Africa :: Benin
  • Introduction :: Benin
  • Background:

    Present day Benin was the site of Dahomey, a West African kingdom that rose to prominence in about 1600 and over the next two and a half centuries became a regional power, largely based on its slave trade. Coastal areas of Dahomey began to be controlled by the French in the second half of the 19th century; the entire kingdom was conquered by 1894. French Dahomey achieved independence in 1960; it changed its name to the Republic of Benin in 1975.

    A succession of military governments ended in 1972 with the rise to power of Mathieu KEREKOU and the establishment of a government based on Marxist-Leninist principles. A move to representative government began in 1989. Two years later, free elections ushered in former Prime Minister Nicephore SOGLO as president, marking the first successful transfer of power in Africa from a dictatorship to a democracy. KEREKOU was returned to power by elections held in 1996 and 2001, though some irregularities were alleged. KEREKOU stepped down at the end of his second term in 2006 and was succeeded by Thomas YAYI Boni, a political outsider and independent, who won a second five-year term in March 2011. Patrice TALON, a wealthy businessman, took office in 2016 after campaigning to restore public confidence in the government.

  • Geography :: Benin
  • Location:
    Western Africa, bordering the Bight of Benin, between Nigeria and Togo
    Geographic coordinates:
    9 30 N, 2 15 E
    Map references:
    Africa
    Area:
    total: 112,622 sq km
    land: 110,622 sq km
    water: 2,000 sq km
    country comparison to the world: 103
    Area - comparative:
    slightly smaller than Pennsylvania
    Land boundaries:
    total: 2,123 km
    border countries (4): Burkina Faso 386 km, Niger 277 km, Nigeria 809 km, Togo 651 km
    Coastline:
    121 km
    Maritime claims:
    territorial sea: 200 nm
    continental shelf: 200 nm
    exclusive fishing zone: 200 nm
    Climate:
    tropical; hot, humid in south; semiarid in north
    Terrain:
    mostly flat to undulating plain; some hills and low mountains
    Elevation:
    mean elevation: 273 m
    elevation extremes: 0 m lowest point: Atlantic Ocean
    658 highest point: Mont Sokbaro
    Natural resources:
    small offshore oil deposits, limestone, marble, timber
    Land use:
    agricultural land: 31.3% (2011 est.)
    arable land: 22.9% (2011 est.) / permanent crops: 3.5% (2011 est.) / permanent pasture: 4.9% (2011 est.)
    forest: 40% (2011 est.)
    other: 28.7% (2011 est.)
    Irrigated land:
    230 sq km (2012)
    Population distribution:
    the population is primarily located in the south, with the highest concentration of people residing in and around the cities on the Atlantic coast; most of the north remains sparsely populated with higher concentrations of residents in the west
    Natural hazards:
    hot, dry, dusty harmattan wind may affect north from December to March
    Environment - current issues:
    inadequate supplies of potable water; water pollution; poaching threatens wildlife populations; deforestation; desertification (the spread of the desert into agricultural lands in the north is accelerated by regular droughts)
    Environment - international agreements:
    party to: Biodiversity, Climate Change, Climate Change-Kyoto Protocol, Desertification, Endangered Species, Environmental Modification, Hazardous Wastes, Law of the Sea, Ozone Layer Protection, Ship Pollution, Wetlands, Whaling
    signed, but not ratified: none of the selected agreements
    Geography - note:
    sandbanks create difficult access to a coast with no natural harbors, river mouths, or islands
  • People and Society :: Benin
  • Population:
    11,340,504 (July 2018 est.)

    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, higher death rates, lower population growth rates, and changes in the distribution of population by age and sex than would otherwise be expected

    country comparison to the world: 79
    Nationality:
    noun: Beninese (singular and plural)
    adjective: Beninese
    Ethnic groups:
    Fon and related 38.4%, Adja and related 15.1%, Yoruba and related 12%, Bariba and related 9.6%, Fulani and related 8.6%, Ottamari and related 6.1%, Yoa-Lokpa and related 4.3%, Dendi and related 2.9%, other 0.9%, foreigner 1.9% (2013 est.)
    Languages:
    French (official), Fon and Yoruba (most common vernaculars in south), tribal languages (at least six major ones in north)
    Religions:
    Muslim 27.7%, Roman Catholic 25.5%, Protestant 13.5% (Celestial 6.7%, Methodist 3.4%, other Protestant 3.4%), Vodoun 11.6%, other Christian 9.5%, other traditional religions 2.6%, other 2.6%, none 5.8% (2013 est.)
    Demographic profile:

    Benin has a youthful age structure – almost 65% of the population is under the age of 25 – which is bolstered by high fertility and population growth rates. Benin’s total fertility has been falling over time but remains high, declining from almost 7 children per women in 1990 to 4.8 in 2016. Benin’s low contraceptive use and high unmet need for contraception contribute to the sustained high fertility rate. Although the majority of Beninese women use skilled health care personnel for antenatal care and delivery, the high rate of maternal mortality indicates the need for more access to high quality obstetric care.

    Poverty, unemployment, increased living costs, and dwindling resources increasingly drive the Beninese to migrate. An estimated 4.4 million, more than 40%, of Beninese live abroad. Virtually all Beninese emigrants move to West African countries, particularly Nigeria and Cote d’Ivoire. Of the less than 1% of Beninese emigrants who settle in Europe, the vast majority live in France, Benin’s former colonial ruler.

    With about 40% of the population living below the poverty line, many desperate parents resort to sending their children to work in wealthy households as domestic servants (a common practice known as vidomegon), mines, quarries, or agriculture domestically or in Nigeria and other neighboring countries, often under brutal conditions. Unlike in other West African countries, where rural people move to the coast, farmers from Benin’s densely populated southern and northwestern regions move to the historically sparsely populated central region to pursue agriculture. Immigrants from West African countries came to Benin in increasing numbers between 1992 and 2002 because of its political stability and porous borders.

    Age structure:
    0-14 years: 42.26% (male 2,445,265 /female 2,347,091)
    15-24 years: 20.53% (male 1,184,977 /female 1,143,605)
    25-54 years: 30.66% (male 1,759,834 /female 1,717,467)
    55-64 years: 3.65% (male 184,453 /female 229,945)
    65 years and over: 2.89% (male 128,920 /female 198,947) (2018 est.)
    population pyramid: population pyramid
    Dependency ratios:
    total dependency ratio: 86.1 (2015 est.)
    youth dependency ratio: 80.1 (2015 est.)
    elderly dependency ratio: 6 (2015 est.)
    potential support ratio: 16.6 (2015 est.)
    Median age:
    total: 18.4 years
    male: 18.1 years
    female: 18.7 years (2018 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 209
    Population growth rate:
    2.68% (2018 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 16
    Birth rate:
    34.5 births/1,000 population (2018 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 22
    Death rate:
    7.7 deaths/1,000 population (2018 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 99
    Net migration rate:
    0 migrant(s)/1,000 population (2017 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 74
    Population distribution:
    the population is primarily located in the south, with the highest concentration of people residing in and around the cities on the Atlantic coast; most of the north remains sparsely populated with higher concentrations of residents in the west
    Urbanization:
    urban population: 47.3% of total population (2018)
    rate of urbanization: 3.89% annual rate of change (2015-20 est.)
    Major urban areas - population:
    285,000 PORTO-NOVO (capital), 685,000 COTONOU (seat of government), 928,000 Abomey-Calavi (2018)
    Sex ratio:
    at birth: 1.05 male(s)/female (2017 est.)
    0-14 years: 1.04 male(s)/female (2017 est.)
    15-24 years: 1.04 male(s)/female (2017 est.)
    25-54 years: 1.02 male(s)/female (2017 est.)
    55-64 years: 0.76 male(s)/female (2017 est.)
    65 years and over: 0.66 male(s)/female (2017 est.)
    total population: 1.01 male(s)/female (2017 est.)
    Mother's mean age at first birth:
    20.3 years (2011/12 est.)

    note: median age at first birth among women 25-29

    Maternal mortality rate:
    405 deaths/100,000 live births (2015 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 26
    Infant mortality rate:
    total: 51.5 deaths/1,000 live births (2018 est.)
    male: 54.5 deaths/1,000 live births (2018 est.)
    female: 48.3 deaths/1,000 live births (2018 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 24
    Life expectancy at birth:
    total population: 62.7 years (2018 est.)
    male: 61.2 years (2018 est.)
    female: 64.2 years (2018 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 198
    Total fertility rate:
    4.67 children born/woman (2018 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 22
    Contraceptive prevalence rate:
    17.9% (2014)
    Health expenditures:
    4.6% of GDP (2014)
    country comparison to the world: 154
    Physicians density:
    0.15 physicians/1,000 population (2016)
    Hospital bed density:
    0.5 beds/1,000 population (2010)
    Drinking water source:
    improved: urban: 85.2% of population (2015 est.)
    rural: 72.1% of population (2015 est.)
    total: 77.9% of population (2015 est.)
    unimproved: urban: 14.8% of population (2015 est.)
    rural: 27.9% of population (2015 est.)
    total: 22.1% of population (2015 est.)
    Sanitation facility access:
    improved: urban: 35.6% of population (2015 est.)
    rural: 7.3% of population (2015 est.)
    total: 19.7% of population (2015 est.)
    unimproved: urban: 64.4% of population (2015 est.)
    rural: 92.7% of population (2015 est.)
    total: 80.3% of population (2015 est.)
    HIV/AIDS - adult prevalence rate:
    1% (2017 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 44
    HIV/AIDS - people living with HIV/AIDS:
    70,000 (2017 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 50
    HIV/AIDS - deaths:
    2,500 (2017 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 45
    Major infectious diseases:
    degree of risk: very high (2016)
    food or waterborne diseases: bacterial and protozoal diarrhea, hepatitis A, and typhoid fever (2016)
    vectorborne diseases: dengue fever, malaria, and yellow fever (2016)
    animal contact diseases: rabies (2016)
    respiratory diseases: meningococcal meningitis (2016)
    Obesity - adult prevalence rate:
    9.6% (2016)
    country comparison to the world: 142
    Children under the age of 5 years underweight:
    18% (2014)
    country comparison to the world: 32
    Education expenditures:
    4.4% of GDP (2015)
    country comparison to the world: 97
    Literacy:
    definition: age 15 and over can read and write (2015 est.)
    total population: 38.4% (2015 est.)
    male: 49.9% (2015 est.)
    female: 27.3% (2015 est.)
    School life expectancy (primary to tertiary education):
    total: 12 years (2013)
    male: 14 years (2013)
    female: 11 years (2013)
    Unemployment, youth ages 15-24:
    total: 5.6% (2011 est.)
    male: 5.2% (2011 est.)
    female: 5.9% (2011 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 152
  • Government :: Benin
  • Country name:
    conventional long form: Republic of Benin
    conventional short form: Benin
    local long form: Republique du Benin
    local short form: Benin
    former: Dahomey, People's Republic of Benin
    etymology: named for the Bight of Benin, the body of water on which the country lies
    Government type:
    presidential republic
    Capital:
    name: Porto-Novo (constitutional capital); Cotonou (seat of government)
    geographic coordinates: 6 29 N, 2 37 E
    time difference: UTC+1 (6 hours ahead of Washington, DC, during Standard Time)
    Administrative divisions:
    12 departments; Alibori, Atacora, Atlantique, Borgou, Collines, Couffo, Donga, Littoral, Mono, Oueme, Plateau, Zou
    Independence:
    1 August 1960 (from France)
    National holiday:
    Independence Day, 1 August (1960)
    Constitution:
    history: previous 1946, 1958 (preindependence); latest adopted by referendum 2 December 1990, promulgated 11 December 1990 (2017)
    amendments: proposed concurrently by the president of the republic (after a decision in the Council of Ministers) and the National Assembly; consideration of drafts or proposals requires at least three-fourths majority vote of the Assembly membership; passage requires approval in a referendum unless approved by at least four-fifths majority vote of the Assembly membership; constitutional articles affecting territorial sovereignty, the republican form of government, and secularity of Benin cannot be amended (2017)
    International law organization participation:
    has not submitted an ICJ jurisdiction declaration; accepts ICCt jurisdiction
    Citizenship:
    citizenship by birth: no
    citizenship by descent only: at least one parent must be a citizen of Benin
    dual citizenship recognized: yes
    residency requirement for naturalization: 10 years
    Suffrage:
    18 years of age; universal
    Executive branch:
    chief of state: President Patrice TALON (since 6 April 2016); note - the president is both chief of state and head of government
    head of government: President Patrice TALON (since 6 April 2016); prime minister position abolished
    cabinet: Council of Ministers appointed by the president
    elections/appointments: president directly elected by absolute majority popular vote in 2 rounds if needed for a 5-year term (eligible for a second term); last held on 6 March and 20 March 2016 (next to be held in 2021)
    election results: Patrice TALON elected president in second round; percent of vote in first round - Lionel ZINSOU (FCBE) 28.4%, Patrice TALON (independent) 24.8%, Sebastien AJAVON (independent) 23.%, Abdoulaye Bio TCHANE (ABT) 8.8%, Pascal KOUPAKI (NC) 5.9%, other 9.1%; percent of vote in second round - Patrice TALON 65.4%, Lionel ZINSOU 34.6%
    Legislative branch:
    description: unicameral National Assembly or Assemblee Nationale (83 seats; members directly elected in multi-seat constituencies by proportional representation vote; members serve 4-year terms)
    elections: last held on 26 April 2015 (next to be held in April 2019)
    election results: percent of vote by party - FCBE 30.2%, UN 14.4%, PRD 10.6%, AND 7.6%, RB-RP 7.1%, other 30.1%; seats by party - FCBE 33, UN 13, PRD 10, RB-RP 7, AND 5, other 15
    Judicial branch:
    highest courts: Supreme Court or Cour Supreme (consists of the court president and 3 chamber presidents organized into an administrative division, judicial chamber, and chamber of accounts); Constitutional Court or Cour Constitutionnelle (consists of 7 members including the court president); High Court of Justice (consists of the Constitutional Court members, 6 members appointed by the National Assembly, and the Supreme Court president); note - jurisdiction of the High Court of Justice is limited to cases of high treason by the national president or members of the government while in office
    judge selection and term of office: Supreme Court president and judges appointed by the national president upon the advice of the National Assembly; judges appointed for single renewable 5-year terms; Constitutional Court members - 4 appointed by the National Assembly and 3 by the national president; members appointed for single renewable 5-year terms; High Court of Justice "other" members elected by the National Assembly; member tenure NA
    subordinate courts: Court of Appeal or Cour d'Appel; district courts; village courts; Assize courts
    Political parties and leaders:
    Alliance for a Triumphant Benin or ABT [Abdoulaye BIO TCHANE]
    African Movement for Development and Progress or MADEP [Sefou FAGBOHOUN]
    Benin Renaissance or RB [Lehady SOGLO]
    Cowrie Force for an Emerging Benin or FCBE [Yayi BONI]
    Democratic Renewal Party or PRD [Adrien HOUNGBEDJI]
    National Alliance for Development and Democracy or AND [Valentin Aditi HOUDE]
    New Consciousness Rally or NC [Pascal KOUPAKI]
    Patriotic Awakening or RP [Janvier YAHOUEDEOU]
    Social Democrat Party or PSD [Emmanuel GOLOU]
    Sun Alliance or AS [Sacca LAFIA]
    Union Makes the Nation or UN [Adrien HOUNGBEDJI] (includes PRD, MADEP)
    United Democratic Forces or FDU [Mathurin NAGO]

    note: approximately 20 additional minor parties

    International organization participation:
    ACP, AfDB, AU, CD, ECOWAS, Entente, FAO, FZ, G-77, IAEA, IBRD, ICAO, ICCt, ICRM, IDA, IDB, IFAD, IFC, IFRCS, ILO, IMF, IMO, Interpol, IOC, IOM, IPU, ISO, ITSO, ITU, ITUC (NGOs), MIGA, MINUSMA, MONUSCO, NAM, OAS (observer), OIC, OIF, OPCW, PCA, UN, UNAMID, UNCTAD, UNESCO, UNHCR, UNIDO, UNMIL, UNMISS, UNOCI, UNWTO, UPU, WADB (regional), WAEMU, WCO, WFTU (NGOs), WHO, WIPO, WMO, WTO
    Diplomatic representation in the US:
    chief of mission: Ambassador Hector POSSET (since 18 January 2017)
    chancery: 2124 Kalorama Road NW, Washington, DC 20008
    telephone: [1] (202) 232-6656
    FAX: [1] (202) 265-1996
    Diplomatic representation from the US:
    chief of mission: Ambassador Lucy TAMLYN (since 8 November 2015)
    embassy: Caporal Bernard Anani, 01 BP 2012, Cotonou
    mailing address: 01 B. P. 2012, Cotonou
    telephone: [229] 21-30-06-50
    FAX: [229] 21-30-03-84
    Flag description:
    two equal horizontal bands of yellow (top) and red (bottom) with a vertical green band on the hoist side; green symbolizes hope and revival, yellow wealth, and red courage

    note: uses the popular Pan-African colors of Ethiopia

    National symbol(s):
    leopard; national colors: green, yellow, red
    National anthem:
    name: "L'Aube Nouvelle" (The Dawn of a New Day)
    lyrics/music: Gilbert Jean DAGNON

    note: adopted 1960

  • Economy :: Benin
  • Economy - overview:

    The free market economy of Benin has grown consecutively for four years, though growth slowed in 2017, as its close trade links to Nigeria expose Benin to risks from volatile commodity prices. Cotton is a key export commodity, with export earnings significantly impacted by the price of cotton in the broader market. The economy began deflating in 2017, with the consumer price index falling 0.8%.

    During the first two years of President TALON’s administration, which began in April 2016, the government has followed an ambitious action plan to kickstart development through investments in infrastructure, education, agriculture, and governance. Electricity generation, which has constrained Benin’s economic growth, has increased and blackouts have been considerably reduced. Private foreign direct investment is small, and foreign aid accounts for a large proportion of investment in infrastructure projects.

    Benin has appealed for international assistance to mitigate piracy against commercial shipping in its territory, and has used equipment from donors effectively against such piracy. Pilferage has significantly dropped at the Port of Cotonou, though the port is still struggling with effective implementation of the International Ship and Port Facility Security (ISPS) Code. Projects included in Benin's $307 million Millennium Challenge Corporation (MCC) first compact (2006-11) were designed to increase investment and private sector activity by improving key institutional and physical infrastructure. The four projects focused on access to land, access to financial services, access to justice, and access to markets (including modernization of the port). The Port of Cotonou is a major contributor to Benin’s economy, with revenues projected to account for more than 40% of Benin’s national budget.

    Benin will need further efforts to upgrade infrastructure, stem corruption, and expand access to foreign markets to achieve its potential. In September 2015, Benin signed a second MCC Compact for $375 million that entered into force in June 2017 and is designed to strengthen the national utility service provider, attract private sector investment, fund infrastructure investments in electricity generation and distribution, and develop off-grid electrification for poor and unserved households. As part of the Government of Benin’s action plan to spur growth, Benin passed public private partnership legislation in 2017 to attract more foreign investment, place more emphasis on tourism, facilitate the development of new food processing systems and agricultural products, encourage new information and communication technology, and establish Independent Power Producers. In April 2017, the IMF approved a three year $150.4 million Extended Credit Facility agreement to maintain debt sustainability and boost donor confidence.

    GDP (purchasing power parity):
    $25.39 billion (2017 est.)
    $24.04 billion (2016 est.)
    $23.12 billion (2015 est.)

    note: data are in 2017 dollars

    country comparison to the world: 141
    GDP (official exchange rate):
    $9.246 billion (2017 est.) (2017 est.)
    GDP - real growth rate:
    5.6% (2017 est.)
    4% (2016 est.)
    2.1% (2015 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 38
    GDP - per capita (PPP):
    $2,300 (2017 est.)
    $2,200 (2016 est.)
    $2,200 (2015 est.)

    note: data are in 2017 dollars

    country comparison to the world: 201
    Gross national saving:
    17.3% of GDP (2017 est.)
    15.2% of GDP (2016 est.)
    16.6% of GDP (2015 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 116
    GDP - composition, by end use:
    household consumption: 70.5% (2017 est.)
    government consumption: 13.1% (2017 est.)
    investment in fixed capital: 27.6% (2017 est.)
    investment in inventories: 0% (2017 est.)
    exports of goods and services: 31.6% (2017 est.)
    imports of goods and services: -43% (2017 est.)
    GDP - composition, by sector of origin:
    agriculture: 26.1% (2017 est.)
    industry: 22.8% (2017 est.)
    services: 51.1% (2017 est.)
    Agriculture - products:
    cotton, corn, cassava (manioc, tapioca), yams, beans, palm oil, peanuts, cashews; livestock
    Industries:
    textiles, food processing, construction materials, cement
    Industrial production growth rate:
    3% (2017 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 101
    Labor force:
    3.662 million (2007 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 98
    Unemployment rate:
    1% (2014 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 7
    Population below poverty line:
    36.2% (2011 est.)
    Household income or consumption by percentage share:
    lowest 10%: 29% (2003)
    highest 10%: 29% (2003)
    Distribution of family income - Gini index:
    36.5 (2003)
    country comparison to the world: 88
    Budget:
    revenues: 1.578 billion (2017 est.)
    expenditures: 2.152 billion (2017 est.)
    Taxes and other revenues:
    17.1% (of GDP) (2017 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 171
    Budget surplus (+) or deficit (-):
    -6.2% (of GDP) (2017 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 186
    Public debt:
    54.6% of GDP (2017 est.)
    49.7% of GDP (2016 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 81
    Fiscal year:
    calendar year
    Inflation rate (consumer prices):
    0.1% (2017 est.)
    -0.8% (2016 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 13
    Central bank discount rate:
    4.25% (31 December 2010)
    4.25% (31 December 2009)
    country comparison to the world: 87
    Commercial bank prime lending rate:
    5.3% (31 December 2017 est.)
    5.3% (31 December 2016 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 140
    Stock of narrow money:
    $2.644 billion (31 December 2017 est.)
    $2.189 billion (31 December 2016 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 125
    Stock of broad money:
    $2.644 billion (31 December 2017 est.)
    $2.189 billion (31 December 2016 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 132
    Stock of domestic credit:
    $1.963 billion (31 December 2017 est.)
    $1.553 billion (31 December 2016 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 151
    Market value of publicly traded shares:

    NA

    Current account balance:
    -$1.024 billion (2017 est.)
    -$808 million (2016 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 144
    Exports:
    $1.974 billion (2017 est.)
    $1.588 billion (2016 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 141
    Exports - commodities:
    cotton, cashews, shea butter, textiles, palm products, seafood
    Exports - partners:
    Bangladesh 18.1%, India 10.7%, Ukraine 9%, Niger 8.1%, China 7.7%, Nigeria 7.2%, Turkey 4% (2017)
    Imports:
    $2.787 billion (2017 est.)
    $2.209 billion (2016 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 150
    Imports - commodities:
    foodstuffs, capital goods, petroleum products
    Reserves of foreign exchange and gold:
    $698.9 million (31 December 2017 est.)
    $57.5 million (31 December 2016 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 141
    Imports - partners:
    Thailand 18.1%, India 15.9%, France 8.5%, China 7.5%, Togo 5.9%, Netherlands 4.3%, Belgium 4.3% (2017)
    Debt - external:
    $2.804 billion (31 December 2017 est.)
    $2.476 billion (31 December 2016 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 145
    Exchange rates:
    Communaute Financiere Africaine francs (XOF) per US dollar -
    605.3 (2017 est.)
    593.01 (2016 est.)
    593.01 (2015 est.)
    591.45 (2014 est.)
    494.42 (2013 est.)
  • Energy :: Benin
  • Electricity access:
    population without electricity: 7.3 million (2013)
    electrification - total population: 29% (2013)
    electrification - urban areas: 57% (2013)
    electrification - rural areas: 9% (2013)
    Electricity - production:
    311.6 million kWh (2015 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 178
    Electricity - consumption:
    1.121 billion kWh (2015 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 150
    Electricity - exports:
    0 kWh (2016 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 105
    Electricity - imports:
    1.078 billion kWh (2015 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 67
    Electricity - installed generating capacity:
    213,000 kW (2015 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 161
    Electricity - from fossil fuels:
    97.2% of total installed capacity (2015 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 40
    Electricity - from nuclear fuels:
    0% of total installed capacity (2015 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 50
    Electricity - from hydroelectric plants:
    0.5% of total installed capacity (2015 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 149
    Electricity - from other renewable sources:
    2.3% of total installed capacity (2015 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 114
    Crude oil - production:
    0 bbl/day (2016 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 107
    Crude oil - exports:
    0 bbl/day (2014 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 91
    Crude oil - imports:
    0 bbl/day (2014 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 96
    Crude oil - proved reserves:
    8 million bbl (1 January 2017 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 95
    Refined petroleum products - production:
    0 bbl/day (2014 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 118
    Refined petroleum products - consumption:
    44,000 bbl/day (2015 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 107
    Refined petroleum products - exports:
    5,152 bbl/day (2014 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 93
    Refined petroleum products - imports:
    47,940 bbl/day (2014 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 82
    Natural gas - production:
    0 cu m (2013 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 108
    Natural gas - consumption:
    0 cu m (2013 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 123
    Natural gas - exports:
    0 cu m (2013 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 68
    Natural gas - imports:
    0 cu m (2013 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 92
    Natural gas - proved reserves:
    1.133 billion cu m (1 January 2017 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 102
    Carbon dioxide emissions from consumption of energy:
    5 million Mt (2013 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 124
  • Communications :: Benin
  • Telephones - fixed lines:
    total subscriptions: 56,787 (2017 est.)
    subscriptions per 100 inhabitants: 1 (2017 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 156
    Telephones - mobile cellular:
    total subscriptions: 8,773,044 (2017 est.)
    subscriptions per 100 inhabitants: 79 (2017 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 91
    Telephone system:
    general assessment: fixed-line network characterized by aging, deteriorating equipment; mobile networks account for almost all internet connections; govt. aims to provide telecoms services to 80% of the country, mostly via mobile infrastructure (2017)
    domestic: fixed-line teledensity only about 1 per 100 persons; spurred by the presence of multiple mobile-cellular providers, cellular telephone subscribership has increased rapidly, exceeding 79 per 100 persons in 2017 (2017)
    international: country code - 229; landing point for the SAT-3/WASC fiber-optic submarine cable that provides connectivity to Europe and Asia; long distance fiber-optic links with Togo, Burkina Faso, Niger, and Nigeria; satellite earth stations - 7 (Intelsat-Atlantic Ocean);Orange commissions new connection from the ACE submarine cable, connecting Benin with Tenerife (2017)
    Broadcast media:
    state-run Office de Radiodiffusion et de Television du Benin (ORTB) operates a TV station providing a wide broadcast reach; several privately owned TV stations broadcast from Cotonou; satellite TV subscription service is available; state-owned radio, under ORTB control, includes a national station supplemented by a number of regional stations; substantial number of privately owned radio broadcast stations; transmissions of a few international broadcasters are available on FM in Cotonou (2016)
    Internet country code:
    .bj
    Internet users:
    total: 1,288,336 (July 2016 est.)
    percent of population: 12% (July 2016 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 127
    Broadband - fixed subscriptions:
    total: 28,833 (2017 est.)
    subscriptions per 100 inhabitants: less than 1 (2017 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 142
  • Transportation :: Benin
  • National air transport system:
    number of registered air carriers: 1 (2015)
    inventory of registered aircraft operated by air carriers: 1 (2015)
    annual passenger traffic on registered air carriers: 112,392 (2015)
    annual freight traffic on registered air carriers: 805,347 mt-km (2015)
    Civil aircraft registration country code prefix:
    TY (2016)
    Airports:
    6 (2013)
    country comparison to the world: 171
    Airports - with paved runways:
    total: 1 (2017)
    1,524 to 2,437 m: 1 (2017)
    Airports - with unpaved runways:
    total: 5 (2013)
    2,438 to 3,047 m: 2 (2013)
    1,524 to 2,437 m: 1 (2013)
    914 to 1,523 m: 2 (2013)
    Pipelines:
    134 km gas
    Railways:
    total: 438 km (2014)
    narrow gauge: 438 km 1.000-m gauge (2014)
    country comparison to the world: 116
    Roadways:
    total: 16,000 km (2006)
    paved: 1,400 km (2006)
    unpaved: 14,600 km (2006)
    country comparison to the world: 122
    Waterways:
    150 km (seasonal navigation on River Niger along northern border) (2011)
    country comparison to the world: 101
    Merchant marine:
    total: 6 (2017)
    by type: other 6 (2017)
    country comparison to the world: 159
    Ports and terminals:
    major seaport(s): Cotonou
    LNG terminal(s) (import): Cotonou
  • Military and Security :: Benin
  • Military expenditures:
    1.14% of GDP (2016)
    1.1% of GDP (2015)
    0.96% of GDP (2014)
    country comparison to the world: 103
    Military branches:
    Benin Armed Forces (Forces Armees Beninoises, FAB): Army (l'Arme de Terre), Benin Navy (Forces Navales Beninois, FNB), Benin Air Force (Force Aerienne du Benin, FAB) (2013)
    Military service age and obligation:
    18-35 years of age for selective compulsory and voluntary military service; a higher education diploma is required; both sexes are eligible for military service; conscript tour of duty - 18 months (2013)
  • Transnational Issues :: Benin
  • Disputes - international:
    talks continue between Benin and Togo on funding the Adjrala hydroelectric dam on the Mona RiverBenin retains a border dispute with Burkina Faso near the town of Koualoulocation of Benin-Niger-Nigeria tripoint is unresolved
    Illicit drugs:
    transshipment point used by traffickers for cocaine destined for Western Europe; vulnerable to money laundering due to poorly enforced financial regulations