Togo: République Togolaise
The Africans of Togo are of several tribes, including the Ewes of the south (also living in Ghana and Benin), and the Kabres, Dagombas, Tyokossis and others in the north. They had small pre-colonial states but were dominated by the powerful kingdoms of Ashanti to the west and Dahomey to the east. Europeans, beginning with the Portuguese who first visited the area in 1471–72, traded on the coast for centuries, especially in slaves, but the area between the Gold Coast forts and Whydah was for long relatively unimportant for them. In the 19th century, however, palm oil exports flourished at Anecho, Agoue and Porto Seguro, where British, French and German traders operated. Several prominent Togolese families of partly Brazilian or Portuguese origin, still important among the coastal African elite, arose at that time. Protestant and Catholic missions began working before the establishment of colonial rule. Despite the important rival influences of Britain and France in the area, it was Germany that established colonial rule on the coast in 1884.
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