A universal and solidarity income in Togo

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Novissi, or solidarity in Ewe, is the universal income programme carried out by direct monetary transfer to families who lost their income during the Covid-19 crisis in Togo. An innovation on the African continent that has made it possible to help 600,000 people.

The Novissi universal solidarity income programme implemented by the Togolese government as part of the response to the Coronavirus pandemic has helped many Togolese people. In a country with a very low bank penetration rate, a simplified procedure has enabled any adult citizen with access to a mobile phone to register directly on a dedicated platform. Simple, fast and efficient. As soon as a citizen was eligible, he or she received payment directly to an electronic wallet, at no additional cost.

The Novissi universal solidarity income programme implemented by the Togolese government as part of the response to the Coronavirus pandemic has helped many Togolese people.

Each category of people received an amount according to a predefined scale: approximately 20 euros for female shopkeepers, 16 euros for male shopkeepers, 15 euros for taxi drivers. To date, 1,378,381 people have registered and 566,567 people have received cash transfers (the majority of whom are women, i.e. 370,422 compared with 196,145 men).

The innovative aspect of this programme has been praised by the 2019 Nobel Prize in Economics, the French Esther Duflo and the American Abhijit Banerjee. "All developing countries should follow Togo's example, otherwise the current crisis could turn into a future catastrophe," economists said.