Postage stamps and postal history of Togo

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A German key type stamp for Togo, postmarked LOME 1911
A stamp of Gold Coast overprinted for use in the British zone of occupied Togo and used in 1915
A French colonial stamp of Dahomey overprinted for use in Togo after the end of World War One
A stamp of modern Togo

This is a survey of the postage stamps and postal history of Togo.

Togo 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.

Pre-stamp era[edit]

The first posts in Togo were established by German traders in the 1880s who operated from the coastal towns and used German West African mail boats. Mail entered the German postal system at Hamburg. There were 17 German post offices before the 1914 invasion.[1]

German stamps[edit]

The first stamps used in Togo were unoverprinted stamps of Germany used at "Klein-Popo" from 1 March 1888 and at "Lome" from 1 March 1890. They may be recognised by the cancellations used. Beginning in June 1897, mainland German stamps with a "Togo" overprint were made available. In November 1900, the key type stamps known as the Yacht issue were introduced. Water-marked versions of "Yachts" became standard in 1909, and they remained in use until the First World War.[2]

Allied occupation[edit]

In August 1914, Togo was invaded by British and French troops who occupied the country until 1919.[2] The German post office was closed and the occupying forces used German stamps at first, with "Anglo-French Occupation" overprints. From 1915, overprinted British stamps of the Gold Coast were used and French stamps of Dahomey, overprinted TOGO, were in use from 1916. The country was divided into two zones during the occupation with the east bordering Dahomey, a French territory, being run by the French and the west, bordering the British Gold Coast, being run by the British.

After 1918[edit]

In 1922 The League of Nations confirmed the division of the territory into two with the west of Togo being ceded to Gold Coast for ethnic reasons, making Togo the tall, thin, country it is today, and enlarging the current Ghana. Postal arrangements followed accordingly.

In the Second World War, Togo declared for the Vichy Government in France. In 1955 it was made an autonomous republic within the French community.[1]


Togo became independent on 27 April 1960 and joined the Universal Postal Union on 21 March 1962.[1] Togo was one of the first clients of the Inter-Governmental Philatelic Corporation.[3]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b c Rossiter, Stuart & John Flower. The Stamp Atlas. London: Macdonald, 1986, p.311. ISBN 0-356-10862-7
  2. ^ a b Stanley Gibbons Stamp Catalogue Part 7 Germany. 7th edition. London: Stanley Gibbons, 2005, pp.389-390. ISBN 0-85259-598-0
  3. ^ IGPC - Company History. Retrieved 17 April 2010.

Further reading[edit]

  • Cameo journal of the West Africa Study Circle.
  • Dalwick, R.E.R. Togo and its occupation stamps. London: Stamp Collecting, 1915.
  • Duggan, Peter. Togo: Overprints on stamps of the Gold Coast 1915-1920. Reading, Berkshire: West African Study Circle, 2005. ISBN 0-9537474-6-8
  • Gibbs, Robert M. G.R.I. : the postage stamps of the German colonies occupied by the British, 1914-1918. London: Robson Lowe Christies, 1988. ISBN 0-85397-428-4