Benin 2006

Benin 2006

Yearbook 2006

Benin. After ruling Benin for three decades, President Mathieu Kérékou resigned in April. He gave the country stability after a long period of military coups, first as a Marxist-Leninist dictator, in recent years as advocates of democracy and market economy. In the 2006 election, he was not allowed to stand for age reasons.

He was succeeded by economist Boni Yayi, a newcomer to politics who, in the decisive round of the presidential election, clearly defeated former Prime Minister Adrien Houngbédji. According to CountryAAH, major public holidays in Benin include Independence Day (August 1) and New Year (January 1). Boni was nominated as an independent candidate but was supported by several parties. He set up a government largely made up of trade experts and politically neutral officials. His main election promise was to bring about economic development and to reform the important cotton industry.

Benin Map with Surrounding Countries

Benin Overview

The cultural destination of Benin is an as yet unknown gem of Africa.

Scenic Benin has remained out of the reach of tourism – so far. The number of tourists is growing, and no wonder: small Benin is a very interesting travel destination due to its history and culture. The mystical voodoo religion was born in Benin and this fascinating culture is an integral part of the Beninian way of life.

This small West African country is a very interesting travel destination due to its history and culture. Benin is the birthplace of voodoo and the voodoo religion still affects the lives of the locals to an even greater extent. The country hosts the world’s largest voodoo festivals every January. In addition to getting to know the culture, Benin has the opportunity to get to know the beautiful nature and fauna of West Africa.

Area: 112,622 km²

Population: 12,864,634 (estimate 7/2020)

Capital: Porto Novo

Population: The largest ethnic group are the Phones, which comprise 39% of the population. Other ethnic groups include e.g. adjat (about 15%), yoruba (about 12%), Sombat and baribat.

Language: French as well as several local languages

Religion: 50% of Benin’s population practice natural religions, 30% are Christians and 20% are Muslims. Benin is the birthplace of voodoo. More than 80% of the country’s population still practices at least part of this traditional religion today.

Form of government: Republic

The origin of the indigenous states in the Dahomev region is uncertain; it would seem, however, that they were ab ancient vassals of the king of Benin. In about 1610, Tacuduno third son of Kopon king of Allada passed into the land of the Foy, well received by the king Da, who granted him a land on which he settled a few years later. Moreover, Tacuduno took possession of the whole region constituting the kingdom of Dahomey (1625). The successors of Tacuduno, and among others Adahunzu I (1650), waged war with the powerful neighboring state of the Ashanti and in 1725, conforming to the common tendency of all the internal realms of Africa, they tried to open up access to the sea, seizing the coastal regions. In 1741 the king of Dahomey Bessa Abadé took possession of the Portuguese fort of Ouidah and king Gezo (1818-1858) instead extended the Dahomey to the North., making the state reach the maximum limits.

The first treaty of Dahomey with European powers was that of friendship and trade concluded with France on 1 July 1851. Ten years later (23 February 1861), the French concluded a treaty with the king of Porto Novo, vassal of that of Dahomey; in that same year the English, reigning Gleglé son of king Gezo, took Lagos from Dahomey. With two successive treaties of May 19, 1868 and April 19, 1878, the French obtained the cession of the Cotonou coast from the king of Dahomey. Only in 1884, however, the French government sent a resident to Porto Novo and small garrisons in that locality and in Cotonou. The king of Dahomer, that is of the region constituting the hinterland of the coast of the slaves, seeing himself thus precluded from any outlet to the sea, protested asking for the eviction of Cotonou (1887) and having received no response, devastated in 1889 the territory of Porto Novo and Ouidah. The French tried to come to an accommodation through peaceful negotiations (November-December 1889), but to no avail; indeed, with King Gleglé dead, his son Behanzin undoubtedly began hostilities and invaded the French possession. Troops sent from Senegal and Gabon, under the command of Commander Terrillon, between 21 February and 5 March 1890, with the support of naval units, liberated the region of Cotonou and repelled the invaders on the left bank of the Emé; on March 28, with the support of gunboats going up the river, they beat them again, pushing them further upstream.