Even in France, French only became the 'national language' in the C19th. Through a combination of standardised, industrialised, education and conscious attempts to root out 'Patois' or non-standard, undereducated Rural class vs. the dominant prestige languages of the upper class and upwardly mobile. In Togo, the official language is also French although many other languages are spoken, despite being one of the smallest countries in Africa (with a population of less than 8 million). Little attention was paid to who was there when countries were 'designed'. The Gbe language family is a cluster of about twenty related languages stretching from Ghana to Nigeria. The coastal region was a big part of the European slave trade on the "The Slave Coast". At the Berlin Conference of 1884, Germany declared Togoland a German protectorate. After World War I, power was transferred to the French, and independence came in 1960.