We conducted a small elite survey to gather information on Togolese elites’ perception of regional and international powers.

The data analysis reveals a sharp contrast in the way in which Togolese perceive European and Asian actors.

A majority of respondents believe that France is the country that has the greatest influence in the African continent and all of the respondents agreed that such influence is harmful to Africa.

When asked to assess the influence of China, however, respondents provided a very different set of responses. Eighty percent of the respondents believes that China does more good than harm to Africa.

Forty percent of them believe China to have little influence on Togo, twenty percent indicated that China has some influence on Togo, while forty percent of the respondents suggested that China exercises a lot of influence on Togo.

When asked whether China’s influence is beneficial or not, 40 per cent of the respondents indicated that China’s influence is positive, 40 per cent indicated that it is neither positive nor negative and only 20 per cent viewed China’s influence as negative for Togo—a sharp contrast to the way in which French influence is perceived to affect the country and the region.

Interestingly, half of the respondents noted that while China’s influence is beneficial in the short term, it is negative in the long run.

Romualda Stormy