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Benin (2001)

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Benin 2001 year

Administrative divisions 6 provinces; Atakora, Atlantique, Borgou, Mono, Oueme, Zou; note - six additional provinces have been reported but not confirmed; they are Alibori, Collines, Couffo, Donga, Littoral, and Plateau; moreover, the term "province" may have been changed to "department"
Age structure 0-14 years:
47.32% (male 1,574,124; female 1,544,741)

15-64 years:
50.38% (male 1,607,900; female 1,712,360)

65 years and over:
2.3% (male 64,756; female 86,901) (2001 est.)
Agriculture - products corn, sorghum, cassava (tapioca), yams, beans, rice, cotton, palm oil, peanuts; poultry, livestock
Airports 5 (2000 est.)
Airports - with paved runways total:

1,524 to 2,437 m:
1 (2000 est.)
Airports - with unpaved runways total:

2,438 to 3,047 m:

1,524 to 2,437 m:

914 to 1,523 m:
2 (2000 est.)
Area total:
112,620 sq km

110,620 sq km

2,000 sq km
Area - comparative slightly smaller than Pennsylvania
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.
Birth rate 44.23 births/1,000 population (2001 est.)
Budget revenues:
$299 million

$445 million, including capital expenditures of $14 million (1995 est.)
Capital Porto-Novo is the official capital; Cotonou is the seat of government
Climate tropical; hot, humid in south; semiarid in north
Coastline 121 km
Constitution December 1990
Country name conventional long form:
Republic of Benin

conventional short form:

local long form:
Republique du Benin

local short form:

Currency Communaute Financiere Africaine franc (XOF); note - responsible authority is the Central Bank of the West African States
Death rate 14.51 deaths/1,000 population (2001 est.)
Debt - external $1.6 billion (1998 est.)
Diplomatic representation from the US chief of mission:
Ambassador Pamela E. BRIDGEWATER

Rue Caporal Bernard Anani, Cotonou

mailing address:
B. P. 2012, Cotonou

[229] 30-06-50, 30-05-13, 30-17-92

[229] 30-14-39, 30-19-74
Diplomatic representation in the US chief of mission:
Ambassador Lucien Edgar TONOUKOUIN

2737 Cathedral Avenue NW, Washington, DC 20008

[1] (202) 232-6656

[1] (202) 265-1996
Disputes - international none
Economic aid - recipient $274.6 million (1997)
Economy - overview The economy of Benin remains underdeveloped and dependent on subsistence agriculture, cotton production, and regional trade. Growth in real output averaged a sound 5% in 1996-99, but a rapid population rise offset much of this growth. Inflation has subsided over the past several years. Commercial and transport activities, which make up a large part of GDP, are vulnerable to developments in Nigeria, particularly fuel shortages. The Paris Club and bilateral creditors have eased the external debt situation in recent years. While high fuel prices constrained growth in 2000, increased cotton production - enabled by a major restructuring program - and an expansion of the Cotonou port, may lead to increased growth in 2001.
Electricity - consumption 510.2 million kWh (1999)
Electricity - exports 0 kWh (1999)
Electricity - imports 300 million kWh (1999)
Electricity - production 226 million kWh (1999)
Electricity - production by source fossil fuel:



0% (1999)
Elevation extremes lowest point:
Atlantic Ocean 0 m

highest point:
Mont Sokbaro 658 m
Environment - current issues inadequate supplies of potable water; poaching threatens wildlife populations; deforestation; desertification
Environment - international agreements 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
Ethnic groups African 99% (42 ethnic groups, most important being Fon, Adja, Yoruba, Bariba), Europeans 5,500
Exchange rates Communaute Financiere Africaine francs (XOF) per US dollar - 699.21 (January 2001), 711.98 (2000), 615.70 (1999), 589.95 (1998), 583.67 (1997), 511.55 (1996); note - from 1 January 1999, the XOF is pegged to the euro at a rate of 655.957 XOF per euro
Executive branch 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

Council of Ministers appointed by the president

president reelected by popular vote for a five-year term; runoff election held 22 March 2001 (next to be held NA March 2006)

election results:
Mathieu KEREKOU reelected president; percent of vote - Mathieu KEREKOU 84.1%, Bruno AMOUSSOU 15.9%

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, 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"
Exports 0 kWh (1999)
Exports $396 million (f.o.b., 1999)
Exports - commodities cotton, crude oil, palm products, cocoa
Exports - partners Brazil 14%, Libya 5%, Indonesia 4%, Italy 4% (1999)
Fiscal year calendar year
Flag description two equal horizontal bands of yellow (top) and red with a vertical green band on the hoist side
GDP purchasing power parity - $6.6 billion (2000 est.)
GDP - composition by sector agriculture:


48.6% (1999)
GDP - per capita purchasing power parity - $1,030 (2000 est.)
GDP - real growth rate 5% (2000 est.)
Geographic coordinates 9 30 N, 2 15 E
Geography - note no natural harbors
Highways total:
6,787 km

1,357 km (including 10 km of expressways)

5,430 km (1997 est.)
Household income or consumption by percentage share lowest 10%:

highest 10%:
Illicit drugs transshipment point for narcotics associated with Nigerian trafficking organizations and most commonly destined for Western Europe and the US
Imports 300 million kWh (1999)
Imports $566 million (c.i.f., 1999)
Imports - commodities foodstuffs, tobacco, petroleum products, capital goods
Imports - partners France 38%, China 16%, UK 9%, Cote d'Ivoire 5% (1999)
Independence 1 August 1960 (from France)
Industrial production growth rate 6.9% (2000 est.)
Industries textiles, cigarettes; beverages, food; construction materials, petroleum
Infant mortality rate 89.68 deaths/1,000 live births (2001 est.)
Inflation rate (consumer prices) 3% (2000 est.)
International organization participation ACCT, ACP, AfDB, CCC, ECA, ECOWAS, Entente, FAO, FZ, G-77, IAEA, IBRD, ICAO, ICFTU, ICRM, IDA, IDB, IFAD, IFC, IFRCS, ILO, IMF, IMO, Intelsat, Interpol, IOC, IOM, ISO (subscriber), ITU, MIPONUH, MONUC, NAM, OAU, OIC, OPCW, UN, UNCTAD, UNESCO, UNIDO, UNMEE, UNTAET, UPU, WADB, WADB (regional), WAEMU, WCL, WFTU, WHO, WIPO, WMO, WToO, WTrO
Internet Service Providers (ISPs) 1 (2000)
Irrigated land 100 sq km (1993 est.)
Judicial branch Constitutional Court or Cour Constitutionnelle; Supreme Court or Cour Supreme; High Court of Justice
Labor force NA
Land boundaries total:
1,989 km

border countries:
Burkina Faso 306 km, Niger 266 km, Nigeria 773 km, Togo 644 km
Land use arable land:

permanent crops:

permanent pastures:

forests and woodland:

48% (1993 est.)
Languages French (official), Fon and Yoruba (most common vernaculars in south), tribal languages (at least six major ones in north)
Legal system based on French civil law and customary law; has not accepted compulsory ICJ jurisdiction
Legislative branch unicameral National Assembly or Assemblee Nationale (83 seats; members are elected by direct popular vote to serve four-year terms)

last held 30 March 1999 (next to be held NA March 2003)

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
Life expectancy at birth total population:
49.94 years

49.02 years

50.88 years (2001 est.)
Literacy definition:
age 15 and over can read and write

total population:


23.6% (2000)
Location Western Africa, bordering the North Atlantic Ocean, between Nigeria and Togo
Map references Africa
Maritime claims territorial sea:
200 NM
Merchant marine none (2000 est.)
Military branches Armed Forces (includes Army, Navy, Air Force), National Gendarmerie
Military expenditures - dollar figure $27 million (FY96)
Military expenditures - percent of GDP 1.2% (FY96)
Military manpower - availability males age 15-49:

females age 15-49:

both sexes are liable for military service (2001 est.)
Military manpower - fit for military service males age 15-49:

females age 15-49:
755,149 (2001 est.)
Military manpower - military age 18 years of age
Military manpower - reaching military age annually males:

73,618 (2001 est.)
National holiday National Day, 1 August (1960)
Nationality noun:
Beninese (singular and plural)

Natural hazards hot, dry, dusty harmattan wind may affect north in winter
Natural resources small offshore oil deposits, limestone, marble, timber
Net migration rate 0 migrant(s)/1,000 population (2001 est.)
Political parties and leaders 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]

the Coalition of Democratic Forces is an alliance of parties and organizations supporting President KEREKOU [Gatien HOUNGBEDJI]
Political pressure groups and leaders NA
Population 6,590,782

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 2001 est.)
Population below poverty line 37.2% (1999 est.)
Population growth rate 2.97% (2001 est.)
Ports and harbors Cotonou, Porto-Novo
Radio broadcast stations AM 2, FM 9, shortwave 4 (1998)
Radios 620,000 (1997)
Railways total:
578 km (single track)

narrow gauge:
578 km 1.000-m gauge (2000)
Religions indigenous beliefs 50%, Christian 30%, Muslim 20%
Sex ratio 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:
0.75 male(s)/female

total population:
0.97 male(s)/female (2001 est.)
Suffrage 18 years of age; universal
Telephone system general assessment:

fair system of open wire, microwave radio relay, and cellular connections

satellite earth station - 1 Intelsat (Atlantic Ocean); submarine cable
Telephones - main lines in use 36,000 (1997)
Telephones - mobile cellular 4,295 (1997)
Television broadcast stations 2 (one privately-owned) (1997)
Terrain mostly flat to undulating plain; some hills and low mountains
Total fertility rate 6.23 children born/woman (2001 est.)
Unemployment rate NA%
Waterways streams navigable along small sections, important only locally
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