Achieving Shared Growth; Access to Finance; Economic Theory & Research; Banks & Banking Reform; Debt Markets
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Summary: This paper starts by analyzing past growth trends and sources of growth in Togo, as well as the structure of the economic actors in the country. The second part explores the current binding constraints to rapid and sustainable growth. For increased international competitiveness and growth, Togo will need to raise efforts to streamline its costly and cumbersome business procedures. However, for this to have a sizable impact, Togo must prove to potential investors that political stability is permanent and that corruption, poor budget execution and mismanagement of state owned enterprises belongs to the past. As a result of the new government's reform agenda and the return of international aid, a window of opportunities for high returns to the still limited public investments has opened up. This is especially true in infrastructure and connectivity services, which would not only take advantage of Togo's geographical location as a regional hub, but also make growth in Togo more inclusive. And as economic opportunities arise for the private sector, there is a need to restructure the banking sector, which has already started, to smooth distortions in the credit market. Promising sectors within agriculture that are vital to economic growth, employment opportunities, and poverty reduction remain important, but will need to overcome a number of coordination failures. Not least due to the history of government interventions causing economic distortions, the government must allow for a stronger role for private operators and encourage it wherever possible. Finally, although education does not exhibit constraints to economic activity in Togo today, it is of importance to improve the quality of education, not least to profit from and catalyze the opportunities related to Togo's potential as a regional hub.
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