Togo Independence Day is celebrated every year on 27 April, marking the country’s independence from France in 1960.
Officially the Togolese Republic, Togo is a country in West Africa. The name comes from the language spoken by the local tribes, which means “land where lagoons lie.”
The history of the country’s Independence Day is rooted in the country’s colonial past. In the 16th century, the country and its surrounding coastal region became a major trading center for European slave traders.
In 1884, Germany declared Togoland, including modern-day Togo, a protectorate. It was one of Germany’s most valuable overseas assets despite being one of the smallest. However, German soldiers were defeated by the allied forces in 1914, leading to the partitioning of Togoland between Britain and France in 1916.
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The two countries established an Anglo-French condominium, which fell in 1916, resulting in Togo being split into British and French zones. The League of Nations mandated Great Britain to manage the western portion of the country and France to govern the eastern part in 1922.
After World War II, the country became a UN Trust Territory, and in 1956, British Togoland voted to join Ghana when it gained its independence from Britain.
In 1959, French Togoland became an autonomous republic within the French Union, and the Togolese Republic was established on 27 April 1960. Sylvanus Olympio was elected the first president of Togo in 1961, receiving 100 per cent of the vote in elections boycotted by the opposition.
In June 2022, Togo joined Gabon in becoming the 55th and 56th members of the Commonwealth respectively.