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Benin Facts

Benin Facts | Republic of Benin Information | Benin Statistics | Dahomey

Benin Facts |  Republic of Benin Information | Benin Statistics Benin Facts |  Republic of Benin Information | Benin Statistics
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  Benin Facts |  Republic of Benin Information | Benin Statistics  
Background: Present day Benin was the site of Dahomey, a prominent West African kingdom that rose in the 15th century. The territory became a French Colony in 1872 and achieved independence on 1 August 1960, as the Republic of Benin. A succession of military governments ended in 1972 with the rise to power of Mathieu KEREKOU and the establishment of a government based on Marxist-Leninist principles. A move to representative government began in 1989. Two years later, free elections ushered in former Prime Minister Nicephore SOGLO as president, marking the first successful transfer of power in Africa from a dictatorship to a democracy. KEREKOU was returned to power by elections held in 1996 and 2001, though some irregularities were alleged.
Common Name: Benin Local Official Name: Benin
Abbreviated Name: Republic of Benin Official Name: Republique du Benin
Official Script Name: Benin Local Common Name: Benin
Former Name: Dahomey Territory of: NA
Head of State: President Yayi BONI
Government Type: Republic
Independence: 1960 August 1 (from France)
Constitution: 1990 December
National Holiday: 1960 August 1 (National Day)
Administrative Divisions: 12 provinces; Alibori, Atakora, Atlantique, Borgou, Collines, Couffo, Donga, Littoral, Mono, Oueme, Plateau, Zou
Dependent Areas: NA
Legal System: Based on French civil law and customary law; has not accepted compulsory ICJ jurisdiction.
Suffrage: 18 years
Executive, Legislative and Judicial Branches: "EXECUTIVE BRANCH" : Chief of state: President Yayi BONI (since 6 April 2006); note - the president is both the chief of state and head of government. Head of government: President Yayi BONI (since 6 April 2006); note - the president is both the chief of state and head of government. Cabinet: Council of Ministers appointed by the president. Elections: president reelected by popular vote for a five-year term; runoff election held 19 March 2006 (next to be held March 2011). Election results: Yayi BONI elected president; percent of vote - Yayi BONI 74.5%, Adrien HOUNGBEDJI 25.5%. "LEGISLATIVE BRANCH" : Unicameral National Assembly or Assemblee Nationale (83 seats; members are elected by direct popular vote to serve four-year terms). Elections: last held 30 March 2003 (next to be held March 2007). Election results: percent of vote by party - NA%; seats by party - Presidential Movement (UBF, MADEP, FC, Alliance MDC-PC-CPP, IPD, AFP, MDS, RDP) 52, opposition (PRB, PRD, E'toile, and 5 other small parties) 31. "JUDICIAL BRANCH" : Constitutional Court or Cour Constitutionnelle; Supreme Court or Cour Supreme; High Court of Justice.
Party Leaders: Alliance of Progress Forces or AFP; African Movement for Democracy and Progress or MADEP [Sefou FAGBOHOUN]; Democratic Renewal Party or PRD [Adrien HOUNGBEDJI]; Impulse for Progress and Democracy or IPD; Key Force or FC; Movement for Development and Solidarity or MDS; Movement for Development by the Culture-Salute Party-Congress of People for Progress Alliance or Alliance MDC-PS-CPP; New Alliance or NA; Rally for Democracy and Progress or RDP; Renaissance Party du Benin or RB [Nicephore SOGLO]; The Star Alliance (Alliance E'toile) [Sacca LAFIA]; Union of Tomorrow's Benin or UBF [Bruno AMOUSSOU]
International Disputes: Benin and Burkina Faso military clash in 2006 over sections of riverine boundary involving disputed villages and squatters; much of Benin-Niger boundary, including tripoint with Nigeria, remains undemarcated; in 2005, Nigeria ceded thirteen villages to Benin as a consequence of a 2004 joint task force to resolve maritime and land boundary disputes, but clashes among rival gangs along the border persist; a joint boundary commission continues to resurvey the boundary with Togo to verify Benin's claim that Togo moved boundary stones.
Illicit Drugs: Transshipment point for narcotics associated with Nigerian trafficking organizations and most commonly destined for Western Europe and the US; vulnerable to money laundering due to a poorly regulated financial infrastructure. 
  Benin Facts |  Republic of Benin Information | Benin Statistics  
Location of Benin: Western Africa, bordering the Bight of Benin, between Nigeria and Togo.
Continent: Africa Land Area Total: 112,620 sq km 
Region: Western African Land Area Land: 110,620 sq km
Capitol City: Porto-Novo Land Area Water: 2,000 sq km
Latitude: 009 30 N Border Boundary Land: 1,989 km
Longitude: 002 15 E Border Boundary Coastline: 121 km 
Arable Land: 23.53 % Pastures: 0.00 %
Crops: 2.37 % Woodlands and Forests: 0.00
Highest Elevation: 658 m Location: Mont Sokbaro
Lowest Elevation: 0 m Location: Atlantic Ocean
Largest City in Benin: Cotonou Cotonou Largest City Population: 6,736,000
Threatened Species: 31
Environmental Issues: inadequate supplies of potable water; poaching threatens wildlife populations; deforestation; desertification
Environmental Agreements: Party to: Biodiversity, Climate Change, Desertification, Endangered Species, Environmental Modification, Hazardous Wastes, Law of the Sea, Nuclear Test Ban, Ozone Layer Protection, Ship Pollution, Wetlands. Signed, but not ratified: none of the selected agreements.
Irrigated Land: 120
Bordering Countries: Burkina Faso 306 km, Niger 266 km, Nigeria 773 km, Togo 644 km
Natural Resources: small offshore oil deposits, limestone, marble, timber
Geographical Terrain: Mostly flat to undulating plain; some hills and low mountains.
Comparative Area of Benin: Slightly smaller than Pennsylvania.
Benin's Geography: Sandbanks create difficult access to a coast with no natural harbors, river mouths, or islands.

  Benin Facts |  Republic of Benin Information | Benin Statistics  
General Climate: Tropical; hot, humid in south; semiarid in north.
Natural Hazards: hot, dry, dusty harmattan wind may affect north from December to March
  Benin Facts |  Republic of Benin Information | Benin Statistics  
Economic Overview: The economy of Benin remains underdeveloped and dependent on subsistence agriculture, cotton production, and regional trade. Growth in real output has averaged around 5% in the past six years, but rapid population growth has offset much of this increase. Inflation has subsided over the past several years. In order to raise growth still further, Benin plans to attract more foreign investment, place more emphasis on tourism, facilitate the development of new food processing systems and agricultural products, and encourage new information and communication technology. Many of these proposals are included in Benin's application to receive Millennium Challenge Account funding - for which it was a finalist in 2004-05. The 2001 privatization policy continues in telecommunications, water, electricity, and agriculture in spite of government reluctance. The Paris Club and bilateral creditors have eased the external debt situation, with Benin benefiting from a G8 debt reduction announced in July 2005, while pressing for more rapid structural reforms. Benin continues to be hurt by Nigerian trade protection that bans imports of a growing list of products from Benin and elsewhere, which has resulted in increased smuggling and criminality in the border region.
GDP: $8,553,000,000 USD Currency: Communaute Financiere Africaine franc
GDP per Capita: $1,100 USD Currency Code: XOF
GDP Growth Rate: 3.50 %
Currency Exchange Rate History: Communaute Financiere Africaine francs (XOF) per US dollar - 527.47 (2005), 528.29 (2004), 581.2 (2003), 696.99 (2002), 733.04 (2001)
GDP of Agriculture: 31.60 % GDP of Industry: 13.80 %
GDP of Services: 54.60 %  
Inflation Rate: 3.50 % Population in Poverty: 33.00 %
Unemployment Rate: 0.00 % Tourism: 152,000.00 visitors each year
Consumption by lowest 10%: 0.00 % Budget Revenue in USD: $766,800,000 USD
Consumption by upper 10%: 0.00 % Budget Expenditures in USD: $1,017,000,000 USD
Electricity Production: 69,000,000 kWh Electricity Exports: 0 kWh
Electricity Consumption: 538,200,000 kWh Electricity Imports: 474,000,000 kWh

Electricity Production by Source:
Fossil Fuel Electricity Production: 16.67% Nuclear Electricity Production: 0.00%
Hydro Electricity Production: 83.33% Other Electricity Production: 0.00%
Oil Production: 400 barrels per day Natural Gas Production: 0 cu m
Oil Consumption: 12,000 barrels per day Natural Gas Consumption: 0 cu m
Oil Exports: 0 barrels per day Natural Gas Exports: 0 cu m
Oil Imports: 0 barrels per day Natural Gas Imports: 0 cu m
Proven Oil Reserves: 4,105,000 barrels Proven Natural Gas Reserves: 1,218,000,000 cu m
External Debt: $1,600,000,000 USD Received in economic aid: $342,600,000 USD
  Donated in economic aid: $0 USD
Agricultural Products: cotton, corn, cassava (tapioca), yams, beans, palm oil, peanuts; livestock
Primary Industries: textiles, food processing, construction materials, cement
Industrial Growth Rate: 8.30 %
Import Amount in USD: $1,043,000,000 USD - foodstuffs, capital goods, petroleum products
Import Partners: France 21.8%, Ghana 7.1%, Cote d'Ivoire 7%, China 6.7%, UK 5.2%, Belgium 4.9%, Togo 4.5%, Thailand 4.2%, Nigeria 4%
Export Amount in USD: $826,900,000 USD - cotton, crude oil, palm products, cocoa
Export Partners: China 31.3%, Indonesia 8.1%, India 7.4%, Niger 6%, Togo 4.8%, Thailand 4.8%, Nigeria 4.6%
GINI Index: 0.00%
Labor Force Number of People: 0
Labor Force by Occupations: NA
  Benin Facts |  Republic of Benin Information | Benin Statistics  
Radio Broadcast Stations: 15 Number of People with Radios: 660,000
Television Broadcast Stations: 1 Number of People with Televisions: 66,000
Number of People with Mainline Telephones: 76,300 Number of People with Mobile Phones: 75,100
Internet Service Providers: 814 Internet Users: 100,000
Internet Country Code: .bj Newspapers: 5
Two Letter Country Code: BN Weights and Measures: metric
Phone Country Code: 229 Electricity Voltage: 220 Volts
Telephone Systems: General assessment: NA . Domestic: fair system of open-wire, microwave radio relay, and cellular connections. International: country code - 229; satellite earth station - 7 (Intelsat-Atlantic Ocean); fiber optic submarine cable (SAT-3/WASC) provides connectivity to Europe and Asia.
  Benin Facts |  Republic of Benin Information | Benin Statistics  


Highways: 1,400 km Railways: 578 km
Gas And Oil Pipelines: 0 km Waterways: 150 km
Airports: 1 Heliports: 0
Motor Vehicles: 2 per 1,000 people CO2 Emissions: 744,000 Metric Tons of CO2 per year
  Per capita CO2 emissions: 0.20 Metric Tons of CO2 per year
Merchant Marines: NA
Ports and Harbors: Cotonou
  Benin Facts |  Republic of Benin Information | Benin Statistics  
Population: 7,862,944 people type - nationality Birth Rate: 38.85 births per 1,000 people
Population Density: 60.00 people per sq km Death Rate: 12.22 deaths per 1,000 people
Population Growth: 2.73% per year Fertility Rate per Women: 5.20 babies born per woman
Population Male 0-14: 1,751,709 Population Female 0-14: 1,719,138
Population Male 15-64: 2,067,248 Population Female 15-64: 2,138,957
Population Male 65+: 75,694 Population Female 65+: 110,198
Population 0-14: 44.10% Literacy Rate: 33.60%
Population 15-64: 53.50% Literacy rate of Males: 46.40%
Population 65+: 2.40% Literacy rate of Females: 22.60%
Population that is Male: 49.00 % Population that is Female: 51.00%
Life expectancy at birth in years: 53.04 years Infant mortality rate - baby deaths per 1000 births: 79.56 Babies die per 1,000 births
Life expectancy at birth for Males: 51.90 years Life expectancy at birth for Females: 54.22 years
Rate of AIDS/HIV infection: 1.90% Number of people living with AIDS or HIV: 68,000
Number of people who died of AIDS: 5,800
Disease Risk: Very high
Diseases: Food or Waterborne diseases: bacterial and protozoal diarrhea, hepatitis A, and typhoid fever Vectorborne diseases: malaria, yellow fever, and others are high risks in some locations Respiratory disease: meningococcal meningitis
Net Migration Rate per 1,000 people: 0.67
Nationality: BENINESE
Ethnic Groups: African 99% (42 ethnic groups, most important being Fon, Adja, Yoruba, Bariba), Europeans 5,500 
Primary Language: French
Other Languages: French (official), Fon and Yoruba (most common vernaculars in south), tribal languages (at least six major ones in north)
Primary Religion: Indigenous beliefs
Other Religions: Christian 30%, Muslim 20%
  Benin Facts |  Republic of Benin Information | Benin Statistics  
Branches: Army, Navy, Air Force
Manpower Fit to Serve: 21 years
Manpower Available: 2,597,166 People
Manpower Fit to Serve: 1,501,103 People
Amount of Manpower Available each Year: 151,729 People per year
Expenditures: $100,900,000 USD per year
Expenditures as a Percentage of GDP: 2.30
Note: Phrasebase uses a variety of sources when compiling the facts and information presented above. This information is continually updated throughout the year.
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