Figure 1.--Here we see a scee just after the Mass in a Catholic church of Lomé, Togo. We can see two altar boys and six altar girls. They are dressed in quite different ways and have different assigned tasks in the liturgy. The altar boys have the usual task, while the girls have to dance when the congregation is singing. This is the reason they are barefoot. The Africn churches tend to be more conservtive than European and American churches. This was one way of having altar girls without relly have altar girls.

Togo like the other Gulf of Guinea West African countries is a strip of land projecting into the interior from the coast. Togo is the narrowest strips of these countries. The coast is close to the equator. Rainforests gradually lead to a highland plain as you move north. The economy is largely agricultural wirh exports of coffee, cacao, palm oil, cotton, and copra. Thre is also livestock ranching. Phosphates are mined arounf Lake Togo. Togo formed part of the Slave Coast. Captives brought from the interior by native and Aan slavers were bought and transported to the Americas (17th amd 18th century). The British Royal Navy began assive effort to end the slave trade (19th century). The Germans created the protectorate of Togoland (1884). Britain and France at the onset of World War I. invaded and after a protracted fight surrendered (1916). The British and French divided and administered Togo under League of Nations mandates. We note a French missionary postcard, probably from the 1920s. After World War II, the British-ruled western part was incorporated into what is now indpendent Ghana. France granted self government (1956) nd independence (1960). The country's independent experience has not been a prosperous one. Politically the country has suffered under authoritarian rule and the suppression of basic civil rights. International observers criicized thecountry for its political governance and supressiion of civil rights. As is often the case under authoritarian rule, the economy declined. Togo is one of th poorest countries in Africa. Isolation as a result of authoiarian rule has worsened the poor economic conditions.


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Created: 7:12 AM 10/27/2012
Last updated: 8:07 PM 10/5/2010