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Togo: Thorny transition and misguided aid at the roots of economic misery

Kohnert, Dirk (2007): Togo: Thorny transition and misguided aid at the roots of economic misery.

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Abstract

The parliamentary elections of October 2007, the first free Togolese elections since decades, were meant to correct at least partially the rigged presidential elections of 2005. Western donors considered it as a litmus test of despotic African regimes’ propensity to change towards democratization and economic prosperity. They took Togo as model to test their approach of political conditionality of aid, which had been emphasised also as corner stone of the joint EU-Africa strategy. Empirical findings on the linkage between democratization and economic performance are challenged in this paper because of its basic data deficiencies. It is open to question, whether Togo’s expected economic consolidation and growth will be due to democratization of its institutions or to the improved external environment, notably the growing competition between global players for African natural resources.

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