Photographer's Note

In Lom, the capital of Togo, you could see everywhere big contrasts, old fishing boats in the harbour and new industry areas, highways and roads full of sandy dust, people driving expensive limousines and women carrying goods on their heads. We see a lot of poverty, but the live is always vibrating and the people are very friendly and open minded. It takes less then some minutes and you are in contact with people who want to know where you are coming from, what you're doing and they know more about European football then me. And I was surprised that some young people could speak german very well.

And a temperature of about 33C degress and more then 95% humidity - a permanent sauna. Every picture gets a little bit hazy.

Togo's population of 6.3 million people (2006 est.) is composed of more than 20 ethnic groups. The two major groups are the Ewe in the South and the Kabye in the North. Population distribution is very uneven due to soil and terrain variations. The population is generally concentrated in the south and along the major north-south highway connecting the coast to the Sahel. The ethnic groups of the coastal region, particularly the Ewes (about 21% of the population), constitute the bulk of the civil servants, professionals, and merchants, due in part to the former colonial administrations which provided greater infrastructure development in the south. The Kabye (12% of the population) live on marginal land and traditionally have emigrated south from their home area in the Kara region to seek employment. Their historical means of social advancement has been through the military and law enforcement forces, and they continue to dominate these services.

Most of the southern peoples use the Ewe or Mina languages, which are closely related and spoken in commercial sectors throughout Togo. French, the official language, is used in administration and documentation. The public primary schools combine French with Ewe or Kabye as languages of instruction, depending on the region. English is spoken in neighboring Ghana and is taught in Togolese secondary schools. As a result, many Togolese, especially in the south and along the Ghana border, speak some English.
(from U.S. Department of State)

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Additional Photos by Achim Fried (John_F_Kennedy) Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 5110 W: 56 N: 10488] (43797)
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