flag of Benin  


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)
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



Location: Western Africa, bordering the Bight of Benin, between Nigeria and Togo
Geographic coordinates: 9 30 N, 2 15 E
Map references: Africa
Area: total: 112,620 sq km
land: 110,620 sq km
water: 2,000 sq km
Area - comparative: slightly smaller than Pennsylvania
Land boundaries: total: 1,989 km
border countries: Burkina Faso 306 km, Niger 266 km, Nigeria 773 km, Togo 644 km
Coastline: 121 km
Maritime claims: territorial sea: 200 nm
Climate: tropical; hot, humid in south; semiarid in north
Terrain: mostly flat to undulating plain; some hills and low mountains
Elevation extremes: lowest point: Atlantic Ocean 0 m
highest point: Mont Sokbaro 658 m
Natural resources: small offshore oil deposits, limestone, marble, timber
Land use: arable land: 23.53%
permanent crops: 2.37%
other: 74.1% (2005)
Irrigated land: 120 sq km (2003)
Natural hazards: hot, dry, dusty harmattan wind may affect north from December to March
Environment - current issues: inadequate supplies of potable water; poaching threatens wildlife populations; deforestation; desertification
Environment - international agreements: party to: Biodiversity, Climate Change, Climate Change-Kyoto Protocol, Desertification, Endangered Species, Environmental Modification, Hazardous Wastes, Law of the Sea, Ozone Layer Protection, Ship Pollution, Wetlands, Whaling
signed, but not ratified: none of the selected agreements
Geography - note: sandbanks create difficult access to a coast with no natural harbors, river mouths, or islands



BOHICON 7 16 N, 2 6 E, 547 feet (167 meters) above sea level.


  Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec
Avg. Temperature
28 29 29 28 27 26 25 24 25 26 27 27
Avg. Max Temperature
34 36 35 34 32 31 29 29 30 31 34 34
Avg. Min Temperature
23 24 24 24 23 23 22 22 22 22 23 23
Avg. Rain Days
0 0 1 3 3 4 4 4 4 3 0 0
Avg. Snow Days
0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0

COTONOU 6 35 N, 2 38 E, 29 feet (9 meters) above sea level.

  Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec
Avg. Temperature
27 28 29 28 28 26 25 25 26 26 28 27
Avg. Max Temperature
31 32 32 31 31 29 28 27 28 29 31 31
Avg. Min Temperature
25 25 26 26 25 24 24 23 24 24 25 25
Avg. Rain Days
0 1 2 5 6 10 6 5 6 5 1 0
Avg. Snow Days
0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0

KANDI 11 13 N, 2 93 E, 958 feet (292 meters) above sea level.

  Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec
Avg. Temperature
26 27 31 32 30 28 26 25 26 27 26 25
Avg. Max Temperature
34 35 38 38 36 33 30 29 30 33 35 34
Avg. Min Temperature
18 20 24 26 25 23 22 22 22 22 18 17
Avg. Rain Days
0 0 0 1 3 4 5 6 5 1 0 0
Avg. Snow Days
0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0

NATITINGOU 10 31 N, 1 38 E, 1512 feet (461 meters) above sea level.

  Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec
Avg. Temperature
27 28 30 29 28 26 25 24 25 26 26 26
Avg. Max Temperature
34 36 37 36 33 31 29 28 30 32 34 34
Avg. Min Temperature
20 21 24 24 23 22 21 21 21 20 18 19
Avg. Rain Days
0 0 0 2 3 5 7 8 6 3 0 0
Avg. Snow Days
0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0

PARAKOU 9 35 N, 2 61 E, 1289 feet (393 meters) above sea level.

  Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec
Avg. Temperature
27 28 30 28 27 26 24 24 24 25 27 26
Avg. Max Temperature
34 35 36 35 33 31 29 28 29 31 34 34
Avg. Min Temperature
20 22 24 23 22 22 21 21 21 21 20 20
Avg. Rain Days
0 0 1 2 4 5 7 7 7 4 0 0
Avg. Snow Days
0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0

SAVE 8 3 N, 2 46 E, 656 feet (200 meters) above sea level.

  Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec
Avg. Temperature
28 29 29 28 27 26 25 24 25 26 27 27
Avg. Max Temperature
35 36 36 34 33 31 29 29 30 31 34 34
Avg. Min Temperature
22 23 24 23 23 22 21 21 21 22 22 22
Avg. Rain Days
0 0 1 2 2 5 4 4 5 3 0 0
Avg. Snow Days
0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0



The majority of Benin's 7.86 million people live in the south. The population is young, with a life expectancy of 53 years. About 42 African ethnic groups live in this country; these various groups settled in Benin at different times and also migrated within the country. Ethnic groups include the Yoruba in the southeast (migrated from Nigeria in the 12th century); the Dendi in the north-central area (they came from Mali in the 16th century); the Bariba and the Fulbe (Peul) in the northeast; the Betammaribe and the Somba in the Atacora Range; the Fon in the area around Abomey in the South Central and the Mina, Xueda, and Aja (who came from Togo) on the coast.

Recent migrations have brought other African nationals to Benin that include Nigerians, Togolese, and Malians. The foreign community also includes many Lebanese and Indians involved in trade and commerce. The personnel of the many European embassies and foreign aid missions and of nongovernmental organizations and various missionary groups account for a large number of the 5,500 European population.

Several religions are practiced in Benin. Animism is widespread (50%), and its practices vary from one ethnic group to the other. Arab merchants introduced Islam in the north and among the Yoruba. European missionaries brought Christianity to the south and central areas of Benin. Muslims account for 20% of the population and Christians for 30%. Many nominal Muslims and Christians continue to practice animistic traditions. It is believed that voodoo originated in Benin and was introduced to Brazil and the Caribbean Islands by slaves taken from this particular area of the Slave Coast.

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.)
Age structure: 0-14 years: 43.9% (male 1,788,248/female 1,754,940)
15-64 years: 53.7% (male 2,138,649/female 2,203,291)
65 years and over: 2.4% (male 77,844/female 115,342) (2007 est.)
Population growth rate: 2.674% (2007 est.)
Birth rate: 38.1 births/1,000 population (2007 est.)
Death rate: 11.94 deaths/1,000 population (2007 est.)
Net migration rate: 0.58 migrant(s)/1,000 population (2007 est.)
Sex ratio: at birth: 1.03 male(s)/female
under 15 years: 1.019 male(s)/female
15-64 years: 0.971 male(s)/female
65 years and over: 0.675 male(s)/female
total population: 0.983 male(s)/female (2007 est.)
Infant mortality rate: total: 77.85 deaths/1,000 live births
male: 82.32 deaths/1,000 live births
female: 73.26 deaths/1,000 live births (2007 est.)
Life expectancy at birth: total population: 53.44 years
male: 52.28 years
female: 54.63 years (2007 est.)
Total fertility rate: 5.08 children born/woman (2007 est.)
HIV/AIDS - adult prevalence rate: 1.9% (2003 est.)
HIV/AIDS - people living with HIV/AIDS: 68,000 (2003 est.)
HIV/AIDS - deaths: 5,800 (2003 est.)
Major infectious diseases: degree of risk: very high
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 (2007)
Nationality: noun: Beninese (singular and plural)
adjective: Beninese
Ethnic groups: Fon and related 39.2%, Adja and related 15.2%, Yoruba and related 12.3%, Bariba and related 9.2%, Peulh and related 7%, Ottamari and related 6.1%, Yoa-Lokpa and related 4%, Dendi and related 2.5%, other 1.6% (includes Europeans), unspecified 2.9% (2002 census)
Religions: Christian 42.8% (Catholic 27.1%, Celestial 5%, Methodist 3.2%, other Protestant 2.2%, other 5.3%), Muslim 24.4%, Vodoun 17.3%, other 15.5% (2002 census)
Languages: French (official), Fon and Yoruba (most common vernaculars in south), tribal languages (at least six major ones in north)
Literacy: definition: age 15 and over can read and write
total population: 34.7%
male: 47.9%
female: 23.3% (2002 census)



Benin was the seat of one of the great medieval African kingdoms called Dahomey. Europeans began arriving in the area in the 18th century, as the kingdom of Dahomey was expanding its territory. The Portuguese, the French, and the Dutch established trading posts along the coast (Porto-Novo, Ouidah, Cotonou), and traded weapons for slaves. Slave trade ended in 1848. Then, the French signed treaties with Kings of Abomey (Guézo, Toffa, Glèlè) to establish French protectorates in the main cities and ports. However, King Behanzin fought the French influence, which cost him deportation to Martinique. As of 1900, the territory became a French colony ruled by a French Governor. Expansion continued to the North (kingdoms of Parakou, Nikki, Kandi), up to the border with former Upper Volta. On December 4, 1958, it became the République du Dahomey, self-governing within the French community, and on August 1, 1960, the Republic of Benin gained full independence from France.

Post-Independence Politics
Between 1960 and 1972, a succession of military coups brought about many changes of government. The last of these brought to power Major Mathieu Kérékou as the head of a regime professing strict Marxist-Leninist principles. The Revolutionary Party of the People of Benin (PRPB) remained in complete power until the beginning of the 1990s. Kérékou, encouraged by France and other democratic powers, convened a national conference that introduced a new democratic constitution and held presidential and legislative elections. Kérékou's principal opponent at the presidential poll, and the ultimate victor, was Prime Minister Nicéphore Soglo. Supporters of Soglo also secured a majority in the National Assembly.

Benin was thus the first African country to effect successfully the transition from dictatorship to a pluralistic political system. In the second round of National Assembly elections held in March 1995, Soglo's political vehicle, the Parti de la Renaissance du Benin, was the largest single party but lacked an overall majority. The success of a party formed by supporters of ex-president Kérékou, who had officially retired from active politics, encouraged him to stand successfully at both the 1996 and 2001 presidential elections.

During the 2001 elections, however, alleged irregularities and dubious practices led to a boycott of the run-off poll by the main opposition candidates. The four top-ranking contenders following the first round presidential elections were Mathieu Kérékou (incumbent) 45.4%, Nicephore Soglo (former president) 27.1%, Adrien Houngbedji (National Assembly Speaker) 12.6%, and Bruno Amoussou (Minister of State) 8.6%. The second round balloting, originally scheduled for March 18, 2001, was postponed for days because both Soglo and Houngbedji withdrew, alleging electoral fraud. This left Kérékou to run against his own Minister of State, Amoussou, in what was termed a 'friendly match.'

In December 2002, Benin held its first municipal elections since before the institution of Marxism-Leninism. The process was smooth with the significant exception of the 12th district council for Cotonou, the contest that would ultimately determine who would be selected for the mayoralty of the capital city. That vote was marred by irregularities, and the electoral commission was forced to repeat that single election. Nicephore Soglo's Renaisance du Benin (RB) party won the new vote, paving the way for the former president to be elected Mayor of Cotonou by the new city council in February 2002.

National Assembly elections took place in March 2003 and were generally considered to be free and fair. Although there were some irregularities, these were not significant and did not greatly disrupt the proceedings or the results. These elections resulted in a loss of seats by RB--the primary opposition party. The other opposition parties, the Party for Democratic Renewal (PRD) led by the former Prime Minister Adrien Houngbedji and the Alliance Etoile (AE), joined the government coalition.

Former West African Development Bank Director Boni Yayi won the March 2006 election for the presidency in a field of 26 candidates. International observers including the United Nations, Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS), and others called the election free, fair, and transparent. President Kérékou was barred from running under the 1990 constitution due to term and age limits. President Yayi was inaugurated on April 6, 2006.

Benin held legislative elections on March 31, 2007 for the 83 seats in the National Assembly. The 'Force Cowrie for an Emerging Benin' (FCBE) party, closely linked to President Yayi, won a plurality of the seats in the National Assembly, providing the president with considerable influence over the legislative agenda.

Principal Government Officials
President of the Republic (Head of State and Head of the Government)--Boni Yayi
Minister of Foreign Affairs, African Integration, Francophonie and the Beninese Diaspora--Moussa Okanla
Minister of State, in charge of the Economy, Economic Forecasting Development and the Evaluation of Public Action--Pascal Irene Koupaki
Minister of State in charge of National Defense--Issifou Kogui N'douro
Minister of Agriculture, Animal Husbandry and Fisheries--Roger Dovonou
Minister of Work and Public Service--Emmanuel Tiando
Minister of Administrative and Institutional Reform--Idrissou Sina Bio Gounou
Minister of Culture, Tourism and Handicrafts--Soumanou Toleba
Minister of Urban Development, Land Reform and Coastal Erosion Prevention--François Gbenoukpo Noudegbessi
Minister of Microfinance and Youth and Women's Employment--Sakinatou Abdou Alfa Orou Sidi
Minister-Delegate for Budget in the Office of the Minister of Finance--Albert Segbegnon Houngbo
Minister of Interior and Public Security--General Félix Hessou
Minister of Decentralization, Local Communities and Land Management--Démolo Issa Moko
Minister of Finance--Soulé Mana Lawani
Minister of Industry, Commerce, and Small and Medium Scale Enterprises--Grégoire Akofodji
Minister of Mines, Energy and Water--Sacca Lafia
Minister of Health--Kessile Tchala
Minister of Primary Education, Literacy and National Languages--Christine Ouinsavi
Ministry of Secondary Education, and Vocational and Technical Training--Bernadette Sohoudji Agbossou
Minister of Higher Education and Scientific Research--Vicentia Bocco
Minister of Youth, Sports and Leisure--Ganiou Soglo
Minister of Family and Children--Gnimbéré Dansou
Minister of the Environment and the Conservation of Nature--Juliette Koudenoukpo Biaou
Keeper of the Seals, Minister of Justice, Legislation and Human Rights--Cassa Gustave Anani
Minister in charge of the Relations with the Institutions, Spokesman of the Government--Alexandre Houtondji
Minister-Delegate for Communication and New Technology in the Office of the President of the Republic--Désiré Adadja
Minister-Delegate for Transport and Public Works in the Office of the President of the Republic--Armand Zinzindohoue



Country name: conventional long form: Republic of Benin
conventional short form: Benin
local long form: Republique du Benin
local short form: Benin
former: Dahomey
Government type: republic
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)
Administrative divisions: 12 departments; Alibori, Atakora, Atlantique, Borgou, Collines, Kouffo, Donga, Littoral, Mono, Oueme, Plateau, Zou
Independence: 1 August 1960 (from France)
National holiday: National Day, 1 August (1960)
Constitution: adopted by referendum 2 December 1990
Legal system: based on French civil law and customary law; has not accepted compulsory ICJ jurisdiction
Suffrage: 18 years of age; universal
Executive branch: chief of state: President Thomas YAYI Boni (since 6 April 2006); note - the president is both the chief of state and head of government
head of government: President Thomas YAYI Boni (since 6 April 2006)
cabinet: Council of Ministers appointed by the president
elections: president elected by popular vote for a five-year term (eligible for a second term); runoff election held 19 March 2006 (next to be held in March 2011)
election results: Thomas YAYI Boni elected president; percent of vote - Thomas 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 31 March 2007 (next to be held by March 2011)
election results: percent of vote by party - NA; seats by party - FCBE 35, ADD 20, PRD 10, other and independents 18
Judicial branch: Constitutional Court or Cour Constitutionnelle; Supreme Court or Cour Supreme; High Court of Justice
Political parties and leaders: Alliance for Dynamic Democracy or ADD [Nicephore SOGLO]; Alliance of Progress Forces or AFP; African Movement for Democracy and Progress or MADEP [Sefou FAGBOHOUN]; Democratic Renewal Party or PRD [Adrien HOUNGBEDJI]; Force Cowrie for an Emerging Benin or FCBE; 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; The Star Alliance (Alliance E'toile) [Sacca LAFIA]; Union of Tomorrow's Benin or UBF [Bruno AMOUSSOU]
note: approximately 20 additional minor parties
Political pressure groups and leaders: NA
Flag description: two equal horizontal bands of yellow (top) and red (bottom) with a vertical green band on the hoist side



Benin's economy is chiefly based on agriculture. Cotton accounts for 40% of GDP and roughly 80% of official export receipts. There also is production of textiles, palm products, and cocoa. Corn, beans, rice, peanuts, cashews, pineapples, cassava, yams, and other various tubers are grown for local subsistence. Benin began producing a modest quantity of offshore oil in October 1982. Production ceased in recent years but exploration of new sites is ongoing. A modest fishing fleet provides fish and shrimp for local subsistence and export to Europe. A number of formerly government-owned commercial activities are now privatized, and the government, consistent with its commitments to the IMF and World Bank, has plans to continue on this path. Smaller businesses are privately owned by Beninese citizens, but some firms are foreign owned, primarily French and Lebanese. The private commercial and agricultural sectors remain the principal contributors to growth.

Economic Development
Since the transition to a democratic government in 1990, Benin has undergone a remarkable economic recovery. A large injection of external investment from both private and public sources has alleviated the economic difficulties of the early 1990s caused by global recession and persistently low commodity prices (although the latter continues to affect the economy). The manufacturing sector is confined to some light industry, which is mainly involved in processing primary products and the production of consumer goods. Benin is dependent on imported electricity, mostly from Ghana, which currently accounts for a significant proportion of the country's imports. Benin has several initiatives to attract foreign capital to build electricity generation facilities in Benin in order to break this dependency. The service sector has grown quickly, stimulated by economic liberalization and fiscal reform. Membership of the CFA Franc Zone offers reasonable currency stability. Benin sells its products mainly to France and, in smaller quantities, to the Netherlands, Korea, Japan, and India. France is Benin's leading source for imports. Benin also is a member of the West African economic community ECOWAS.

In March 2003, the World Bank and International Monetary Fund (IMF) agreed to support a comprehensive debt reduction package for Benin under the enhanced Heavily Indebted Poor Countries (HIPC) Initiative. Debt relief under HIPC amounts to approximately $460 million. Benin received $27.1 million in 2002 and received $32.9 million in 2003. HIPC will reduce Benin's debt-to-export ratio, freeing up considerable resources for education, health, and other anti-poverty programs.

Despite its growth, the economy of Benin still remains underdeveloped and dependent on subsistence agriculture, cotton production, and regional trade. Inflation has subsided over the past several years. Growth in real output averaged a sound 5% from 1996 to 2003, but a rapid population rise offset much of this growth on a per capita basis. Real economic growth for 2004 was estimated at 5%. Commercial and transport activities, which make up a large part of GDP, are vulnerable to developments in Nigeria, including fuel shortages. Recent heightened enforcement of Nigerian customs regulations, an unfavorable exchange rate with the Naira and difficulties at Cotonou's port have contributed to the economic downturn.


Economy - 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. 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 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 - real growth rate: 4% (2006 est.)
GDP (purchasing power parity): $8.989 billion (2006 est.)
GDP (official exchange rate): $4.622 billion (2006 est.)
GDP - per capita (PPP): $1,100 (2006 est.)
GDP - composition by sector: agriculture: 32.8%
industry: 13.7%
services: 53.5% (2006 est.)
Population below poverty line: 33% (2001 est.)
Household income or consumption by percentage share: lowest 10%: NA
highest 10%: NA
Inflation rate (consumer prices): 3% (2006 est.)
Labor force: 3.211 million (1996)
Unemployment rate: NA
Budget: revenues: $836.8 million
expenditures: $1.064 billion; including capital expenditures of NA (2006 est.)
Industries: textiles, food processing, construction materials, cement
Industrial production growth rate: 8.3% (2001 est.)
Electricity - production: 82 million kWh (2004)
Electricity - consumption: 576.3 million kWh (2004)
Electricity - exports: 0 kWh (2004)
Electricity - imports: 500 million kWh (2004)
Oil - production: 0 bbl/day (2004)
Oil - consumption: 14,000 bbl/day (2004 est.)
Oil - exports: NA bbl/day
Oil - imports: NA bbl/day
Oil - proved reserves: 8.21 million bbl (1 January 2005)
Natural gas - production: 0 cu m (2004 est.)
Agriculture - products: cotton, corn, cassava (tapioca), yams, beans, palm oil, peanuts, cashews; livestock
Exports: $563.1 million f.o.b. (2006 est.)
Exports - commodities: cotton, cashews, shea butter, textiles, palm products, seafood
Exports - partners: China 21%, Indonesia 7.8%, India 7.1%, Netherlands 6.3%, Niger 5.7%, Togo 4.6%, Nigeria 4.4% (2006)
Imports: $927.3 million f.o.b. (2006 est.)
Imports - commodities: foodstuffs, capital goods, petroleum products
Imports - partners: China 47.3%, France 7.6%, Thailand 6.1% (2006)
Debt - external: $1.6 billion (2000)
Economic aid - recipient: $342.6 million (2000)
Currency: CFA Franc BCEAO (XOF)
Currency code: XOF
Exchange rates: Communaute Financiere Africaine francs (XOF) per US dollar - 522.59 (2006), 527.47 (2005), 528.29 (2004), 581.2 (2003), 696.99 (2002)
Fiscal year: calendar year



Military branches: Benin Armed Forces: Ground Forces Command, Benin Navy, Benin People's Air Force (Force Aerienne Populaire de Benin, FAPB) (2007)
Military service age and obligation: 21 years of age for compulsory and voluntary military service; in practice, volunteers may be taken at the age of 18; both sexes are eligible for military service; conscript tour of duty - 18 months (2006)
Manpower available for military service: males age 21-49: 1,295,230
females age 21-49: 1,301,936 (2005 est.)
Manpower fit for military service: males age 21-49: 749,774
females age 21-49: 751,329 (2005 est.)
Manpower reaching military service age annually: males age 18-49: 76,661
females: 75,068 (2005 est.)






  Send article

Navigate through the articles
Previous article Angola Botswana Next article