Minister of Foreign Affairs, African Integration and Togolese Abroad - Togo
Chief Negotiator of ACP Group for Post-Cotonou 2020 agreement - Professor of Political Philosophy

Prof. Robert Dussey

Minister of Foreign Affairs, African Integration and Togolese Abroad - Togo
Chief Negotiator of ACP Group for Post-Cotonou 2020 agreement - Professor of Political Philosophy

Togo’s accession to the Commonwealth: “… We are optimistic for the rest of the process” (Robert Dussey)

Togo strikes at the door of the Commonwealth, the intergovernmental organization whose English is the common language. Togo has embarked on the process since 2014 and missions have multiplied in recent months in the Togolese capital. Is Togo really on the footsteps of Rwanda, the second African country to join the Commonwealth in 2009 after Mozambique?

For its heading “THREE QUESTIONS A”, Agence Savoir News approached Mr. Robert Dussey, Togolese Minister of Foreign Affairs.

Savoir News: Togo is fighting to join the Commonwealth. At the present stage, can we say that the dossier is evolving with “big steps”?

Robert Dussey: Thank you. I would first like to say that the evaluation process is done in four stages. This is the second time that a Commonwealth mission has been in Togo within five months. At each of their missions in Lomé, the experts met with several actors and institutions of the Republic. Everything went well.

In short, the issue of Togo is well on the way and we are optimistic for the rest of the process!

What are the advantages of Togo?

Togo is a politically stable country, where there is peace and democracy. In this respect, we have quite dynamic political, economic and social institutions capable of playing a regulatory role in terms of transparency and fairness to citizens.

Linguistically and culturally, Togo already has a strong English tradition, given that English is the second foreign language studied in the Togolese educational system, but also in trade. It should be noted that the Anglo-Saxon model is highly appreciated by the populations and Togo has strong relations with the English-speaking countries of the region, especially with neighboring Ghana and Nigeria.

Geographically, our country has a strategic position with enormous assets, including a deep water port, the only one in the West African zone, which opens up the countries of the hinterland (Burkina Faso, Niger, Mali).

Lomé is also a crossroads city of great international meetings, where there is a strong English presence. We therefore have indisputable assets for our membership in the Commonwealth.

The accession of Togo will give concretely what? (Eg diplomatic and economic).

Togo’s accession to the Commonwealth will enable it to integrate a large family of 52 friendly and allied states. Togo will have the opportunity to broaden the scope of its state relations and further diversify its relations of friendship and cooperation, making new friends and getting closer to its old friends such as Great Britain, Australia, New Zealand, and so on.

On the economic front, the Commonwealth, through the Technical Cooperation Fund (CFTC) and the Association of Commonwealth Countries, plays an important role in the economic and social progress of its members, acting on their pace of economic growth .

Togo which has a growth rate (5 to 6%) will be able to benefit from these channels to boost its economy. Furthermore, from a commercial standpoint, the Commonwealth constitutes a large external market (more than 2 billion consumers) for exports of Togolese national products. END

Interview by Junior AUREL

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