n African Renaissance - Identity politics : Togo from 1963-1993

Volume 6, Issue 1
  • ISSN : 1744-2532
  • E-ISSN: 2516-5305


"As the Prime Minister of England, Lord Salisbury, expressed in his famous speech in the Albert Hall on May 4, 1898, 'One can roughly divide the nations of the world into the living and the dying.'" It was an image that came frighteningly close to reality. The weak nations become increasingly weaker and the strong stronger, Salisbury went on. It was in the nature of things that "living nations will fraudulently encroach on the territory of the dying", wrote Sven Lindqvist in (New Press, 1996, p. 140). The situation is not much different today, 110 years after the speech of Lord Salisbury. The living nations are still fraudulently encroaching on the territory of the dying ones. And within nations themselves, the pattern is repeated thousands of times. Togo is not an exception, more so in the decades following its independence in 1960.

This chapter discusses the doing and undoing of the process of nation building in Togo, the dialectical relationship between the living and the dying; the resilience of the dying and the pain inherent in the act of living. The line between the two is not always clearly defined. A tragic sense of life as the Spanish philosopher, Miguel de Unamuno, would put it. Above all, overshadowing the efforts at nation building is identity politics. Who is citizen? And who is African? The case of political conflict in Togo between 1963 and 1993, following the 1963 military coup d'etat, is symbolic of political development in Africa more generally speaking.

Loading full text...

Full text loading...


Article metrics loading...


This is a required field
Please enter a valid email address
Approval was a Success
Invalid data
An Error Occurred
Approval was partially successful, following selected items could not be processed due to error