Why Is Kazakhstan Interested in Cooperating with Togo?

cover Photo: Akorda

On November 28, the President of Togo, or officially the Togolese Republic, Faure Essozimna Gnassingbé Eyadéma arrived in Kazakhstan on an official visit. Orda looked into how Kazakhstan can benefit from cooperation with this country.

Convenient Location

Togo is a small country. For comparison, even the small East Kazakhstan region is almost twice as large in area. Size does not matter in this case, though.

The basis of West Africa's economies is agriculture. Cocoa, cotton, bananas, coffee, rice are grown there. The mining industry usually takes second place. The re-export of products to and from neighboring countries is also noteworthy.

The northern coast of the Gulf of Guinea, where Togo is located, has been historically used by sea vessels to bring in fuel and food supplies. A free economic zone has also been operational since 1989. It initially covered only the capital — Lome, but then spread to the whole country.

Lome port. Photo: PAL

Thanks to this, cocoa, coffee, rice, bananas and extracted raw materials from neighboring countries now make there way there to be transported on ships around the world. And products, including food, are being brought there for West Africa.

Togo is indeed a small, but plays a very important role. It can be compared to the Netherlands, also relatively small, where the world's largest port, Rotterdam, is located.

Opportunities 

It was the use of port facilities that was a proposal voiced by Togolese representatives. Qasym-Jomart Toqayev spoke about this at a briefing for media representatives.

Kazakhstan has been invited to consider the potential of the Lome port, which ranks second in West Africa in terms of its scale of activity. We must make every effort to develop mutually beneficial partnership, the President said

It is also worth remembering that on October 27, President Toqayev met with the director of the AD Ports Group, Mohammed Zhoumou al-Shamisi, the head of the Abu Dhabi port regulatory company.

The head of Togo, in turn, mentioned his country's close ties with Western Africa.

Togo may be of interest to Kazakhstani investors as a country with an established trade turnover with the countries of West Africa, whose total population exceeds 300 million people,  said Gnassingbé.
Photo: Akorda

Other material benefits may also indeed be of interest for both Kazakhstan and the nation’s investors.

I noted the readiness of Kazakhstani entrepreneurs to explore the possibilities of the mining industry of Togo,  Qasym-Jomart Toqayev said.

Togo is abundant in such resources. There are deposits of aluminum, bauxite, iron, gold, uranium, chromium. But perhaps the most important - phosphates and marble.

Grain

Kazakhstan also has something to offer, namely grain.

Photo: Akorda
Kazakhstan has huge opportunities for exporting grain crops to Togo. As you know, the Islamic Organization for Food Security was established on the initiative of our country. I encouraged Togo to become a member of this organization and utilize its potential, Toqayev said.

Gnassingbé replied as follows:

We are glad to develop our cooperation in the agricultural sector. Today, Kazakhstan has great opportunities to supply grain to Togo.

The matter of grain is currently important for African countries. Before the full-scale war in Ukraine, Africa’s main suppliers were Russia and Ukraine. But the volume of supplies have fallen due to the war. Africa is currently looking for alternative sources. Kazakhstan could be one.

Gnassingbé said that Togo is also ready to learn from Kazakhstan’s experience with digitalization.

We intend to implement digitalization projects in our country and establish cooperation in this direction. We can learn a lot from you in this regard, the President of Togo said.

Students from this country will may also start attending universities in Kazakhstan. President Toqayev made such a proposal.

Original Author: Igor Ulitin

DISCLAIMER: This is a translated piece. The text has been modified, the content is the same. Please refer to the original piece in Russian for accuracy.

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