French Mandate for Togoland


As a consequence of World War I, Germany was stripped of its colonies and the Ottoman Empire was partitioned and forced to surrender control of territories in the Middle East. The Covenant of the League of Nations established a system under which the League conferred upon certain states a mandate to rule those former colonies which, in the language of the Covenant, were “inhabited by peoples not yet able to stand by themselves under the strenuous conditions of the modern world.” Britain and the British Empire, France, Belgium, and Japan were granted mandates to administer various territories in Africa, the Middle East, and the Pacific. The former German protectorate of Togoland (present-day Togo and part of Ghana) was divided between Britain and France. Shown here is the League of Nations mandate to France for Togoland. The text, in 12 articles, establishes the geographic scope of the mandated territory and specifies the responsibilities of the mandatory power, which included such laudable goals as suppression of the slave trade, guaranteeing freedom of conscience and religion, and respect for local customs and laws. Appended to the mandate is an agreement between the British and French governments defining the border between the two parts of Togoland. The text is in French and English. The document is in the archives of the League, which were transferred to the United Nations in 1946 and are housed at the UN office in Geneva. The archives were inscribed on the UNESCO Memory of the World register in 2010.

Last updated: February 20, 2014