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World > Africa > Benin

   flag of Benin
   Benin

Introduction:
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.


Official name: Republic of Benin
Capital: name: Porto-Novo (official capital)
geographic coordinates: 6 29 N, 2 37 E
time difference: UTC+1 (6 hours ahead of Washington, DC during Standard Time)
note: Cotonou (seat of government)
Government type: republic
Population: 8,078,314
note: estimates for this country explicitly take into account the effects of excess mortality due to AIDS; this can result in lower life expectancy, higher infant mortality and death rates, lower population and growth rates, and changes in the distribution of population by age and sex than would otherwise be expected (July 2007 est.)
Languages: French (official), Fon and Yoruba (most common vernaculars in south), tribal languages (at least six major ones in north)
Official Currency: CFA Franc BCEAO (XOF)

Current CFA Franc BCEAO Exchange Rates
Historical CFA Franc BCEAO Exchange Rates
Chart CFA Franc BCEAO Exchange Rates
Currency code: XOF
Area: total: 112,620 sq km
land: 110,620 sq km
water: 2,000 sq km
Climate: tropical; hot, humid in south; semiarid in north


Map of Benin
map of Benin


Facts at a Glance: Geography - People - Government - Economy - Communications - Transportation - Military - Climate - Current Time - Ranking Positions - CFA Franc BCEAO Exchange Rates
Notes and Commentary: People - Economy - Historical Highlights - Foreign Relations - Relations with U.S.



Facts at a Glance
Geography
People
Government
Economy
Communications
Transportation
Military
Climate
Current Time
Ranking Positions
CFA Franc BCEAO Exchange Rates


Notes and Commentary
People
Economy
Historical Highlights
Foreign Relations
Relations with U.S.





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