The Togolese community living and working abroad has sent a whopping US$348 million as remittances in 2014, according to figures published by the World Bank in 2014.
This constitutes an increase of US$11 million for 2013, the Bretton Woods institution said, adding that the amount represents 10% of the country’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP).
The amount also represents one quarter of this tiny West African nation’s budget.
Togo, ruled with an iron-fist by Fauré Gnassingbé, is squeezed between Ghana, Benin, Niger and the Atlantic Ocean and a population of about 5.5 million.
However, despite its small population, some sections of the local media have boasted that the Togolese living abroad have done better in 2014 than Ghana and Benin’s diaspora, who only sent US$182 million and US$ 147 million, respectively.
Diaspora’s remittances are seen as a lifeline for African families, many of whom struggle to survive in a poverty-hit continent, where dictators and their allies steal state money to enrich themselves and their families.
Photo: Fruit market in Lomé, Togo. Credit: Souad Travel