After almost 500 years of numerous invasions and various colonizers exploiting the country, the republic of Togo was declared in the year of 1960. Togo was also centre for the slave trade during the 17th century. With its 7 million inhabitants it is considered a rather small country both in size and by population. The country is situated off the coast of West Africa in between Ghana, Burkina Faso and Benin.
Due to the long history of occupation the country has not been able to stabilize itself. Togo has often been questioned for human rights abuses and corrupted governmental leaders and politicians. As a result, international organizations have sanctioned their aid to the country.
Togo is considered to be one of the poorest countries in the world, and the political isolation from other countries is not in favor for the country´s economy. Although the small country has a number of nature assets such as phosphates, limestone, marble, arable land, the majority of the labor demanded comes from agriculture. Cocoa, phosphates, coffee and cotton stands for the biggest exports. There are a number of reasons why economic growth is constrained. Some of the reasons are the degeneration of the financial sector, the lack of a fundamental infrastructure such as energy shortage and sanctions from international aid- organizations.
Despite the severe state of the country there are still a lot of in Togo. For instance, the country has a strong music culture which is known world-wide. Togo has produced a number of internationally known popular entertainers including King Mensah, Bella Hellow and Jimi Hope. The country has a diverse folk tradition with more than forty ethnic groups, each with their own musical styles. Drum music and traditional folk dance´s is also a very strong part of the music culture. Sports in Togo have also gained an immense popularity among the local Togolese population.