Gnassingbé, Faure Essozimna, 1966–, Togolese political leader, president of Togo, (2005–), b. Afagnan. The son of President Gnassingbé Eyadèma, he studied at the Sorbonne in Paris and at George Washington Univ. Upon his return to Togo he went into management consulting; in 2002 he won a seat in parliament. Appointed minister of telecommunications, mines, and equipment in 2003, he often accompanied his father on diplomatic missions and was active in international negotiations. When Eyadèma, who had ruled Togo for 38 years, died suddenly in Feb., 2005, the military unconstitutionally installed Gnassingbé as president. Following international protests, he stepped down until April, when he was elected with strong backing from the military, leading to opposition protests and violence.
The Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia, 6th ed. Copyright © 2012, Columbia University Press. All rights reserved.