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Abstract

Many African countries became independent around 1960. As the first French colony in Africa to achieve this milestone, Togo gained its independence on April 27, 1960. Many believed Togo was destined to a prosperous future. On January 13, 1963 a bloody military coup changed everything and, led to the catastrophic management of its resources. A military dictatorship, aided by the Cold War environment, was put in place and resulted in massive foreign debt, economic malaise, political persecutions, and civil unrests. Togo resorted to the intervention of the International Monetary Fund (IMF) and the World Bank.

Without good governance, international aid is bound to failure because any financial resources in the hands of corrupt leaders are not going to serve the public interest. Togo is an illustrative example of the perils of poor governance and its experience could serve other sub Saharan African countries to equip themselves with better public policies. In this global community where national boundaries are porous, each country is affected by the problem of other countries. It is very important to focus on good governance and democratic institutions. The freedom to choose leaders, transparency, free speech, and free enterprise allow creativity and better management. The authoritarian management of Togo led to an economic breakdown.

This paper first argues that the colonial history of Togo sowed the seeds of the problem that the country is facing today. The remainder of this essay is divided into sections on the intervention of the IMF and the World Bank, the problems of foreign dependence, the lessons learned, and the policy prescriptions.

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