A map of Togo Togo is a narrow strip of land—no more than 130 kilometres (80 miles) wide—lying between Ghana and Benin in West Africa. It is one of Africa's smallest countries by area. At Togo's southern end is a strip of coast, just 56 kilometres (35 miles) long, edged by sandy beaches and lagoons. Here, the capital and port city of Lomé looks out across the Gulf of Guinea. Further inland, the land rises to the slopes of the Togo Mountains, which cover much of central Togo. North of these mountains lie savanna grasslands, across which flows the River Oti. Nearly all of Togo has a tropical climate with hot, humid weather all year round. The far north is hotter and drier. From the 16th century to the 18th century, this region of Africa was a major trading centre for Europeans to obtain slaves. Togo and the surrounding region thus became known as the "Slave Coast". Towards the end of the 19th century, the area came under German control and was known as Togoland.
There are about 40 different ethnic groups in Togo. The Ewe, who live in the south, are the largest group; the majority in the north are Kabye. Togo was ruled by France from 1914–60. Today the country is independent but French is still the official language. Children learn French at school, but most people speak the language of their ethnic group as a first language.
More than 40 languages are spoken in Togo.
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