­struc­ture, as well as the con­struc­tion of a top- class con­fer­ence centre in the cap­i­tal.

To di­ver­sify the national econ­omy into sec­tors with high labour de­mand, par tic­u­lar ly in agr ibusi­ness, the sec­ond com­po­nent pro­vides for the es­tab­lish­ment of sev­eral agri­cul­tural growth poles (agropoles), in­dus­trial parks, and a spe­cial eco­nomic zone around the por t of Lomé. Lastly, to en­sure the so­cial well-be­ing of the pop­u­la­tion, so cru­cial to its cre­ators, the NDP rec­om­mends build­ing hous­ing in ur­ban ar­eas, a vast ru­ral elec tri­fi­ca­tion project, the deve - lop­ment of ten sec­on­dar y cities across the countr y, and the in­tro­duc­tion of a national bio­met­ric iden­ti­fi­ca­tion sys­tem, to name but a few.

Togo trail­blaz­ing a new Africa

Hav­ing al­ready made good progress from a macroe­co­nomic point of view in re­cent years, Togo is set to strengthen this trend by means of its NDP. To this end, the gov­ern­ment is count­ing on the sup­por t of lo­cal and in­ter­na­tional com­pa­nies, which which re­quire some re­as­sur­ance be­fore in­vest­ing in the coun­try. The stakes are high for Togo, which is bank­ing on the bold­ness of its devel­op­ment pro­gramme and the de­ter­mi­na­tion of the To­golese people to claim its place, in a wider con­text of eco­nomic glob­al­iza­tion, be­yond Africa.

55/100 Togo’s over­all score in the Doing Busi­ness 2019 rank­ing, up 17 points com­pared to 2012

LOMÉ, 4 MARCH. PRES­I­DENT FAURE ESSOZIMNA GNASS­INGBÉ AT T HE NAT I ONAL DE VELOPMENT PLAN L AUNCH C E R E MONY.

LOMÉ, 4 MARCH. A L ARGE NUM­BER OF I NTE R NAT I ONAL I NVESTORS AND OT HER S TA K E HOLD­ERS AT T E NDED T HE 2018-2022 NDP L AUNCH.

UPGR ADED FAC I L I T I E S AT T HE NE W F I S HI NG P ORT I N LO MÉ.

PAN- AF R I C AN E COBANK GROUP HEAD­QUAR­TERS I N LOMÉ.

AT T HE OF F I C I AL OPENI NG OF T HE J US DE L I C E P I NEAPPLE J UI C E P R ODUCTI ON P L ANT

S OCI AL WEL­FARE I S T HE T HI R D COM­PO­NENT OF THE NDP.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from France

© PressReader. All rights reserved.