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The World Factbook 2002

         
  Benin  
Flag of Benin
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  Introduction
  Geography
  People
  Government
  Economy
  Communications
  Transportation
  Military
  Transnational Issues

In general, information available as of 1 January 2002
was used in the preparation of The World Factbook 2002.


This page was last updated on 1 January 2002


Map of Benin

Legend: Definition Definition Field Listing Field Listing
   Introduction    Benin
Background:
Definition Field Listing
Dahomey gained its independence from France in 1960; the name was changed to Benin in 1975. From 1974 to 1989 the country was a socialist state; free elections were reestablished in 1991.
   Geography    Benin
Location:
Definition Field Listing
Western Africa, bordering the North Atlantic Ocean, between Nigeria and Togo
Geographic coordinates:
Definition Field Listing
9 30 N, 2 15 E
Map references:
Definition Field Listing
Africa
Area:
Definition Field Listing
total: 112,620 sq km
water: 2,000 sq km
land: 110,620 sq km
Area - comparative:
Definition Field Listing
slightly smaller than Pennsylvania
Land boundaries:
Definition Field Listing
total: 1,989 km
border countries: Burkina Faso 306 km, Niger 266 km, Nigeria 773 km, Togo 644 km
Coastline:
Definition Field Listing
121 km
Maritime claims:
Definition Field Listing
territorial sea: 200 NM
Climate:
Definition Field Listing
tropical; hot, humid in south; semiarid in north
Terrain:
Definition Field Listing
mostly flat to undulating plain; some hills and low mountains
Elevation extremes:
Definition Field Listing
lowest point: Atlantic Ocean 0 m
highest point: Mont Sokbaro 658 m
Natural resources:
Definition Field Listing
small offshore oil deposits, limestone, marble, timber
Land use:
Definition Field Listing
arable land: 15%
permanent crops: 1%
other: 84% (1998 est.)
Irrigated land:
Definition Field Listing
120 sq km (1998 est.)
Natural hazards:
Definition Field Listing
hot, dry, dusty harmattan wind may affect north from December to March
Environment - current issues:
Definition Field Listing
inadequate supplies of potable water; poaching threatens wildlife populations; deforestation; desertification
Environment - international agreements:
Definition Field Listing
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
Geography - note:
Definition Field Listing
sandbanks create difficult access to a coast with no natural harbors, river mouths, or islands
   People    Benin
Population:
Definition Field Listing
6,787,625
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 2002 est.)
Age structure:
Definition Field Listing
0-14 years: 47.2% (male 1,616,138; female 1,585,463)
15-64 years: 50.5% (male 1,665,439; female 1,764,966)
65 years and over: 2.3% (male 65,877; female 89,742) (2002 est.)
Population growth rate:
Definition Field Listing
2.91% (2002 est.)
Birth rate:
Definition Field Listing
43.66 births/1,000 population (2002 est.)
Death rate:
Definition Field Listing
14.52 deaths/1,000 population (2002 est.)
Net migration rate:
Definition Field Listing
0 migrant(s)/1,000 population (2002 est.)
Sex ratio:
Definition Field Listing
at birth: 1.03 male(s)/female
under 15 years: 1.02 male(s)/female
15-64 years: 0.94 male(s)/female
65 years and over: 0.73 male(s)/female
total population: 0.97 male(s)/female (2002 est.)
Infant mortality rate:
Definition Field Listing
88.52 deaths/1,000 live births (2002 est.)
Life expectancy at birth:
Definition Field Listing
total population: 49.69 years
female: 50.61 years (2002 est.)
male: 48.81 years
Total fertility rate:
Definition Field Listing
6.14 children born/woman (2002 est.)
HIV/AIDS - adult prevalence rate:
Definition Field Listing
4.1% (2002)
HIV/AIDS - people living with HIV/AIDS:
Definition Field Listing
160,000 (2002)
HIV/AIDS - deaths:
Definition Field Listing
37,000 (2002)
Nationality:
Definition Field Listing
noun: Beninese (singular and plural)
adjective: Beninese
Ethnic groups:
Definition Field Listing
African 99% (42 ethnic groups, most important being Fon, Adja, Yoruba, Bariba), Europeans 5,500
Religions:
Definition Field Listing
indigenous beliefs 50%, Christian 30%, Muslim 20%
Languages:
Definition Field Listing
French (official), Fon and Yoruba (most common vernaculars in south), tribal languages (at least six major ones in north)
Literacy:
Definition Field Listing
definition: age 15 and over can read and write
total population: 37.5%
male: 52.2%
female: 23.6% (2000)
   Government    Benin
Country name:
Definition Field Listing
conventional long form: Republic of Benin
conventional short form: Benin
local short form: Benin
former: Dahomey
local long form: Republique du Benin
Government type:
Definition Field Listing
republic under multiparty democratic rule; dropped Marxism-Leninism December 1989; democratic reforms adopted February 1990; transition to multiparty system completed 4 April 1991
Capital:
Definition Field Listing
Porto-Novo is the official capital; Cotonou is the seat of government
Administrative divisions:
Definition Field Listing
12 provinces; Alibori, Atakora, Atlantique, Borgou, Collines, Couffo, Donga, Littoral, Mono, Oueme, Plateau, Zou
Independence:
Definition Field Listing
1 August 1960 (from France)
National holiday:
Definition Field Listing
National Day, 1 August (1960)
Constitution:
Definition Field Listing
December 1990
Legal system:
Definition Field Listing
based on French civil law and customary law; has not accepted compulsory ICJ jurisdiction
Suffrage:
Definition Field Listing
18 years of age; universal
Executive branch:
Definition Field Listing
chief of state: President Mathieu KEREKOU (since 4 April 1996); note - the president is both the chief of state and head of government
head of government: President Mathieu KEREKOU (since 4 April 1996); 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 22 March 2001 (next to be held NA March 2006)
note: the four top-ranking contenders following the first-round presidential elections were: Mathieu KEREKOU (incumbent) 45.4%, Nicephore SOGOLO (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 18 March 2001, was postponed four days because both SOGOLO and HOUNGBEDJI withdrew alleging electoral fraud; this left KEREKOU to run against his own Minister of State, AMOUSSOU, in what was termed a "friendly match"
election results: Mathieu KEREKOU reelected president; percent of vote - Mathieu KEREKOU 84.1%, Bruno AMOUSSOU 15.9%
Legislative branch:
Definition Field Listing
unicameral National Assembly or Assemblee Nationale (83 seats; members are elected by direct popular vote to serve four-year terms)
election results: percent of vote by party - NA%; seats by party - RB 27, PRD 11, FARD-ALAFIA 10, PSD 9, MADEP 6, E'toile 4, Alliance IPD 4, Car-DUNYA 3, MERCI 2, other 7
elections: last held 30 March 1999 (next to be held NA March 2003)
Judicial branch:
Definition Field Listing
Constitutional Court or Cour Constitutionnelle; Supreme Court or Cour Supreme; High Court of Justice
Political parties and leaders:
Definition Field Listing
African Movement for Democracy and Progress or MADEP [Sefou FAGBOHOUN]; Alliance for Democracy and Progress or ADP [Sylvain Adekpedjou AKINDES]; Alliance of the Social Democratic Party or PSD and the National Union for Solidarity and Progress or UNSP [Bruno AMOUSSOU]; Cameleon Alliance or AC [leader NA]; Car-DUNYA [Saka SALEY]; Communist Party of Benin or PCB [Pascal FANTONDJI, first secretary]; Democratic Renewal Party or PRD [Adrien HOUNGBEDJI]; Front for Renewal and Development or FARD-ALAFIA [Jerome Sakia KINA]; Impulse for Progress and Democracy or IPD [Bertin BORNA]; Liberal Democrats' Rally for National Reconstruction-Vivoten or RDL-Vivoten [Severin ADJOVI]; Movement for Citizens' Commitment and Awakening or MERCI [Severin ADJOVI]; New Generation for the Republic or NGR [Paul DOSSOU]; Our Common Cause or NCC [Francois Odjo TANKPINON]; Party Democratique du Benin or PDB [Col. Soule DANKORO]; Rally for Democracy and Pan-Africanism or RDP [Dominique HOYMINOU, Dr. Giles Auguste MINONTIN]; Renaissance Party du Benin or RB [Nicephore SOGLO]; The Star Alliance (Alliance E'toile) [Sacca LAFIA]; Union for National Democracy and Solidarity or UDS [Adamou N'Diaye MAMA]
note: the Coalition of Democratic Forces, [Gatien HOUNGBEDJI], an alliance of parties and organizations supporting President KEREKOU
Political pressure groups and leaders:
Definition Field Listing
NA
International organization participation:
Definition Field Listing
ACP, AfDB, CCC, ECA, ECOWAS, Entente, FAO, FZ, G-77, IAEA, IBRD, ICAO, ICFTU, ICRM, IDA, IDB, IFAD, IFC, IFRCS, ILO, IMF, IMO, Interpol, IOC, IOM, ISO (subscriber), ITU, MIPONUH, MONUC, NAM, OAU, OIC, OPCW, UN, UNCTAD, UNESCO, UNIDO, UNMEE, UNMIK, UPU, WADB (regional), WAEMU, WCL, WFTU, WHO, WIPO, WMO, WToO, WTrO
Diplomatic representation in the US:
Definition Field Listing
chief of mission: Ambassador Cyrille Segbe OGUIN
FAX: [1] (202) 265-1996
telephone: [1] (202) 232-6656
chancery: 2124 Kalorama Road NW, Washington, DC 20008
Diplomatic representation from the US:
Definition Field Listing
chief of mission: Ambassador Pamela E. BRIDGEWATER
embassy: Rue Caporal Bernard Anani, Cotonou
mailing address: B. P. 2012, Cotonou
telephone: [229] 30-06-50
FAX: [229] 30-06-70
Flag description:
Definition Field Listing
two equal horizontal bands of yellow (top) and red with a vertical green band on the hoist side
   Economy    Benin
Economy - overview:
Definition Field Listing
The economy of Benin remains underdeveloped and dependent on subsistence agriculture, cotton production, and regional trade. Growth in real output averaged a stable 5% in the past five years, but rapid population rise 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. The 2001 privatization policy should continue in telecommunications, water, electricity, and agriculture in spite of initial government reluctance. The Paris Club and bilateral creditors have eased the external debt situation.
GDP:
Definition Field Listing
purchasing power parity - $6.8 billion (2001 est.)
GDP - real growth rate:
Definition Field Listing
5.4% (2001 est.)
GDP - per capita:
Definition Field Listing
purchasing power parity - $1,040 (2001 est.)
GDP - composition by sector:
Definition Field Listing
agriculture: 36%
industry: 14%
services: 50% (2001 est.)
Population below poverty line:
Definition Field Listing
37% (2001 est.)
Household income or consumption by percentage share:
Definition Field Listing
lowest 10%: NA%
highest 10%: NA%
Inflation rate (consumer prices):
Definition Field Listing
3% (2001 est.)
Labor force:
Definition Field Listing
NA
Unemployment rate:
Definition Field Listing
NA%
Budget:
Definition Field Listing
revenues: $377.4 million
expenditures: $561.8 million, including capital expenditures of $NA (2001)
Industries:
Definition Field Listing
textiles, food processing, chemical production, construction materials (2001)
Industrial production growth rate:
Definition Field Listing
8.3% (2001 est.)
Electricity - production:
Definition Field Listing
240 million kWh (2000)
Electricity - production by source:
Definition Field Listing
fossil fuel: 16.67%
hydro: 83.33%
other: 0% (2000)
nuclear: 0%
Electricity - consumption:
Definition Field Listing
523.2 million kWh (2000)
Electricity - exports:
Definition Field Listing
0 kWh (2000)
Electricity - imports:
Definition Field Listing
300 million kWh (2000)
Agriculture - products:
Definition Field Listing
cotton, corn, cassava (tapioca), yams, beans, palm oil, peanuts, livestock (2001)
Exports:
Definition Field Listing
$35.3 million (f.o.b., 2000)
Exports - commodities:
Definition Field Listing
cotton, crude oil, palm products, cocoa
Exports - partners:
Definition Field Listing
Brazil, France, Indonesia, Thailand, Morocco, Portugal, Cote d'Ivoire (2001)
Imports:
Definition Field Listing
$437.6 million (c.i.f., 2000)
Imports - commodities:
Definition Field Listing
foodstuffs, capital goods, petroleum products
Imports - partners:
Definition Field Listing
France, US, China, Cote d'Ivoire, Netherlands, Japan (2001)
Debt - external:
Definition Field Listing
$1.18 billion (2000)
Economic aid - recipient:
Definition Field Listing
$342.6 million (2000)
Currency:
Definition Field Listing
Communaute Financiere Africaine franc (XOF); note - responsible authority is the Central Bank of the West African States
Currency code:
Definition Field Listing
XOF
Exchange rates:
Definition Field Listing
Communaute Financiere Africaine francs (XOF) per US dollar - 742.79 (January 2002), 733.04 (2001), 711.98 (2000), 615.70 (1999), 589.95 (1998), 583.67 (1997); note - from 1 January 1999, the XOF is pegged to the euro at a rate of 655.957 XOF per euro
Fiscal year:
Definition Field Listing
calendar year
   Communications    Benin
Telephones - main lines in use:
Definition Field Listing
51,000 (2000)
Telephones - mobile cellular:
Definition Field Listing
55,500 (2000)
Telephone system:
Definition Field Listing
general assessment: NA
domestic: fair system of open wire, microwave radio relay, and cellular connections
international: satellite earth station - 1 Intelsat (Atlantic Ocean); submarine cable
Radio broadcast stations:
Definition Field Listing
AM 2, FM 9, shortwave 4 (2000)
Radios:
Definition Field Listing
660,000 (2000)
Television broadcast stations:
Definition Field Listing
1 (2001)
Televisions:
Definition Field Listing
66,000 (2000)
Internet country code:
Definition Field Listing
.bj
Internet Service Providers (ISPs):
Definition Field Listing
4 (2002)
Internet users:
Definition Field Listing
50,000 (2002)
   Transportation    Benin
Railways:
Definition Field Listing
total: 578 km
narrow gauge: 578 km 1.000-m gauge (2000 est.)
Highways:
Definition Field Listing
total: 6,787 km
paved: 1,357 km (including 10 km of expressways)
unpaved: 5,430 km (1997 est.)
Waterways:
Definition Field Listing
streams navigable along small sections, important only locally
Ports and harbors:
Definition Field Listing
Cotonou, Porto-Novo
Merchant marine:
Definition Field Listing
none (2002 est.)
Airports:
Definition Field Listing
5 (2001)
Airports - with paved runways:
Definition Field Listing
total: 1
1,524 to 2,437 m: 1 (2001)
Airports - with unpaved runways:
Definition Field Listing
total: 4
2,438 to 3,047 m: 1
1,524 to 2,437 m: 1
914 to 1,523 m: 2 (2001)
   Military    Benin
Military branches:
Definition Field Listing
Armed Forces (including Army, Navy, Air Force), National Gendarmerie
Military manpower - military age:
Definition Field Listing
18 years of age (2002 est.)
Military manpower - availability:
Definition Field Listing
males age 15-49: 1,509,760
note: both sexes are liable for military service (2002 est.)
females age 15-49: 1,536,036
Military manpower - fit for military service:
Definition Field Listing
males age 15-49: 771,373
females age 15-49: 778,730 (2002 est.)
Military manpower - reaching military age annually:
Definition Field Listing
males: 71,278
females: 70,088 (2002 est.)
Military expenditures - dollar figure:
Definition Field Listing
$27 million (FY96)
Military expenditures - percent of GDP:
Definition Field Listing
1.2% (FY96)
   Transnational Issues    Benin
Disputes - international:
Definition Field Listing
Benin and Niger have refered to the ICJ the dispute over l'Ete and 14 smaller disputed islands in the Niger River, which has never been delimited; with Nigeria, several villages are in dispute along the Okpara River and only 35 km of the 436 km boundary are demarcated; the Benin-Niger-Nigeria tripoint remains undemarcated; Benin accuses Togo of moving boundary markers and stationing troops in its territory; two villages are in dispute with Burkina Faso
Illicit drugs:
Definition Field Listing
transshipment point for narcotics associated with Nigerian trafficking organizations and most commonly destined for Western Europe and the US

This page was last updated on 1 January 2002


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