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Togo (officially the Togolese Republic) is a country in West Africa bordered by Ghana to the west, Benin to the east and Burkina Faso to the north. It extends south to the Gulf of Guinea, on which the capital Lomé is located. Togo covers an area of approximately 57,000 square kilometres (22,000 sq mi) with a population of approximately 6.7 million.

Togo is a tropical, sub-Saharan nation, highly dependent on agriculture, with a climate that provides good growing seasons. The official language is French; however, there are many other languages spoken in Togo. Approximately one half of the population lives below the international poverty line of US$1.25 a day.

Togo gained its independence from France in 1960. In 1967, Gnassingbé Eyadéma led a successful military coup, after which he became president. At the time of his death in 2005, Eyadéma was the longest-serving leader in African history, after having been president for 38 years. In 2005, his son Faure Gnassingbé was elected president.

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The Oyo Empire was a West African empire of what is today southwestern Nigeria. The empire was established by the Yoruba in the 15th century and grew to become one of the largest West African states encountered by colonial explorers. It rose to preeminence through wealth gained from trade and its possession of a powerful cavalry. The Oyo Empire was the most politically important state in the region from the mid-17th to the late 18th century, holding sway not only over other Yoruba kingdoms in modern day Nigeria, Benin, and Togo, but also over other African kingdoms, most notable being the Fon Dahomey (located in modern day Benin).

The mythical origins of the Oyo Empire lie with Oranyan (also known as Oranmiyan), the second prince of the Yoruba Kingdom of Ile-Ife (Ife). Oranyan made an agreement with his brother to launch a punitive raid on their northern neighbors for insulting their father Oba (King) Oduduwa, the first Ooni of Ife. On the way to the battle, the brothers quarreled and the army split up. Oranyan's force was too small to make a successful attack, so he wandered the southern shore until reaching Bussa. There the local chief entertained him and provided a large snake with a magic charm attached to its throat. The chief instructed Oranyan to follow the snake until it stopped somewhere for seven days and disappeared into the ground. Oranyan followed the advice and founded Oyo where the serpent stopped.

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Transport in Togo.jpg
Credit: Ferdinand Reus

Transportation in Togo.

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edit Joseph Kokou Koffigoh (born 1948) is a Togolese politician who served as Prime Minister of Togo from 27 August 1991 to 25 April 1994. Elected as Prime Minister by the opposition-dominated National Conference in 1991, Koffigoh was given full executive powers and tasked with overseeing a transition to multiparty elections. Beginning in December 1991, however, President Gnassingbé Eyadéma increasingly reasserted his authority at Koffigoh's expense. Although Koffigoh remained in office, the opposition eventually abandoned him, feeling he had become too cooperative with Eyadéma.

Koffigoh has been the President of the Coordination of New Forces (CFN) since 1993. He was replaced as Prime Minister after the 1994 parliamentary election, in which the CFN performed poorly, although Koffigoh himself won a seat in the National Assembly. Later, he was Minister of Foreign Affairs from 1998 to 2000 and Minister of Regional Integration, in charge of Relations with Parliament, from 2000 to 2002.

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