In preparation for the peace conference that was expected to follow World War I, in the spring of 1917 the British Foreign Office established a special section responsible for preparing background information for use by British delegates to the conference. Togoland is Number 110 in a series of more than 160 studies produced by the section, most of which were published after the conclusion of the 1919 Paris Peace Conference. Located on the Gulf of Guinea in West Africa, Togoland was a German protectorate during the late 19th and early 20th centuries. It was annexed by Imperial Germany in 1884 by means of a treaty signed by the chief of Togo and the German explorer Gustav Nachtigal, acting on behalf of the imperial government. This was the first German annexation of territory in Africa. Germany subsequently concluded treaties with Great Britain and France demarcating the boundaries of the protectorate. The book covers physical and political geography, political history, social and political conditions, and economic conditions. It identifies the Ewe as the largest ethnic group in the south of the territory, and discusses the mix of peoples and languages prevalent in the north. It estimates the population to be “somewhat over 1,000,000.” The study discusses efforts by the German authorities to develop plantation agriculture in Togoland, and especially the production of coconut palms and cotton, but notes very mixed results. British and French forces occupied Togoland in 1914, early during World War I. After the war, it was divided between Britain and France under a League of Nations mandate. British-mandated Togoland became part of Ghana when the latter became independent on March 6, 1957. French Togoland became the independent Republic of Togo on April 27, 1960.

Last updated: March 24, 2015