Benin – A Place

Summary

  • Politics
    • Name: Benin
    • Capital: Porto-Novo
    • 2 Letter Code: BJ
    • 3 Letter Code: BEN
  • Land
    • Contenent: Africa
    • Region: Western Africa
    • Total Land: 114,763 (44,310)
    • Land: 114,305 (44,133)
    • Water: 457.569 (176.668)
  • People
    • Population: 7,862,944
    • Birth Rate: 38.85 per 1,000
    • Death Rate: 12.22 per 1,000
    • Infant Mortality: 85 per 1,000
    • Literacy: 29.00%
  • Economy
    • Agriculture: 31.6%%
    • Industry: 13.8%%
    • Service: 54.6%%

Map

Benin is a country in Western Africa. It sits between Nigeria and Togo. It borders the Bight of Benin. Other bordering nations include Burkina Faso and Niger.

Most of the land is mostly flat or undulating plain.  There are some hills and low mountains. The highest point is Mont Sokbaro at 600 meters. The climate is tropical. In the south it is hot and humid. It is semiarid in the north.

History

The recorded history of Benin is strongly shaped by its connections to the trans-Atlantic slave trade.

In the 17th century, the area housed the slave markets where African slaves were shipped to America during the transatlantic slave trade era. The kingdom  made a fortune from the slave trade. This caused the slave merchants to refer to the area as the slave coast. After the abolition of the slave trade, colonial masters from France took over the kingdoms along the coasts. They named them and the colony of French Dahomey.

French Dahomey gained independence in 1960.

After independence, the country faced instability in her politics. As a result of a series of coups carried out. Mathieu Kerekou overthrew the presidential council in the early 1970s through a coup he led. Kerekou then became the self-appointed head of the nation. After ruling for more than a decade, Kerekou agreed to allow democracy by organizing elections. He contested and lost making the Republic of Benin the first country in Africa to successfully evolve from dictatorship rule to democracy.

Modern Times

The population of Benin is now over 11 million people. In terms of ethnic groups, the groups are (38.4%) Fon, (15.1%) Adja, (12%) Yoruba, (9.6%) Bariba, (8.6%) Fulani, (6.1%) Ottamari, (4.3%) Yoa-Lokpa, (2.9%) Dendi, and 1.9% are foreigners with the remaining people supporting other ethnic groups.

French is the official language of Benin, with Fon and Yoruba being common in the south and at least six major tribal languages in the north.

Benin has a huge array of religious diversity including 27.7% Muslims, Roman Catholic and Protestant (13.5%), Vodoun religion (11.6%), and other Christian (9.5%).

Genetics

This section is under development.

mtDNA

Sources and Resources

Background

Benin – CIA World FactBook

Journal Articles

Coming soon.

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