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Country information

Basic facts on marine waters
  • Territorial sea (12 nm zone): from the baseline to 12 nautical miles
  • Exclusive Economic Zone: from the baseline to 200 nautical miles
  • Continental shelf: from the coast to 200 nautical miles (extension project under way – application submitted to the United Nations)
National practices
  • Quarterly magazine “Seas and Oceans” 

Overview of MSP related maritime uses

Current main uses:

Ports Shipping
Military Mining
Fisheries Aquaculture
Nature conservation Coastal protection
Underwater cultural heritage Tourism and leisure
Cables and pipelines Radars
Scientific research

Which marine spatial plans exist?

The High Council of the Sea (HCM) is the National Agency for State Action at Sea (ONAEM) which participates in defining the orientations of Togo’s maritime policy. The HCM has not actually conducted an MSP process in Togo but developed tools that can be considered as the beginning of Togo’s marine and coastal spatial planning process, notably the National Strategy for the Sea and Coastline.

The strategy was developed to strengthen Togo’s maritime safety and security. It makes it possible to develop the blue economy and sustainably manage the marine and coastal environment, modernize maritime tourism, define the framework for public-private partnerships and promote job creation in the maritime sector. With a view to its operationalization, this strategy is based on 5 axes:

  • Strengthen maritime governance: adopt without delay legislative and regulatory texts governing the maritime and institutional aspects of the State’s Action at Sea and provide human and material resources adapted to the new security challenges
  • Develop a blue economy: develop the potential of the Lomé Port Authority through a number of actions, including modernizing its administration, accelerating the procedures for the removal of goods, managing the “one-stop shop” port system, improving the container unloading and stuffing system and investing in the sustainable management of fisheries resources
  • Sustainably protect the marine and coastal environment: Togolese waters abound with great marine resources. It is therefore important to protect marine and coastal ecosystems and to develop natural biological and mineral resources by respecting both national (laws and decrees) and international (international conventions) regulations in force in this area
  • Promote research and raise awareness about knowledge of the maritime domain: maritime activities, which constitute the heart of the Togolese economy, are still little known and taught in schools, universities and training centers
  • Develop a dynamic and diversified cooperation: establish and develop bilateral and multilateral cooperation frameworks in order to better understand the challenges facing the Gulf of Guinea in recent years

However, the strategy document does not have an action plan to implement the axes above, in turn leading to a lack of funding mechanism. While it is difficult to assess the level of implementation of this strategy today, it is an important tool on which other initiatives can build on to lay the foundations for marine and coastal spatial planning in Togo.

Legal framework

Decree 113 n° 2014-113/PR of 30 April 2014:
It creates the National Agency for State Action at Sea (ONAEM). Its mission is to strengthen the action of public administrations and to coordinate intersectoral efforts in order to preserve Togo’s maritime interests, in particular through:

  • Maritime safety and rescue at sea
  • Maritime and port security
  • The fight against piracy and trafficking, particularly narcotics
  • The fight against illegal discharge at sea
  • The fight against illegal immigration and trafficking by sea
  • Monitoring and control of the exploitation of fishery resources

Article 3 of this decree defines the composition of the ONAEM as follows:

  • The High Council of the Sea chaired by the Head of State
  • An advisor for the sea
  • The Maritime Prefecture

Decree n° 2014-173/PR:
It presents the attributions and organization of the services of the Advisor for the Sea. In article 2, the decree indicates that under the authority of the President of the Republic, the Adviser leads and coordinates the elaboration of policies conducted under the State’s action at sea. He is responsible for ensuring the consistency of these policies and their application.

He chairs the interministerial work relating to the State’s action at sea, in particular the maritime conference which assists him in his coordination and information mission. This maritime conference is composed of the heads of services of the administrations with competences at sea and on the coast.

The Advisor for the Sea studies measures to improve the effectiveness of the State’s action at sea. He has the rank of Minister.

Decree N° 2014-174/PR:
It defines the powers of the Maritime Prefect and organization of the Maritime Prefecture. The present decree in its article 3 indicates that:

  • The Maritime Prefect is the representative of the Head of State for the implementation of action at sea
  • He exercises, within the limits of his responsibilities, the attributions devolved to the ministers with responsibilities at sea
  • He ensures the implementation of laws, regulations and government decisions in the maritime field
  • The Maritime Prefect has authority in all areas where the State’s action at sea is carried out
  • Under the authority of the President of the Republic, the Maritime Prefect can launch intervention procedures in accordance with Togo’s international commitments in terms of coordination and implementation of safety and security mechanisms in the maritime space
  • Where necessary, he receives directives from the Advisor for the Sea in order to carry out the permanent missions of general interest for which he is responsible
  • The powers of the Maritime Prefect do not preclude the powers of other civil, military or judicial administrative authorities by legislative or regulatory texts
  • A decree of the Council of Ministers draws up the list of the missions for which the State is responsible at sea and designates the administration in charge of each mission

Decree n° 2015-025/PR relating to the State’s missions at sea

Law n° 2016-004 on combating piracy, other unlawful acts and the exercise by the State of its police powers at sea

Law n° 2016-007 on maritime areas under national jurisdiction

Law n° 2016-026 of 11 October 2016 on the regulation of fisheries and aquaculture in Togo

Law n° 2016-028 of 11 October 2016:
It covers the Merchant Navy Code in Togo/Ministry in charge of Maritime Affairs. The missions devolved to the maritime administration are (see article 5 of the Code):

  • Administration of ships, floating devices, artificial islands, sea and lagoon works, wrecks and mortgages on ships
  • Participation in the administration of oil and gas drilling and production platforms and other machinery of a mining and oil nature with regard to maritime and lagoon activities
  • Participation in the administration of maritime, lagoon and river public domains
  • Administration of maritime professions and seafarers
  • Participation in the protection and preservation of the marine, lagoon and river environments
  • Participation in the application of maritime labor regulations
  • Settlement of individual or collective disputes
  • Port security and safety
  • Safety and security of navigation
  • Participation in search, assistance and rescue at sea, in lagoons and in the navigable parts of rivers
  • Participation in the control and surveillance of sea and lagoon fisheries


High Council of the Sea

Mr. Stanislas Bamouni Baba – Advisor to the President of the Republic for the Sea

Avenue de la Marina, BP 382
Lomé, Togo

Last updated: June 2020
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