The official name is the Republic of Benin (Republique du Benin, Republic of Benin).
Located in West Africa, on the coast of the Gulf of Guinea. The area is 112.6 thousand km2, the population is 6.8 million people. (2002). The official language is French. The capital is the city of Porto-Novo (295 thousand people, 2002), the residence of the president and government is located in the city of Cotonou (1 million people). Public holiday – Independence Day on August 1 (since 1960). The monetary unit is the African franc (equal to 100 centimes).
Member of the UN (since 1960), AU (since 1963), associate member of the EU, etc.
Geography of Benin
Located between 1° and 3°40′ East longitude and 6°30′ and 12°30′ North latitude. In the south it is washed by the waters of the Gulf of Guinea of the Atlantic Ocean, the length of the coastline is 121 km. The coastline is slightly indented, the bays of the mainland are preceded by a 2-5 km system of lagoons. It borders Niger to the north, Burkina Faso to the northwest, Togo to the west, and Nigeria to the east. The surface in the south is low-lying, in the north it is a plateau, in the north-west there are Atakora mountains up to 635 m high. Deposits of iron ore (400 million tons), chromium, titanium, pyrite, rutile, gold, phosphorites, oil (4 million tons) ), natural gas, limestone, marble, potash salts. Red, red-yellow ferralitic soils predominate. The climate in the coastal lowland is equatorial with two rainy seasons and two dry seasons, the average monthly temperature is + 24-27 ° C, rainfall is up to 1300 mm per year; in the northern part – subequatorial with clearly defined two seasons – dry and rainy, the average monthly temperature is + 24-30 ° C, precipitation falls 1000-2000 mm per year. The river network is dense. The main rivers – Veme and Mono flow into the Gulf of Guinea, the northern rivers – into the Volta and Niger. Most of the country’s territory is occupied by tall-grass savannahs, on the coast and along the rivers – humid tropical evergreen forests. The animal world is rich and varied: antelopes, buffaloes, elephants, lions, panthers, cheetahs, etc. Most of the country’s territory is occupied by tall-grass savannahs, on the coast and along the rivers – humid tropical evergreen forests. The animal world is rich and varied: antelopes, buffaloes, elephants, lions, panthers, cheetahs, etc. Most of the country’s territory is occupied by tall-grass savannahs, on the coast and along the rivers – humid tropical evergreen forests. The animal world is rich and varied: antelopes, buffaloes, elephants, lions, panthers, cheetahs, etc.
The population of Benin
According to Countryaah, the average population density is 60 people per 1 km2 (2002). The annual population growth in 2000–02 was 2.7%. Birth rate 44%, mortality 15%, infant mortality 88 people. per 1000 newborns. Life expectancy is 50 years (including men – 49, women – 51). Sex and age structure: 0-14 years – 47.2% (ratio of men and women – 1.02); 15-64 years old – 50.5% (0.94), 65 years and older – 2.3% (0.73); in the entire population, the ratio of men and women is 0.97. Among the adult population – 62.5% of illiterates (men – 48%, women – 77%).
The Fon people, together with the related Aja, make up 50% of the country’s population, Yoruba – 12%, Somba, Gurma, Bariba – 20%, Songhai, Dzherma, Busa, Hausa, Fulbe. Languages: French, Fon and Yoruba are widely spoken locally.
50% of the population adhere to local traditional beliefs, 30% are Christians, 20% are Muslims.
History of Benin
In the 15th-19th centuries. on the territory of modern Benin, there were early feudal formations of Bariba (Bornu), Alladi, Vida, Adzhache, Dahomey, and others. the Portuguese penetrated the coastal regions, strongholds of the slave trade were created here, and the territory was called the Slave Coast. In the 19th century Portugal, Great Britain, Germany and France are fighting for colonial dominance in this area. In 1893, after the seizure of the territory of Benin by the French colonialists, it became its colony, and since 1904 it has been part of the Federation of French West Africa. On December 4, 1958, an autonomous republic was proclaimed as part of the French Community, and on August 1, 1960, the country gained independence and became known as the Republic of Dahomey (from November 1975 – the People’s Republic of Benin, from March 1990 – the Republic of Benin). The first decade of independent development was characterized by political instability: a series of coups and changes of governments. In 1972, the Military Revolutionary Government headed by Major M. Kereku came to power, announcing that the country had chosen a course of socialist orientation. In November 1975, the People’s Revolution Party of Benin was founded – the vanguard party of the working people – the only and ruling party in the country. In 1979, Kereku announced the transition to civilian rule and in February 1980 was officially elected president. In con. 1989 At the request of the opposition, which advocates the liberalization of economic and political life in the country, a National Conference of the active forces of the nation was convened. Transitional authorities were formed at the conference. In December 1990, a new Constitution was adopted, which established a multi-party system in the country. The first multi-party elections in February-March 1991 ensured the victory of N. Soglo, but after 5 years Kereku returned to power, winning the presidential elections in 1996 and 2001. The 2002 municipal elections brought victory to the supporters of Soglo and his Benin Renaissance Party. The coalition of political parties Union for the Future of Benin, which supports the incumbent President Kerek, in the March 2003 parliamentary elections for the first time defeated the opposition, receiving 52 out of 83 seats.