Definition of Youth

The National Youth Policy (2007) of Togo defines youth as 15-24 years.


Marriageable Age

  • Opposite Sex
  • Same Sex
  • Without parental consent
  • with parental consent
  • Male
  • 20
  • --
  • XX
  • Female
  • 17
  • --
  • XX

  • No data for marriage with parental consent. Homosexual acts illegal. Source: UNSD, ILGA

Candidacy Age

Criminal Responsibility

Minimum Age
Source:  Childrens Code of Togo

Majority Age


Source: Children’s Code (2007)

Voting Age


Situation of Young People

Literacy Rates

Both sexes (15-24) %
  • 88.88% Male (15-24) %
  • 81.37% Female (15-24) %

Net Enrolment Rate

Secondary School
Both sexes %
  • 31.75%Male %
  • 15.36% Female %

Situation of Young People

Prevalence of HIV

Male (15-24) %
Female (15-24) %

Tobacco Use

Consumed any smokeless or smoking tobacco product at least once 30 days prior to the survey.
Both sexes (13-15) %
  • 17.70% Male (13-15) %
  • 7.90% Female (13-15) %
  • Year: 2010
  • Source: WHO

Policy & Legislation

Is there a national youth policy?
Togo has a 2007 national youth policy and published a youth employment report in 2012.

The National Youth Policy (2007) has a goal of instilling young people with the national values and supporting them to be active participants in society.   The policy has five objectives: Ensuring effective skills and training for work; Creating a socio-educational system for development and maturity; Provision of quality education and access to ICTs; Ensuring good health; Promoting equality.   There also exists a “Youth Employment Programme” which forms part of the “National Strategic Plan for Youth Employment” and a “Four-Year Action Plan of the National Youth Policy 2014-2017”, but at the time of writing these documents were unavailable online.   Togo has signed and ratified the African Youth Charter (2006).

Public Institutions

Is there a governmental authority
(ministry, department or office) that is primarily responsible for youth?
According to their website the Ministry of Basic Development, Crafts, Youth and Youth Employment (MINDEVBASE) had responsibility for youth until September 2013 when it stopped being responsible for youth policies, despite keeping ‘youth’ in its title. The Ministry is still responsible for youth employment. There is no further information about which ministry or department is now responsible for youth, but the MINDEVBASE website reports that youth is still considered within its work as a key beneficiary of development activities.

Youth and Representation

Does the country have a national youth organisation / association (council, platform, body)?
According to Decree No. 2008-048, the National Youth Council of Togo (CNJ-Togo) is an independent advisory body to the government on youth affairs. It provides a platform for dialogue and works to ensure effective participation and influence by young people in democratic processes.   A government press release in February 2014 announced the cancellation of elections of the new Executive Board of the CNJ due to a lack of transparency and cases of fraud and irregularities. It is unclear what this means for the current or future status of CNJ.

Budget & Spending

What is the budget allocated to the governmental authority (ministry, department or office) that is primarily responsible for youth and/or youth programming?
XOF 3.9 billion
USD 8.3 million
The Ministry of Basic Development, Crafts, Youth and Youth Employment is allocated XOF 16.1 billion (USD 33.6 million) in the State Budget 2014, with specific allocations for youth totaling XOF 3.9 billion (USD 8.3 million), including  XOF 10 million (USD 20,888) for the National Youth Council, XOF 171.6 million (USD 358,457) for the National Directorate of Youth, and XOF 3 billion (USD 6.3 million) for youth volunteering. According to the World Bank, Togo spent 14.33% of its government expenditure and 4.52% of its GDP on education provision in 2011.
Total Expenditure on Education as a Percentage of Government Spending and GDP

  • % of GDP
  • % of gov. expenditure

Source: World Bank
Gaps indicate missing data from the original data source. (Accessed August 2013).

Additional Background

The National Youth Policy (2007) (original in French, translation by Google Translate) gives some background to the situation for young people in Togo  
Youth is tomorrow's workforce, as such young actors must be privileged socio-economic, cultural and political transformations in the country… However, the Togolese youth has paid a heavy price in the various social and political unrest the country has known for fifteen years.
  Youth, Education and Training  
In Togo, the education and schooling of children… is compulsory and free for all children two years of age to fifteen. This provision is included in the constitution of 14 October 1992.
Despite these provisions, the reality is quite different. Education is not free in Togo. The socio-political environment conducive to school provision (infrastructure, equipment, textbooks and teaching materials, teachers, etc...) no longer follows the growth of the demand for schooling and the education system is facing enormous difficulties in different sectors [...]
The causes of this deficiency are many:
  • A chronic shortage of classrooms and overstaffing, especially in urban areas (80 to 120 students per class),
  • A lack of textbooks and teaching materials,
  • Insufficient and poor operation of laboratories and equipment,
  • Colleges for General Education,
  • A lack of effective structures of educational guidance and structures,
  • Working conditions very unfavorable for the teachers and pupils.
  • A lack of resources for the implementation of the training policy and training of teaching and administrative staff.
  • A lack of resources allocated to education,
  • A lack of teachers.
Financial resources have become very limited, estimates are major part devoted to staff salaries and to a lesser extent to the maintenance of equipment, subsidies and transfers.
In fact only 43% of schools have drinking water while the vast majority (90 %) had no electricity.
Low internal efficiency is also reflected by the low transition rate from primary to secondary school to higher education.
Technical education and vocational training for their part appear as poor parents in the education system when they should be the corridor of the integration of young people into working life.
Apart from the difficulties of education, technical education and training professional are not adapted to the realities of the country… The present educational system does little to prepare young people for the employment and self-employment markets.
  Youth and Health  
Care facilities for young people is poor in the country and are supplemented by health centers [...]The attendance rate of health services for young people is very low. The causes are:
  • Inadequate structures supported. According Divisions Information Statistical Studies and Research (DISER) of the Directorate General of Health, in 2002 national health infrastructure coverage is low because 40% of Togo are unable to access all components of essential care, 30 % continue to travel more than 5km or more than one hour's walk access to the nearest health facility.
  • The lack of qualified personnel. Unequal distribution of observed available resources, which leads to serious disparities. In the city of Lomé, there are about 53 % of physicians, 42% of midwives and 26% of nursing while in some areas, more than 45% of the units are held by the unqualified personnel.
  • The financial inaccessibility to health care. Most often, young people have knowledge limited their health which is summarized in the absence of disease and suffering physics. The psychological and social aspect is completely ignored.
The sector constraints, the most important are:
  • Ignorance and/or unwillingness of parents vis-à -vis sexual education and offers of family planning services for young.
  • The reluctance of young men to let their women use contraception.
  • Inadequate structures to the needs of young people.
The current health situation does not allow for adequate care health young people who have huge health problems.
  Youth and socio -economic integration  
In 2005, of an estimated 2,700,000 potentially active citizens, the number of people in employment was about 1.8 million. A significant proportion of the population (between one quarter and one third) is excluded from any activity. 72% of jobs are in the agricultural sector, which offers only traditional jobs, precarious nature and with very little remunerative income from this sector, young people cannot be freed from rural poverty. Jobs more or less stable and remunerative represent only 6% of the total; 4% in the private sector and 2% in the public sector. The remaining 22% is provided by the informal sector, which employs the vast majority youth.
The Study on Youth Employment in Togo (2012) (original in French, translation by Google Translate) provides more detail on youth unemployment in Togo:  
One of the characteristics of the Togolese population is its high growth rate. According to the results of Fourth General Census of Population and Housing conducted in 2010, the rate of Togolese population growth is 2.84%. Also one of the major implications of this growth is it’s extremely young population.
An examination of the age structure shows that the Togolese population is young: 43.0% less 15 years and only 3.3% are aged 65 and over. The population of working age (15 - 64) is 53.7%, and this figure is higher in urban areas (59.2%) than in rural areas (50.0%)… This high proportion of young people creates, as we should expect, enormous challenges in terms of care, particularly in terms of sustainable job creation and quality. However in Togo, multiple effects of the macroeconomic context of the 1980s and 1990s, characterized by the implementation of Structural Adjustment Programmes, the devaluation of CFA franc and the political crisis through the country, were not favorable decision initiatives on employment and poverty reduction.
Thus, as in most African countries, the overall employment situation in Togo remains very critical. We note indeed for several years an increasing rise in unemployment and underemployment affecting more severely youth.
Certainly, in recent years there has been a easing of the sociopolitical situation and dynamics of economic recovery, but the requirements for entry into the labor market, as well as the conditions for the exercise of a profession remain particularly difficult. Therefore, it is the young women and young men who continue to bear the brunt of imbalances on the labor market [...]
These guidelines have resulted in many government initiatives to promote the socio -economic integration of young people… However, despite efforts in the absence of a suitable reference framework, the actions suffer from lack of consistency and efficiency [...] It is recognized that a major handicap to the definition of policies and the development of an action plan therefore in favor of youth employment is the lack of reliable statistics on the situation, the key indicators for the youth employment is not known with certainty.