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Togo: Failed election and misguided aid at the roots of economic misery

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

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The holding of early parliamentary elections in Togo on October 14, 2007, most likely the first free and fair Togolese elections since decades, are considered internationally as a litmus test of despotic African regimes’ propensity to change towards democratization and economic prosperity. Western donors took Togo as model to test their approach of political conditionality of aid, which had been emphasised as corner stone of the joint EU-Africa strategy. Recent empirical findings on the linkage between democratization and economic performance in Western Africa are challenged because of lack of viable data. It is open to question, whether Togo’s expected economic consolidation and growth will be due to democratization of its institutions or to improved external environment, notably the growing competition between global players for African natural resources.

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