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In Togo, the opposition movement behind the anti-government protests that broke out in 2017–2018 appears to reflect a greater role for Islam in politics. Tikpi Atchadam, leader of the Parti National Panafricain, was the preeminent figure in the movement, having built a solid grassroots base among his fellow Muslims. This article examines the unique role that Muslim leaders played in these protests, as well as the Faure Gnassingbé regime's strategic response. The ruling party made spurious claims against Muslim opponents, associating them with a dangerous wave of political Islam. I argue that by portraying Atchadam as the leader of a radical ethnic and religious movement with Islamist goals, Faure Gnassingbé and his supporters sought to weaken this emerging challenger and deter members of the public from backing calls for political change. The strategy also helped garner support from Western countries while simultaneously driving a wedge between Muslim community leaders.
Iron production has played a part in the history of Africa for more than 2,500 years. The study of this specific human activity has demonstrated its exceptional significance, its historical continuity and an astonishing variability of practice. In Sub-Saharan Africa, metallurgists developed different ways to produce the same material: iron. They multiplied the technical choices to a degree unequalled on other continents. But what is the significance of such extreme diversity? In this chapter, four case studies representing different situations are detailed: in Dendi Country/Benin, where the question of the nature of the raw materials is considered; in Dogon Country/Mali, seven contemporaneous smelting traditions in a limited geographical area; at the Korsimoro site/Burkina Faso, five successive smelting traditions in the same place; and in the Bassar region/Togo, the impact of ancient and intensive iron production on the environment and on the technology. Based on these examples the chapter discusses the interpretation of diversity in terms of the history of technology and population dynamics.
This article is an historical analysis of West Africa’s first coup. Starting from contemporary accounts of the 1963 assassination of president Sylvanus Olympio of the Republic of Togo, and the overthrow of his government, the article identifies three competing explanations of events. It follows these three explanations through Togo’s “shadow archives,” asking how and why each of them was taken up or disregarded by particular people at particular moments in time. The article develops a new interpretation of West Africa’s first coup, and outlines its implications for the study of national sovereignty, neo-colonialism, and pan-African solidarity in postcolonial Africa.
There is an unprecedented demand for bushmeat in large cities in sub-Saharan Africa, and this is a major threat to many species. We conducted 2,040 interviews in six cities in four West African countries, in forest and savannah settings. We analysed age- and sex-related differences in the frequency of bushmeat consumption. Overall, we found similar patterns in all cities: 62.2% of men and 72.1% of women said they would never eat bushmeat, whereas 12.8% of men and 8.8% of women said they liked bushmeat and ate it regularly. Younger generations of both sexes tended not to eat bushmeat, regardless of their city of origin. This study of the effects of age, gender and geographical location on bushmeat consumption in African cities provides insights regarding which population groups to target in campaigns to change behaviours.
Overweight and obesity in childhood are serious public health issues, both in developing and developed countries. The present study aimed to ascertain overweight and obesity prevalence rates among Togolese schoolchildren in Lomé, Togo, and their correlation with physical activity, socio-economic conditions and eating habits.
Cross-sectional survey conducted in December 2015. Overweight and obesity were defined using age- and sex-specific BMI cut-off points of the International Obesity Task Force. Physical activity, socio-economic conditions and eating habits were assessed with a standardized questionnaire. Specially trained medical students interviewed children and collected the data. After bivariate regression analyses, factors associated with overweight/obesity were identified by multivariate logistic regression. Statistical significance was two-sided P<0·05.
Representative sample of 634 children (288 boys, 346 girls), aged 8–17 years, who were studying in primary schools.
Overweight and obesity respectively affected 5·2 and 1·9 % of children surveyed. Watching television (>4 h) on weekends (OR; 95 % CI: 3·8; 1·2, 12·0, P=0·02) and medium dietary diversity score (3·0; 1·1, 8·1, P=0·03) were independently associated with overweight/obesity in a multivariate regression model. Eating breakfast in the school cafeteria (0·2; 0·1, 0·8, P=0·03) and eating fruits (0·4; 0·1, 0·9, P=0·03) significantly reduced the risk of overweight/obesity.
Overweight and obesity prevalence were linked with sedentary behaviour and non-optimal food diversity. Promoting physical activity and fruit consumption should be explored as interventions to reduce and prevent overweight and obesity in Lomé schoolchildren. In addition, preventive approaches in the social environment of children should be considered.
After losing the importance it had held around 1900 both as a colonial power and in the field of tropical medicine, Germany searched for a new place in international health care during decolonisation. Under the aegis of early government ‘development aid’, which started in 1956, medical academics from West German universities became involved in several Asian, African and South American countries. The example selected for closer study is the support for the national hygiene institute in Togo, a former German ‘model colony’ and now a stout ally of the West. Positioned between public health and scientific research, between ‘development aid’ and academia and between West German and West African interests, the project required multiple arrangements that are analysed for their impact on the co-operation between the two countries. In a country like Togo, where higher education had been neglected under colonial rule, having qualified national staff became the decisive factor for the project. While routine services soon worked well, research required more sustained ‘capacity building’ and did not lead to joint work on equal terms. In West Germany, the arrangement with the universities was a mutual benefit deal for government officials and medical academics. West German ‘development aid’ did not have to create permanent jobs at home for the consulting experts it needed; it improved its chances to find sufficiently qualified German staff to work abroad and it profited from the academic renown of its consultants. The medical scientists secured jobs and research opportunities for their postgraduates, received grants for foreign doctoral students, gained additional expertise and enjoyed international prestige. Independence from foreign politics was not an issue for most West German medical academics in the 1960s.
The Vogan sheep (VS), a crossbreed between Djallonke sheep (DS) and sahelian sheep (SS), is a unique sheep breed in Togo. It is highly valued for its performances but its breeding is very localized in southeastern of Togo. The objective of this study was to update the breed's phenotypic characterization and to compare VS phenotypic features with those of parental populations (DS and SS). For this purpose, morphological data were collected in January 2013 from 206 animals in Vô, Kloto and Agou prefectures (Togo) and in May 2013 from 30 SS in Bobo-Dioulasso (Burkina Faso). Results showed that the coat colour was very variable. Horn shape was also variable but was generally prismatic and outward-oriented, present in all rams and fine or remains of them in ewes. Quantitative traits such as height at withers, body length, chest circumference, tail length, ear length, space between the horns and chest depth showed that VS traits are smaller than SS traits but are significantly superior when compared to DS traits. Most VS characters were influenced by geographic location (p < 0,05). This study confirmed the “intermediate” status of VS. The sustainable use of VS needs molecular characterization and a dissemination programme.
This article examines the use of tradition by minority groups whose territorial incorporation into British Northern Togoland under UN trusteeship was marked by political exclusion. This contrasts with the more typical pattern of productive and inclusive relations developing between chiefs and the administering authority within the boundaries of what was to become Ghana. In East Gonja, marginalized groups produced their own chiefs while simultaneously appealing to the UN Trusteeship Council to protect their native rights. The article contributes to studies on the limits of the ‘invention of tradition’ by showing the influence of external structures on African agency and organization. As the minority groups sought UN support on the basis of their native status, the colonial power affirmed alternative versions of tradition that were perceived locally as illegitimate and thereby rendered ineffective.
In the last few years, our understanding of police forces in Africa has increased significantly. Whilst in previous literature the police tended to be presented as a mere instrument in the hands of state elites, recent studies have shown the ability of policemen to defend their group interests. This article analyses a pivotal moment in the history of French West Africa, namely the creation of the Service de Sûreté in the early 1930s. Drawing on archival evidence from Togo, it takes a close look at the shift from military to urban policing, arguing that the bureaucratization of security modified the agency of African policemen. Whereas previously their forms of protest were very much connected with the specific setting of military camps (indiscipline, desertion, rebellion), these now increasingly included written protests within the administration.
Introduction. En Afrique
de l’Ouest, plusieurs études ont révélé la richesse numérique des espèces
composant les zones de forêts et savanes ainsi que la diversité
de leurs utilisations. Parmi les espèces utilitaires, les lianes
occupent une place importante car leurs fruits sont très prisés
dans l’alimentation, la pharmacopée et l’artisanat ; elles sont
de plus une source de revenus non négligeables pour les populations
locales. Au Togo, les informations relatives aux lianes restent
fragmentaires ; il nous est donc apparu urgent de recenser celles
entrant dans l’alimentation humaine afin de proposer des mesures
de conservation et de valorisation en leur faveur. Matériel
et méthodes. Des enquêtes ethnobotaniques ont été réalisées
sur un échantillon de 433 personnes dans 60 localités mono-ethniques
regroupant 28 ethnies, dans quatre zones écologiques du Togo. Des interviews
semi-structurées ont été effectuées pour la collecte d’informations. Les
questions ont porté sur le nom vernaculaire des espèces fruitières,
le moment d’apparition des fleurs et des fruits, ainsi que sur les
autres utilisations des fruits. Ces enquêtes ethnobotaniques ont
été complétées par des observations sur le terrain qui ont permis
la réalisation de 215 relevés floristiques. Résultats.
Au total, dix-sept espèces de lianes à fruits comestibles appartenant
à 15 genres et 13 familles (dont essentiellement des Apocynaceae
et des Rubiaceae) ont été recensées. Ces espèces produisent pour la
plupart des fruits charnus (baies et drupes). Ils sont principalement
consommés crus sur les lieux de cueillette, commercialisés sur les
marchés locaux, ou utilisés à des fins condimentaires. Ils représentent une
ressource alimentaire importante et fournissent un complément appréciable de
revenus. Conclusion. Du fait de leur potentiel alimentaire
et économique, la plupart des espèces lianescentes à fruits comestibles
mériteraient d’être valorisées. Mais leur statut de plantes alimentaires
sauvages et leur port lianescent constituent des facteurs qui handicapent leur
Examples of chant, song and written propaganda from the mid-1950s are examined here in order to probe the debates and relationships which influenced the political future of the Ewe-speaking areas of southern British Togoland. While microstudies have been important in explaining sources of division between communities in these areas, propaganda provides a means of understanding the arguments, idioms and ideas about the state which brought many different people together behind the apparently peculiar project of Togoland reunification. The main source of tension within this political movement was not competing local or communal interests, but the unequal relationships that resulted from uneven provision of education. Written and oral propaganda texts, and the rallies where they were performed and exchanged, point to a surprisingly participatory and eclectic political culture, where distinctions between the lettered and unlettered remained fluid and open to challenge.
This article investigates Ewe engagement with British administrative policy via the story of a chieftaincy dispute in Ho, British Mandated Togoland, that erupted when Britain attempted to amalgamate two neighboring chieftaincies, Ho-Dome and Ho-Bankoe, by deploying a model with an ‘ethnic stamp’, that of the neighboring Akan states. Colonial-era chieftaincy has received substantial scholarly attention. This article argues that the relationship between the models deployed to reorganize chiefly power and the roles of protagonists is just as significant as the layered conflicts within chieftaincies and their respective clans. Two responses to ‘Akanized’ amalgamation are investigated: the petitions of its opponents, and the rituals developed by chiefs, priests and peasants to herald the amalgamations.