Map of Benin Porto Novo

Benin 2005

Africa

Yearbook 2005

Benin 2005

Benin. According to countryaah, Porto-Novo is the capital and one of the major cities within the country of Benin. The revelation that US telecommunications company Titan had paid more than $ 2.1 million to President Mathieu Kérékou’s reelection campaign in 2001 caused a stir. During the 1990s, Titan had built up a mobile telephone network in Benin and then tried to get more paid for the maintenance of the network, which was also granted after the presidential election. The investigation gave no evidence that the president himself was aware of the bribery business. Titanium was sentenced in the US to $ 28 million in fines.

  • Also see abbreviationfinder.org for how the acronym BN stands for the country of Benin and other meanings of this two-letter abbreviation.

Map of Benin Porto Novo

A multi-year border dispute was settled by the International Court of Justice in The Hague, which granted neighboring Niger the right to most of some twenty islands in the river of the same name.

Economy

The economic conditions of the country remain very backward. Agriculture continues to be the fundamental sector: in 1980 it employed 70% of the workforce, but contributed less than 50% to the formation of the GDP. The average per capita income, according to the World Bank, was around 340 dollars (1988), while the Benin was indebted for over one billion dollars.

For some decades, agriculture has been the sector of greatest interest in Benin’s development policy. Solving food problems, through the strengthening and diversification of crops destined for local consumption, and the expansion of the production base of industrial crops to be exported, were the objectives to be achieved. In 1975 a reform was completed which introduced a cooperative structure, but the results were partial and unsatisfactory. The cultivated surface is just over 10% of the potentially usable one. Among the crops for export, palm stands out (but only a part of the six factories for the production and refining of oil are operational) and cotton (although the scarcity of pesticides and the succession of dry years have caused significant drops in production). Livestock farming and fishing have a modest commercial importance, but at the local level they contribute to significantly improving the food conditions of the residents. A considerable part, difficult to evaluate, of agricultural products is exported to neighboring Nigeria, where prices are higher and bureaucratic controls less intense.

Industry is very modest and contributes less than 20% to the formation of GDP. As in the past, these are modest transformation activities of the products of the earth and small manufacturing activities. Some news comes from the mining sector. Off-shore oil fields have been found which provide a good energy base for prospects for strengthening industrialization. The exploratory phase is not yet fully completed.

Other projects concern the extension of the port of Cotonou and the construction of a dam on the Mono river, for irrigation and hydroelectric purposes. B’s debt situation is heavy: in 1986 the external debt was 781 million dollars, corresponding to just under 60% of the country’s GDP.