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World Mission

Benin

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Pray for Benin

Basic info

[caption id="attachment_42769" align="aligncenter" width="640"] A music group in Benin[/caption] [caption id="attachment_42764" align="aligncenter" width="641"] Google map showing the location of Benin in Africa[/caption] [caption id="attachment_42765" align="aligncenter" width="639"] Google map showing the main cities and neighbouring countries of Benin.[/caption]
  • Area: 44,000 square miles
  • Population: 11,000,000
  • Infant mortality: 52.8 deaths per 1000 live births
  • Life expectancy: 59.72 years
  • Urbanisation: 44.8%
  • Literacy: 42.4%

History

The Kingdom of Dahomey was an African kingdom that existed from about 1600. The Kings of Dahomey sold their war captives into transatlantic slavery. The coastal area was known as the slave coast. The last king of Dahomey was defeated by the French and the country became part of the French colonial empire. The French took over in 1892, Dahomey was included in the larger French West Africa region. In 1958 the French granted autonomy to the Republic of Dahomey. The period following independence was unstable. The 2006 election was considered free and fair. The 2016 elections brought Patrice Talon to power.

Environment

(From Wikipedia) Benin shows little variation in elevation and can be divided into four areas from the south to the north, starting with the low-lying, sandy, coastal plain (highest elevation 10 m (32.8 ft)) which is, at most, 10 km (6.2 mi) wide. It is marshy and dotted with lakes and lagoons communicating with the ocean. Behind the coast lies the Guinean forest-savanna mosaic-covered plateaus of southern Benin (altitude between 20 and 200 m (66 and 656 ft)), which are split by valleys running north to south along the Couffo, Zou, and Ouémé Rivers. An area of flat land dotted with rocky hills whose altitude seldom reaches 400 m (1,312 ft) extends around Nikki and Save. A range of mountains extends along the northwest border and into Togo; these are the Atacora. The highest point, Mont Sokbaro, is at 658 m (2,159 ft). Benin has fallow fields, mangroves, and remnants of large sacred forests. In the rest of the country, the savanna is covered with thorny scrub and dotted with huge baobab trees. Some forests line the banks of rivers. In the north and the northwest of Benin, the Reserve du W du Niger and Pendjari National Park attract tourists eager to see elephants, lions, antelopes, hippos, and monkeys.Pendjari National Park together with the bordering Parks Arli and W in Burkina Faso and Niger are among the most important strongholds for the endangered West African lion. With an estimated 356 (range: 246–466) lions, W-Arli-Pendjari harbors the largest remaining population of lions in West Africa. Historically Benin has served as habitat for the endangered painted hunting dog, Lycaon pictus; however, this canid is thought to have been locally extirpated. Benin's climate is hot and humid. Annual rainfall in the coastal area averages 1300 mm or about 51 inches. Benin has two rainy and two dry seasons per year. The principal rainy season is from April to late July, with a shorter less intense rainy period from late September to November. The main dry season is from December to April, with a short cooler dry season from late July to early September. Temperatures and humidity are high along the tropical coast. In Cotonou, the average maximum temperature is 31 °C (87.8 °F); the minimum is 24 °C (75.2 °F). Variations in temperature increase when moving north through savanna and plateau toward the Sahel. A dry wind from the Sahara called the Harmattan blows from December to March, when grass dries up, other vegetation turns reddish brown, and a veil of fine dust hangs over the country, causing the skies to be overcast. It is also the season when farmers burn brush in the fields.

Economy

(From Wikipedia) The economy of Benin is dependent on subsistence agriculture, cotton production, and regional trade. Cotton accounts for 40% of the GDP and roughly 80% of official export receipts. Growth in real output has averaged around 5% in the past seven years, but rapid population growth has offset much of this increase.[when?] Inflation has subsided over the past several years. Benin uses the CFA franc, which is pegged to the euro. Benin’s economy has continued to strengthen over the past years, with real GDP growth estimated at 5.1 and 5.7% in 2008 and 2009, respectively. The main driver of growth is the agricultural sector, with cotton being the country’s main export, while services continue to contribute the largest part of GDP largely because of Benin’s geographical location, enabling trade, transportation, transit and tourism activities with its neighboring states. Cotton field in northern Benin. 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. Projects to improve the business climate by reforms to the land tenure system, the commercial justice system, and the financial sector were included in Benin's US$307 million Millennium Challenge Account grant signed in February 2006. The Paris Club and bilateral creditors have eased the external debt situation, with Benin benefiting from a G8 debt reduction announced in July 2005, while pressing for more rapid structural reforms. An insufficient electrical supply continues to adversely affect Benin's economic growth though the government recently has taken steps to increase domestic power production. Although trade unions in Benin represent up to 75% of the formal workforce, the large informal economy has been noted by the International Trade Union Confederation (ITCU) to contain ongoing problems, including a lack of women's wage equality, the use of child labor, and the continuing issue of forced labor. Benin is a member of the Organization for the Harmonization of Business Law in Africa (OHADA). Cotonou has the country's only seaport and international airport. A new port is currently under construction between Cotonou and Porto Novo. Benin is connected by two-lane asphalted roads to its neighboring countries (Togo, Burkina Faso, Niger, and Nigeria). Mobile telephone service is available across the country through various operators. ADSL connections are available in some areas. Benin is connected to the Internet by way of satellite connections (since 1998) and a single submarine cable SAT-3/WASC (since 2001), keeping the price of data extremely high. Relief is expected with the initiation of the Africa Coast to Europe cable in 2011. Despite the GDP growth rate of 4-5% remaining consistent over the past two decades, poverty has been increasing.According to the National Institute of Statistics and Economic Analysis in Benin, those living under the poverty line has increased from 36.2% in 2011 to 40.1% in 2015.

Ethnic groups

Ethnic Groups(%)

Fon

39.2

Yoruba

17.6

Adja

15.2

Bariba

9.2

Fula

6.9

Ottamari

6.1

Yoa-Lokpa

4

Dendi

2.5

Religion

Religion(%)

Roman Catholic

27.1

Muslim

24.4

Vodun

17.3

Other and none

8.4

Other Christian denominations

7.5

Traditional

6

Celestial Church of Christ

5

Methodist

3.2

Languages

  • 24%

    Fon