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République du Bénin
Orílẹ̀-èdè Olómìnira ilẹ̀ Benin

Republic of Benin

Flag of Benin Coat of Arms of Benin
Motto
Fraternité, Justice, Travail
Fraternity, Justice, Labour
Anthem
L'Aube Nouvelle
The Dawn of a New Day
Map of Benin
CapitalPorto-Novo
Government Presidential republic
President
- From 2006Yayi Boni
Prime Minister
- From 2011Pascal Koupaki
Legislature National Assembly
History
February 28, 1990 One party rule abolished
March 1, 1990Established
Area112,622 km²
Population
- 20098,791,832
 Density78/km²
GDP2009 (PPP)
- TotalUS$ 12.7 billion
- Per capitaUS$ 1,451
CurrencyWest African CFA franc
Flag of Benin Dahomey
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The Republic of Benin is a presidential republic in Western Africa.


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. KEREKOU stepped down at the end of his second term in 2006 and was succeeded by Thomas YAYI Boni, a political outsider and independent. YAYI has attempted to stem corruption and has strongly promoted accelerating Benin's economic growth.[1]

Economy

The economy of Benin remains underdeveloped and dependent on subsistence agriculture, cotton production, and regional trade. Growth in real output had averaged about 4% before the global recession, but fell to 2.7% in 2009 and 3% in 2010. Inflation has subsided over the past several years. In order to raise growth, 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. Specific projects to improve the business climate by reforms to the land tenure system, the commercial justice system, and the financial sector were included in Benin's $307 million Millennium Challenge Account grant signed in February 2006. The 2001 privatization policy continues in telecommunications, water, electricity, and agriculture. As result of these reforms, Benin has become the most competitive country in the West African Economic and Monetary Union, according to the World Economic Forum. The Paris Club and bilateral creditors have eased the external debt situation, with Benin benefiting from a G-8 debt reduction announced in July 2005, while pressing for more rapid structural reforms. An insufficient electrical supply continues to adversely affect Benin's economic growth though the government recently has taken steps to increase domestic power production.[2]

President

  • Yayi Boni () (April 6, 2006 - )


Prime Minister

  • Pascal Koupaki () (May 28, 2011 - )

Nation

Beninese Polities

Neighbouring Nations

References

  1. The CIA World Factbook: Introduction - Background
  2. The CIA World Factbook: Economy - Overview

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