Togo’s Independence Day comes on 27 April, commemorating its 1960 exit from the French overseas colonial empire.
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The beginnings of European domination of what is now Togo came in the 1500s when Portugal established the fort of Porto Seguro on the coast and commenced trade relations there. The commodity was largely slaves, earning this region of Africa the infamous nickname “The Slave Coast”.
Germany took control of “Togoland” in the late 1800s and made it a prosperous colony. It was one of the most valuable, though also one of the smallest, of German overseas possessions. During World War I, France and Britain seized control of German Togoland and administered it jointly for decades. After World War II, British Togoland became part of what is now Ghana, and French Togoland became what is today called Togo.
During the 1940s and 1950s, France gradually granted more and more autonomy to Togo until, on 27 April, 1960, they gave it full independence. Today, Togo’s Independence Day is celebrated with military and civilian parades, patriotic speeches, and many local, festive events spread throughout the country.
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