Independence Day in Togo
Independence Day in the West African nation of Togo is observed annually on the 27th of April. This holiday commemorates the nation’s independence from France in 1960. For hundreds of years, the coastal region of this what would become Togo had been used for trade and for searching for slaves.
That’s why this area has historically been known as the Slave Coast. Over the last 137+ years, Togo has changed hands several times—first being a protectorate of Germany, then being conquered by Anglo-French forces during WWI. It wouldn’t be until April 27, 1960, that the Togolese Republic would come into existence with Sylvanus Olympio as its first president.
The History Of Independence Day In Togo
During the 16th century, the area around modern-day Togo was used for gathering together the local population to be sold as slaves and as a trading center for Europeans. In 1884, the region would become a protectorate of Germany and was called Togoland. Togoland would remain in German hands until Anglo-French forces conquered it in 1914.
When Germany was defeated at the end of WWI, in 1918, the area would then be divided between British and French forces. The British would establish British Togoland in the western portion of the country, and the French would establish French Togoland in the eastern part.
During the mid-1950s, British Togoland decided to join Ghana when that country gained independence from Great Britain. In 1959, French Togoland would then become an autonomous republic within the French Union. Finally, on April 27, 1960, the Togolese Republic would be proclaimed and Sylvanus Olympio would become the country’s first president.
Observing Independence Day In Togo
In Togo, Independence Day is a national holiday. That means that government buildings, schools, and most businesses close their doors on this day. It also means that it’s a day off for the general public.
This allows people to enjoy the speeches by the President of Togo and other politicians. It also allows people to enjoy the military and civilian parades, the cultural events, and the other events that mark this holiday.