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Map of Togoland in 1885.
Togoland protectorate
Schutzgebiet Togo
Togoland (red). Other German colonies in blue
Togoland (red). Other German colonies in blue
StatusProtectorate of Germany
CapitalBagida (1884-86)
Sebeab (1886-97)
Lomé (1897- )
Common languagesGerman
Historical eraNew Imperialism
July 5, 1884 1884
August 26, 1914 1914
• Togoland partitioned
December 27, 1916
CurrencyGerman gold mark
Succeeded by
British Togoland
French Togoland
Map of Togo in 1915.

Togoland was a German protectorate in West Africa from 1884 to 1914. The protectorate was established during the "Scramble for Africa", when German explorer and imperialist Gustav Nachtigal arrived at Togoville, sent as a special commissioner by Prime Minister Otto von Bismarck. On July 5 1884, a treaty was signed with the local chief, Mlapa III, in which the German Empire declared a protectorate over a stretch of territory along the coast of the Bight of Benin. Nachtigal was Reichskommissar for a day, but was replaced on July 6 by Heinrich Randad as other tasks were waiting for Nachtigal in Northern Africa.

Germany gradually extended its control inland. They brought scientific cultivation to the country's main export crops (cacao, coffee and cotton) and developed its infrastructure to one of the highest levels in Africa. Because it became Germany's only self-supporting colony, Togoland was known as its model possession. This would last until the eruption of World War I.

After calling on German forces to surrender on 6 August 1914, French and British forces invaded the colony the next day, occupying Lome and advancing on a powerful radio station near Kamina (just east of Atakpamé). The colony surrendered on August 26, after the Germans had destroyed the station on the night of August 24/25. On December 27 1916, Togoland was divided into French and British administrative zones. Following the war, Togoland formally became a League of Nations Class B mandate divided for administrative purposes into French Togoland and British Togoland (covering respectively about 2/3 and 1/3 of the territory).

As a result, the French-ruled part of Togoland became what is now Togo, with the rest transferred to Ghana following a plebiscite.

See also

References in Popular Culture

In the popular Canadian sketch comedy show, Second City Television (which ran from 1976 to 1984), the news segment skit "SCTV News" regularly included news bulletins about natural catastrophes in Togoland, although the country no longer had that name.

External links