27 April: Togo Marks Independence Day

Independence Day is a public holiday in Togo.

On April 27, Togo celebrates the anniversary of its independence from France back in 1960. The country was once Germany’s protectorate until the Germans lost it to the invading French and British forces. Under France’s mandate, the country was recognised as under the United Nations Trusteeship Territories until its full independence in 1960.

History of Togo’s Independence Day

At the turn of the 16th century, Togo became an unfortunate victim of the slave trade. One of the different tribes representing Togo that were badly hit during that time was Togo’s Mina winning the title “The Slave Coast.” With sound economic programs in the region, Togo became the model possession of Germany. It only came to an end after the fall of Germany in World War I.

At the end of the First World War in 1914, the United Nations placed Togo under France and Britain’s care. After the abolition of the League of Nations, which originally gave France and Britain the authority to administer the land, these mandates granted to the above countries were later translated into UN Trust Territories.

The country was divided into two regions: the administrative region of Britain and the administrative region of France. The British Togoland elected to join, the current, Ghana under a popular referendum. Meanwhile, under the auspices of the French Union, the French Togoland managed to become independent.

Sylvanus Olympio played a key role in the 1960 Togo Independence March. From 1958 until his early death in 1963 due to assassination, he served Togo’s highest political post. Nicolas Grunitzky was later appointed president after the death of Olympio but was later replaced by Eyadema Gnassingbe by a bloodless military coup and served as president of the country from 1967 to 2005.

Togo’s Independence Day: Traditions, Customs and Activities

Togolese people celebrate Independence Day with the usual march parade and president’s speeches on the country’s current state and how it stands in comparison with countries across Africa and the rest of the world. As with all other Togo holidays, Independence Day is a day that is free from work.

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