A team of CROP’s researchers presented additional findings from the Afrobarometer survey to development partners of Togo, government officials, as well as the Afrobarometer funders. The delegation of the European Union in Togo has graciously agreed to host and help organized the event. Representatives of the government, the UNDP, the ECOWAS and the EU, among others, attended the event.
The presentation and the discussions were centered on three main topics: the degree of interaction between the people and a set of key institutions, the cooperation between Togo and other countries, and democracy and governance.
The results show that there is little interaction between the Togolese people and their representatives at all level. Religious leaders and traditional chiefs interact most with the people. This lack of interaction with the formal institutions and representatives is worse in Togo than the average of the other fifteen African countries for which we have the same data. Among possible explanations, it is important to mention that of all these countries, it is only in Togo that local leaders like mayors are not elected but nominated by the executive. Previous disseminations have also showed a crisis of trust of the people in key institutions such as the justice system and the revenue services. Recent reforms in Togo need to be sustained to help address these issues.
Regarding the relation between Togo and foreign countries, while recognizing that France has the most influence on their country, the Togolese people rank the United State on top of the countries that Togo should strive to look like in the future. On the other hand, the majority of them say that China’s influence on Togo is positive. The top reasons for this assessment is the investment of China in infrastructure as well as the fact that cheap products from Chine grant access to technologies, like cell phones, that otherwise would be out of reach for most. Finally, while the Togolese value democracy and decry corruption, they rank health, unemployment and infrastructure as top priorities that need to be tackled.
The Ambassador of the EU in Togo as well as representatives of different institutions encouraged CROP to continue to uphold the utmost rigor and integrity in its work because this is crucial for the development of the country and for better understanding of the country by its partners.