Since April 2008, Togo has implemented a three-year economic programme, with funding of $108.4m from the International Monetary Fund (IMF). An evaluation of the programme takes place twice a year and in September 2009, the IMF reported a strengthening of the country's finances--a great achievement, particularly when Togo was affected by the international economic crisis.
As soon as he was elected in 2005, President Faure Gnassingbe committed the country to improving its public finances. The government focused on stricter budgetary discipline and greater transparency in financial affairs.
"We took some time to reorganise, starting with Customs and the tax department," the finance and economic minister, Adji Oteth Ayassor, explains. "The two departments were modernised and computerised to make them more efficient in revenue collection."
The government has since allocated sufficient funds for poverty reduction and other social objectives. And several policies have been implemented in the last five years in education and other sectors.
These include the recruitment of over 14,000 civil servants and the integration of 10,000 others; the opening of 130 new colleges and high schools; the construction, rehabilitation and re-equipping of nearly 3,200 classrooms; the integration of nearly 11,000 assistant teachers, and the recruitment of over 5,000 new ones. Other social measures include the abolition of school fees in kindergarten and primary schools.
In the health sector, the government has invested in the rehabilitation and the equipment of university hospitals, the construction and equipment of more than 50 dispensaries, 30 maternity hospitals, 10 health centres, 10 surgical clinics and the recruitment of more than 2,000 health workers. Recognising the importance of road infrastructure in the development of the country. President Gnassingbe has allocated a large share of public investment to the construction and rehabilitation of the national road network.
One example of this is the rehabilitation, drainage, and lighting of 155 km of streets in the capital Lome, costing CFA79bn. In total, CFA283bn has been spent on the rehabilitation and maintenance of the national road network.
To erase the trauma suffered by victims of floods in 2007 and 2008 (that also damaged several bridges), the state has rebuilt and strengthened three major bridges in a project costing more than CFA3bn. In addition, several...