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Monday, June 18, 2012

BENIN - The 167th Country Visitor to my Blog.


The 167th country to visit my Blog comes from BENIN. Thank you for visiting my Blog....
Let's learn something about this African country.

GEOGRAPHY
This West African nation on the Gulf of Guinea, between Togo on the west and Nigeria on the east, is about the size of Tennessee. It is bounded by Burkina Faso and Niger on the north. The land consists of a narrow coastal strip that rises to a swampy, forested plateau and then to highlands in the north. A hot and humid climate blankets the entire country.

HISTORY
The Abomey kingdom of the Dahomey, or Fon, peoples was established in 1625. A rich cultural life flourished, and Dahomey's wooden masks, bronze statues, tapestries, and pottery are world renowned. One of the smallest and most densely populated regions in Africa, Dahomey was annexed by the French in 1893 and incorporated into French West Africa in 1904. It became an autonomous republic within the French Community in 1958, and on Aug. 1, 1960, Dahomey was granted its independence within the Community.
Gen. Christophe Soglo deposed the first president, Hubert Maga, in an army coup in 1963. He dismissed the civilian government in 1965, proclaiming himself chief of state. A group of young army officers seized power in Dec. 1967, deposing Soglo. In Dec. 1969, Benin had its fifth coup of the decade, with the army again taking power. In May 1970, a three-man presidential commission with a six-year term was created to take over the government. In May 1972, yet another army coup ousted the triumvirate and installed Lt. Col. Mathieu Kérékou as president. Between 1974 and 1989 Dahomey embraced socialism, and changed its name to the People's Republic of Benin. The name Benin commemorates an African kingdom that flourished from the 15th to the 17th century in what is now southwest Nigeria. In 1990, Benin abandoned Marxist ideology, began moving toward multiparty democracy, and changed its name again, to the Republic of Benin.

FACTS and FIGURES
Republic of Benin
President: Yayi Boni (2006)
Prime Minister: Pascal Koupaki (2011)
Land area: 42,710 sq mi (110,619 sq km); total area: 43,483 sq mi (112,620 sq km)
Population (July 2011 est.): 9,325,032 (growth rate: 2.9%); birth rate: 38.1/1000; infant mortality rate: 61.56/1000; life expectancy: 59.84
Capital: Porto-Novo (official), 276,000;
Largest city and seat of government: Cotonou 815,000
Monetary unit: CFA Franc
National name: Republique du Benin
Languages: French (official), Fon, Yoruba, tribal languages
Ethnicity/Race: African 99% (42 ethnic groups, most important being Fon, Adja, Yoruba, Bariba), Europeans 5,500
Religions: Christian 42.8%, Muslim 24.4%, Vodoun 17.3%, other 15.5% (2002)
National Holiday: National Day, August 1
Literacy rate: 34.7% (2006)
Economic summary: GDP/PPP (2010 est.): $13.99 billion; per capita $1,500. Real growth rate: 2.5%. Inflation: 2.3%. Unemployment: n.a.  
Arable land: 25.53%.  
Agriculture: cotton, corn, cassava (tapioca), yams, beans, palm oil, peanuts; livestock.  
Industries: textiles, food processing, construction materials, cement.  
Natural resources: small offshore oil deposits, limestone, marble, timber.  
Exports: $1.254 billion f.o.b. (2010 est.): cotton, cashews, shea butter, textiles, palm products, seafood. Imports: $1.781billion (2010 est.): foodstuffs, capital goods, petroleum products.  
Major trading partners: India, China, U.S., France, Thailand, Niger, Namibia, Nigeria, Malaysia, Netherlands (2009).
Communications: Telephones: main lines in use: 127,100 (2009); mobile cellular: 5.033 million (2009). Broadcast media; state-run Office de Radiodiffusion et de Television du Benin (ORTB) operates a TV station with multiple channels giving it 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 (2007). 
Internet hosts: 1,286 (2010).  
Internet users: 200,100 (2010).
Transportation: Railways: total: 438 km (2010).  
Highways: total: 16,000 km; paved: 1,400 km; unpaved: 14,600 km (2010.).  
Waterways: 150 km (on River Niger along northern border) (2004).  
Ports and harbors: Cotonou.  
Airports: 5 (2010 est.).

Photos:
Cotonou city, Benin.
 Open market in Benin
 port, Benin
 Benin
 daily life in Benin
 cultural dance
 modern Benin girls..
 Have a nice day.....

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