Togo is a narrow strip of land on the Western coast of Africa, bordered by Ghana and Benin. The country has a history of violence and sadness. During the 18th century, thousands of slaves were shipped from this country to Europe and the Americas. The country became a German Protectorate in 1884. Great Britain and France seized the country during World War I. The British portion became Ghana. The remaining French portion was granted independence in 1960.
Since then, the country has endured years of political instability. The country is known for treating its citizens harshly. Togo is also a center for the illegal ivory trade. Gangs of men kill elephants and rhinos, selling their tusks to Asian countries for medicines and decorations.
- 6.3 million people live in Togo, or the Togolese Republic.
- The country has 21,925 square miles of land.
- French is the official language; many people speak a native language.
- Most people keep their native beliefs. Others are Christian or Muslim.
- The life expectancy is 57 years.
- Narrow: thin
- Violence: physical force intended to harm someone
- Instability: unstable, unpredictable
- Ivory: elephant or rhino tusks
Visit the BBC to learn more about Togo.
Question: Why is the life expectancy in this country so low?
Answer: One reason is the number of diseases here. Many people have AIDS. People get hepatitis A from drinking or eating contaminated food. There is less than one doctor for every 1,000 people.