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Benin (2002)

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Benin 2002 year

Administrative divisions 12 provinces; Alibori, Atakora, Atlantique, Borgou, Collines, Couffo, Donga, Littoral, Mono, Oueme, Plateau, Zou
Age structure 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.)
Agriculture - products cotton, corn, cassava (tapioca), yams, beans, palm oil, peanuts, livestock (2001)
Airports 5 (2001)
Airports - with paved runways total: 1

1,524 to 2,437 m: 1 (2002)
Airports - with unpaved runways total: 4

2,438 to 3,047 m: 1

1,524 to 2,437 m: 1

914 to 1,523 m: 2 (2002)
Area total: 112,620 sq km

land: 110,620 sq km

water: 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 43.66 births/1,000 population (2002 est.)
Budget revenues: $377.4 million

expenditures: $561.8 million, including capital expenditures of $NA (2001)
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: Benin

local long form: Republique du Benin

local short form: Benin

former: Dahomey
Currency Communaute Financiere Africaine franc (XOF); note - responsible authority is the Central Bank of the West African States
Death rate 14.52 deaths/1,000 population (2002 est.)
Debt - external $1.18 billion (2000)
Diplomatic representation from the US chief of mission: Ambassador Pamela E. BRIDGEWATER

embassy: Rue Caporal Bernard Anani, Cotonou

mailing address: 01 B. P. 2012, Cotonou

telephone: [229] 30-06-50

FAX: [229] 30-06-70
Diplomatic representation in the US chief of mission: Ambassador Cyrille Segbe OGUIN

chancery: 2124 Kalorama Road NW, Washington, DC 20008

telephone: [1] (202) 232-6656

FAX: [1] (202) 265-1996
Disputes - international 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
Economic aid - recipient $342.6 million (2000)
Economy - overview 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.
Electricity - consumption 523.2 million kWh (2000)
Electricity - exports 0 kWh (2000)
Electricity - imports 300 million kWh (2000)
Electricity - production 240 million kWh (2000)
Electricity - production by source fossil fuel: 17%

hydro: 83%

nuclear: 0%

other: 0% (2000)
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 - 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
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

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)

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

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"
Exports 0 kWh (2000)
Exports $35.3 million f.o.b. (2000)
Exports - commodities cotton, crude oil, palm products, cocoa
Exports - partners Brazil, France, Indonesia, Thailand, Morocco, Portugal, Cote d'Ivoire (2001)
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 - $6.8 billion (2001 est.)
GDP - composition by sector agriculture: 36%

industry: 14%

services: 50% (2001 est.)
GDP - per capita purchasing power parity - $1,040 (2001 est.)
GDP - real growth rate 5.4% (2001 est.)
Geographic coordinates 9 30 N, 2 15 E
Geography - note sandbanks create difficult access to a coast with no natural harbors, river mouths, or islands
Highways total: 6,787 km

paved: 1,357 km (including 10 km of expressways)

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

highest 10%: NA%
Illicit drugs transshipment point for narcotics associated with Nigerian trafficking organizations and most commonly destined for Western Europe and the US; vulnerable to money laundering due to a poorly regulated financial infrastructure
Imports 300 million kWh (2000)
Imports $437.6 million c.i.f. (2000)
Imports - commodities foodstuffs, capital goods, petroleum products
Imports - partners France, US, China, Cote d'Ivoire, Netherlands, Japan (2001)
Independence 1 August 1960 (from France)
Industrial production growth rate 8.3% (2001 est.)
Industries textiles, food processing, chemical production, construction materials (2001)
Infant mortality rate 88.52 deaths/1,000 live births (2002 est.)
Inflation rate (consumer prices) 3% (2001 est.)
International organization participation 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
Internet Service Providers (ISPs) 4 (2002)
Irrigated land 120 sq km (1998 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: 15.28%

permanent crops: 1.36%

other: 83.36% (1998 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)

elections: last held 30 March 1999 (next to be held 30 March 2003)

election results: percent of vote by party - NA%; seats by party - RB 27, PRD 11, FARD-ALAFIA 10, PSD 9, MADEP 6, Alliance E'toile 4, IPD 4, other 12
Life expectancy at birth total population: 49.69 years

male: 48.81 years

female: 50.61 years (2002 est.)
Literacy definition: age 15 and over can read and write

total population: 37.5%

male: 52.2%

female: 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 (2002 est.)
Military branches Armed Forces (including 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: 1,509,760

females age 15-49: 1,536,036

note: both sexes are liable for military service (2002 est.)
Military manpower - fit for military service males age 15-49: 771,373

females age 15-49: 778,730 (2002 est.)
Military manpower - military age 18 years of age (2002 est.)
Military manpower - reaching military age annually males: 71,278

females: 70,088 (2002 est.)
National holiday National Day, 1 August (1960)
Nationality noun: Beninese (singular and plural)

adjective: Beninese
Natural hazards hot, dry, dusty harmattan wind may affect north from December to March
Natural resources small offshore oil deposits, limestone, marble, timber
Net migration rate 0 migrant(s)/1,000 population (2002 est.)
Political parties and leaders African Movement for Democracy and Progress or MADEP [Sefou FAGBOHOUN]; Alliance of the Social Democratic Party or PSD [Bruno AMOUSSOU]; Democratic Renewal Party or PRD [Adrien HOUNGBEDJI]; Front for Renewal and Development or FARD-ALAFIA [Saka SALEY]; Impulse for Progress and Democracy or IPD [Bertin BORNA]; Movement for Citizens' Commitment and Awakening or MERCI [Severin ADJOVI]; Renaissance Party du Benin or RB [Nicephore SOGLO]; The Star Alliance (Alliance E'toile) [Sacca LAFIA]

note: approximately 20 additional minor parties; the Coalition of Democratic Forces, [Gatien HOUNGBEDJI], an alliance of parties and organizations supporting President KEREKOU
Political pressure groups and leaders NA
Population 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.)
Population below poverty line 37% (2001 est.)
Population growth rate 2.91% (2002 est.)
Ports and harbors Cotonou, Porto-Novo
Radio broadcast stations AM 2, FM 9, shortwave 4 (2000)
Radios 660,000 (2000)
Railways total: 578 km

narrow gauge: 578 km 1.000-m gauge (2000 est.)
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: 0.73 male(s)/female

total population: 0.97 male(s)/female (2002 est.)
Suffrage 18 years of age; universal
Telephone system 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
Telephones - main lines in use 51,000 (2000)
Telephones - mobile cellular 55,500 (2000)
Television broadcast stations 1 (2001)
Terrain mostly flat to undulating plain; some hills and low mountains
Total fertility rate 6.14 children born/woman (2002 est.)
Unemployment rate NA%
Waterways streams navigable along small sections, important only locally
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