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Togo, officially the Togolese Republic, is a country in West Africa bordered by Ghana to the west, Benin to the east and Burkina Faso to the north. The country extends south to the Gulf of Guinea, where its capital Lomé is located. Togo covers 57,000 square kilometres, making it one of the smallest countries in Africa, with a population of approximately 7.9 million, as well as one of the narrowest countries in the world with a width of less than 115 km between Ghana and its slightly larger eastern neighbor, Benin. From the 11th to the 16th century, various tribes entered the region from all directions. From the 16th century to the 18th century, the coastal region was a major trading center for Europeans to purchase slaves, earning Togo and the surrounding region the name "The Slave Coast". In 1884, Germany declared a region including present-day Togo as a protectorate called Togoland. After World War I, rule over Togo was transferred to France.