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Moving to Togo

A comprehensive guide to moving to Togo

As an important regional center in Africa, Togo can be an appealing destination for expats who want to play a part in the development of a lovely part of the world. With friendly people and beautiful savannas, it is easy to see why moving to Togo is so attractive for some expats.

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Relocating to Togo

The Land and Its People

Togo is home to around seven million people, but most of the nation’s residents live outside of the main cities, farming their own plots of land to make a modest living. Lomé has a population of around 750,000, which is multiple times larger than any other Togolese cities. The population of Togo is rising fast and has more than doubled in the last 30 years alone.

Ghana borders Togo to the west, with Burkina Faso to the north of the country, and Benin to the east. Togo itself is very narrow, stretching down to the Gulf of Guinea, where the capital city, Lomé, can be found.

There are dozens of different ethnic groups in Togo, with the Ewe people making up close to a third of the population, although they mainly live in the south of the country. Kotokoli or Tem and Tchamba peoples are often found in the center of Togo, while the Kabye people live in the north.

The official language of Togo is French, but many other languages are spoken in the country. English is usually only heard in business offices and major banks in Lomé.

Data from the CIA Factbook shows that around 29 percent of the Togolese population is Christian, while 20 percent are Muslim and 51 percent hold indigenous beliefs.

The Climate in Togo

Togo’s climate is conducive to the nation’s heavy reliance on agriculture, with good growing seasons. The Togo Mountains run down the center of the country, separating two savanna plains regions that cover much of the nation’s land mass.

Temperatures typically range from 27.5°C on the Togolese coast to about 30°C in the northernmost regions, which is relatively cool compared to many other African countries.

Average rainfall is high. There are two heavy rainfall seasons in the south of Togo, running from April to July and September to November. Expats who move to Togo will experience cooler weather from November to March due to the fact that this is when the dry desert winds of the harmattan blow south.

Visas for Togo

Arranging a visa for Togo in advance is preferable for expats who are moving to the West African country, as otherwise they face a lengthy wait at the airport for their official documents to be processed.

Expats moving to Togo for work will need a letter confirming their appointment by their employer before their visa will be granted. The Togolese ministry is known for being slow at processing applications for visas, so expats are advised to apply well in advance in order to avoid problems on arrival. Again, if an individual wishes to extend their visa they should start the process well before their current documents are due to expire, so that any delays will not cause too much of a problem.

Updated on: May 12, 2015
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