In an exclusive interaction with The Diplomatist Magazine, H.E. Kanyi Galley LOGOSUTEKO, Charge d’ Affairs, Embassy of the Republic of Togo in India, spoke about the bilateral relations between the two countries and also mentioned about Lomé International Fair – the largest international trade fair in Togo where investors can get a lot of business, investment and trade opportunities.
Togo was represented by President Faure Essozimna GNASSINGBÉ at the Inaugural Summit of International Solar Alliance (ISA) held in New Delhi, India. Could you brief us on the bilateral meetings he had with his Indian counterpart?
Thank you for giving me the opportunity to talk about my country and for your continued interest in Togo.
Indeed, His Excellency President Faure Essozimna GNASSINGBÉ personally led the Togolese delegation to the International Solar Alliance (ASI) Summit held in Delhi. The main bilateral meeting was the one with His Excellency Shri Narendra MODI, Prime Minister of India.
During that meeting, solar cooperation was one of the focus points but many other questions of mutual interest for both Togo and India were also discussed.
Many other bilateral meetings have been held with Indian business representatives operating in various sectors of activity.
Africa has immense potential in the energy sector, but somehow this potential has not been banked upon properly. With more and more investors around the world interested in investing in renewable and clean energy, how do you think ISA will put Africa as a whole and Togo in particular on the global energy map?
It is true that Africa has enormous resources in the energy sector, but we need frank and win-win cooperation for realising and taking appropriate steps in the field of technology transfer. But, most of the time, conflicts of interest prevent countries from going forward.
The time has come to remove these “barriers” if we truly want to prevent global warming. Let me quote Dr. Martin Luther King by saying: “Either we stand and fight together like brothers or we die together like idiots”.
Togo has understood that renewable and clean energy is the only way out and that is why it has made this choice and knows it will not miss the support of ISA, the Indian Government, Private Investors and Financial Institutions.
I am also happy to announce the allocation of $40 Million to Togo for the project of electrification of 350 villages through solar photovoltaic systems.
How do you see India-Togo cooperation in the agriculture sector?
Togo remains open to all kinds of win-win cooperation, in the field of agriculture as well. We have fertile lands and human resources. The Government is working hard towards mechanisation of agriculture, irrigation projects, food processing and agribusiness generally. Let me recall also that Togo has a huge reserve of high-quality phosphate and welcomes investors in fertiliser processing.
How attractive is Togo’s economy for Indian companies?
Togo, where Indian products and technologies are welcome and trusted, offers very attractive opportunities for investment. The country has a growing economy and the efforts of the Government for improving governance and business environment are also fortified by actions such as:
- Adoption of a new procurement code in accordance with the international standard (cf. OHADA);
- Simplification of procedure of creation of companies in ONE DAY by setting up a one-stop call center for Business formalities; and
- Creation of the Arbitration Tribunal of Togo.
Any new projects or programnes you would like to share with us that you are planning to initiate in the near future?
Togo has published a list of projects since the 12th Conclave last year which cover agriculture, food processing, electricity, health, drinking-water supply, irrigation, capacity building, infrastructure, and tourism.
The Lomé International Fair, the flagship event in West Africa has undoubtedly served as an ideal setting for the promotion of different emerging sectors and major investment opportunities. How do you wish to attract Indian investors to this event?
As the Flagship event of West Africa, organised since 1985, ideal framework of promotion of products and services, of business contacts, exchanges, and searches of commercial partners, the International Fair of Lomé (FIL), remains one of the largest economic events in Africa in general, and the West African sub-region in particular.
This year, the 15th International Fair Lomé opens its doors from 23 November to 10 December 2018 on the site of the Togolese Center of Exhibitions and Fairs of Lomé (CETEF-LOME).
The presence at each of the editions of several hundred public and private companies, from different sectors of activity, coming from all the continents, including the Indian sub-continent, presents the definite interest for the development of your business relations.
Mr. Naveen SHARMA, Chairman of Athena Ventures and President of the Indo-Togo Cooperation Forum is entrusted by CETEF-TOGO to assist the Embassy in mobilising participation from India and the sub-region.
I would like to avail myself of this opportunity to salute the cordial bilateral cooperation between Togo and India, the participation of Togo in the Inaugural Summit of the International Solar Alliance (ISA) as well as the allocation to Togo of $40 Million for the project of electrification of 350 villages through solar photovoltaic systems. n