Benin 1996Benin

 Benin | | | | | |
| | | :  |


Volotea Air

Benin - Introduction 1996
top of page

Background: 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.

Benin - Geography 1996
top of page

Location: Western Africa, bordering the North Atlantic Ocean, between Nigeria and Togo

Geographic coordinates

Map reference

Total: 112,620 km²
Land: 110,620 km²
Comparative: slightly smaller than Pennsylvania

Land boundaries: Total 1,989 km, 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

Extremes lowest point: Atlantic Ocean 0 m
Extremes highest point: Mount Tanekas 641 m

Natural resources:
Small offshore oil deposits

Land use

Land use
Arable land: 12%
Permanent crops: 4%
Permanent pastures: 4%
Forests and woodland: 35%
Other: 45%

Irrigated land: 60 km² (1989 est.)

Major rivers

Major watersheds area km²

Total water withdrawal

Total renewable water resources

Natural hazards


Benin - People 1996
top of page

5,709,529 (July 1996 est.)
5,522,677 (July 1995 est.)

Growth rate:
3.32% (1996 est.)
3.33% (1995 est.)

Noun: Beninese (singular and plural)
Adjective: Beninese

Ethnic groups:
African 99% (42 ethnic groups, most important being Fon, Adja, Yoruba, Bariba)
Europeans 5,500

LanguagesFrench (official), Fon and Yoruba (most common vernaculars in south), tribal languages (at least six major ones in north)

Indigenous beliefs 70%
Muslim 15%
Christian 15%

Demographic profile
Age structure

Age structure
0-14 years:
48% (male 1,376,531; female 1,367,394) (July 1996 est.)
48% (male 1,333,673; female 1,324,553) (July 1995 est.)

15-64 years:
50% (male 1,349,386; female 1,480,251) (July 1996 est.)
49% (male 1,299,180; female 1,431,630) (July 1995 est.)

65 years and over:
2% (male 60,030; female 75,937) (July 1996 est.)
3% (male 59,522; female 74,119) (July 1995 est.)

Dependency ratios

Median age

Population growth rate:
3.32% (1996 est.)
3.33% (1995 est.)

Birth rate:
46.76 births/1000 population (1996 est.)
47.25 births/1000 population (1995 est.)

Death rate:
13.53 deaths/1000 population (1996 est.)
13.93 deaths/1000 population (1995 est.)

Net migration rate:
0 migrant(s)/1000 population (1996 est.)
0 migrant(s)/1000 population (1995 est.)

Population distribution


Major urban areas

Current issues: recent droughts have severely affected marginal agriculture in north; inadequate supplies of potable water; poaching threatens wildlife populations; deforestation; desertification
Current issues Natural hazards: hot, dry, dusty harmattan wind may affect north in winter
International agreements: party to_Biodiversity, Climate Change, Endangered Species, Environmental Modification, Nuclear Test Ban, Ozone Layer Protection; signed, but not ratified_Desertification, Law of the Sea
International agreements note: No natural harbors

Air pollutants

Sex ratio
At birth: 1.03 male(s)/female
Under 15 years: 1.01 male(s)/female
15-64 years: 0.91 male(s)/female
65 years and over: 0.79 male(s)/female
All ages:
0.95 male(s)/female (1996 est.) Infant Mortality Rate:105.1 deaths/1000 live births (1996 est.)
107.6 deaths/1000 live births (1995 est.)

Mothers mean age at first birth

Maternal mortality ratio

Infant mortality rate

Life expectancy at birth
Total population: 52.69 years (1996 est.), 52.24 years (1995 est.)
Male: 50.74 years (1996 est.), 50.34 years (1995 est.)
Female: 54.7 years (1996 est.), 54.2 years (1995 est.)

Total fertility rate:
6.64 children born/woman (1996 est.)
6.72 children born/woman (1995 est.)

Contraceptive prevalence rate

Drinking water source

Current health expenditure

Physicians density

Hospital bed density

Sanitation facility access


Major infectious diseases

Obesity adult prevalence rate

Alcohol consumption

Tobacco use

Children under the age of 5 years underweight

Education expenditures

Definition: age 15 and over that can read and write (1995 est.)
Total population: 37%
Male: 48.7%
Female: 25.8%

School life expectancy primary to tertiary education

Youth unemployment

Benin - Government 1996
top of page

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 under multiparty democratic rule dropped Marxism-Leninism December 1989; democratic reforms adopted February 1990; transition to multiparty system completed 4 April 1991

Capital: Porto-Novo

Administrative divisions: 6 provinces; Atakora, Atlantique, Borgou, Mono, Oueme, Zou

Dependent areas

Independence: 1 August 1960 (from France)

National holiday: National Day, 1 August (1990)

Constitution: 2 December 1990

Legal system: Based on French civil law and customary law; has not accepted compulsory ICJ jurisdiction

International law organization participation


Suffrage: 18 years of age; universal

Executive branch
Chief of state and head of government:
President Mathieu KEREKOU (since 4 April 1996) was elected for a five-year term by popular vote; election last held 18 March 1996 (next to be held March 2001); results_Mathieu KEREKOU 52.49%, Nicephore SOGLO 47.51%
4 april 1991_4 april 1996 President Nicephore SOGLO

Cabinet: Executive Council; appointed by the president

Legislative branch: Unicameral National Assembly (Assemblee Nationale):Elections last held 28 March 1995; results_percent of vote by party NA; seats_(83 total) Renaissance Party and allies 20, PRD 19, FARD-ALAFIA 10, PSD 7, NCC 3, RDL-VIVOTEN 3, Communist Party 2, Alliance Chameleon 1, RDP 1, ADP 1, other 16

Judicial branch: Supreme Court (Cour Supreme)

Political parties and leaders

International organization participation: ACCT, ACP, AfDB, ECA, ECOWAS, Entente, FAO, FZ, G-77, IBRD, ICAO, ICFTU, ICRM, IDA, IDB, IFAD, IFC, IFRCS, ILO, IMF, IMO, Intelsat, Interpol, IOC, ITU, NAM, OAU, OIC, UN, UNCTAD, UNESCO, UNIDO, UNMIH, UPU, WADB, WCL, WFTU, WHO, WIPO, WMO, WToO

Diplomatic representation

Flag descriptionflag of Benin: Two equal horizontal bands of yellow (top) and red with a vertical green band on the hoist side

National symbols

National anthem

National heritage

Benin - Economy 1996
top of page

Economy overview: The economy of Benin remains underdeveloped and dependent on subsistence agriculture, cotton production, and regional trade. Growth in real output, which had averaged a sound 4% in 1990-94, rose to 6% in 1995. Rapid population growth, now 3.3% per year, offset much of this growth in output. Inflation jumped to 55% in 1994 (compared to 3% in 1993) following the 50% currency devaluation in January 1994, but subsided gradually in 1995. Commercial and transport activities, which make up 37% of GDP, are extremely vulnerable to developments in Nigeria as evidenced by decreased reexport trade in 1994 due to a severe contraction in Nigerian demand. Support by the Paris Club and official bilateral creditors has eased the external debt situation in recent years. The government, still burdened with money-losing state enterprises and a bloated civil service, has been gradually implementing a World Bank supported structural adjustment program since 1991.

Real gdp purchasing power parity

Real gdp growth rate:
6% (1995 est.)
4% (1994 est.)

Real gdp per capita ppp

Gross national saving
Gdp composition by sector of origin

Gdp composition by end use

Gdp composition by sector of origin

Agriculture products: Accounts for 35% of GDP; small farms produce 90% of agricultural output; production is dominated by food crops_corn, sorghum, cassava, yams, beans, rice; cash crops include cotton, palm oil, peanuts; poultry and livestock output has not kept up with consumption

Construction materials

Industrial production growth rate: Growth rate -0.7% (1988; accounts for 10% of GDP

Labor force: 1.9 million (1987)
By occupation agriculture: 60%
By occupation transport commerce andpublicservices: 38%
By occupation industry: less than 2%
Labor force

Unemployment rate: NA

Youth unemployment

Population below poverty line

Gini index

Household income or consumption by percentage share

Distribution of family income gini index

Revenues: $272 million (1993 est.)
Expenditures: $375 million, including capital expenditures of $84 million (1993 est.)

Public debt

Taxes and other revenues


Fiscal year: Calendar year

Current account balance

Inflation rate consumer prices

Central bank discount rate

Commercial bank prime lending rate

Stock of narrow money

Stock of broad money

Stock of domestic credit

Market value of publicly traded shares

Current account balance

total value. $310 million (f.o.b., 1994 est.)
$332 million (f.o.b., 1993 est.)

Crude oil
Palm products

Morocco 37%
Potugal 14%

Total value:
$439 million (c.i.f., 1994 est.)
$571 million (f.o.b., 1993 est.)

Petroleum products
Intermediate goods
Capital goods
Light consumer goods

France 24%
Thailand 12%
Netherlands 7%
U.S. 5%
Hong Kong

Reserves of foreign exchange and gold

Debt external:
$1.5 billion (1993 est.)
$1 billion (December 1990 est.)

Stock of direct foreign investment at home

Stock of direct foreign investment abroad

Exchange rates

Benin - Energy 1996
top of page

Electricity access

Electricity production: 10 million kWh

Electricity consumption
Per capita: 25 kWh (1993)

Electricity exports

Electricity imports

Electricity installed generating capacity

Electricity transmission distribution losses

Electricity generation sources


Refined petroleum

Natural gas

Carbon dioxide emissions

Energy consumption per capita

Benin - Communication 1996
top of page

Telephones fixed lines

Telephones mobile cellular

Telephone system: 16,200 telephones (1986 est.); fair system of open wire and microwave radio relay
Local: NA
Intercity: microwave radio relay and open wire
International: 1 Atlantic Ocean INTELSAT earth station, submarine cable

Broadcast media

Internet country code

Internet users

Broadband fixed subscriptions

Benin - Military 1996
top of page

Military expenditures
Dollar figure: $33 million, 3.2% of GDP (1994)

Military and security forces

Military service age and obligation

Terrorist groups

Benin - Transportation 1996
top of page

National air transport system

Civil aircraft registration country code prefix

Airports: 5
2438 to 3047 m: 2
15-24 to 2437 m: 1
914 to 1523 m: 2

Airports with paved runways

Airports with unpaved runways





Waterways: Navigable along small sections, important only locally

Merchant marine: None

Ports and terminals

Benin - Transnational issues 1996
top of page

Disputes international

Refugees and internally displaced persons

Illicit drugs: Transshipment point for narcotics associated with Nigerian trafficking organizations and most commonly destined for Western Europe and the U.S.

You found a piece of the puzzle

Please click here to complete it