Flexible working arrives in the West African business hub of Lomé

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As the first Regus centre opens in the Togolese capital, local entrepreneurs are excited to see how flexible workspace fits into region’s accelerated development

When the new Regus serviced offices opens its doors in Lomé this May, it will be the first time Regus’ parent company IWG has had a presence in Togo, making it the 120th country in the workspace provider’s rapidly-expanding network.

Part of an exciting new 10-floor mixed-use development, which will also contain serviced apartments, a gym, a restaurant and bars, Regus Avenue de la Chance will offer 160 workstations and six meeting and conference rooms across 1,000sq m.

The project is the brainchild of architect and real estate planner Dontou Hiloukou Derou, who signed a franchise agreement with the global flexspace leader in August 2020.

He envisions the development, situated in Lomé’s business district, as a “one-stop shop”, hoping that it will become a base for a diverse range of businesses in this emerging West African business hub, from large corporations to NGOs and entrepreneurs.

“As one of Togo’s main developers, I had already worked on housing and hotel projects,” Derou explains. “When we started to focus on flexible working space, we found that Regus was already the main player in West Africa. I knew that it had a huge presence in top business cities like Paris, London, Dubai and New York, too. This established network was key to my decision to partner with Regus.”

According to Derou, this type of workspace is a first for Lomé. While the business district is home to embassies, the presidential palace and parliament and major foreign banks, the area’s dearth of quality office space and leisure outlets means there’s growing demand from the local and international companies working from Togo. Many small businesses and remote workers have been operating out of converted villas in the interim, so bringing flexspace to the city was a huge opportunity for his company, Derou & Partner.

“Studies have shown that, globally, the flexible workspace industry will support the creation of 30 million new jobs,” says IWG’s and Regus’ CEO, Mark Dixon. “We are proud to be playing a part in Togo taking its first steps in unlocking the growth opportunities afforded by the sector.”

Regus’ move into Togo also aligns with its government’s National Development Plan for investment and growth, focused on industries including the aviation, finance, insurance and IT sectors.

This is just the beginning for Regus in the region. Once this first Lomé centre is up and running, Derou’s target is to open one centre a year in the wider region for the next five years, expanding into nearby countries such as Benin and Mali.