Benin 2004

Benin People

Benin is a West African state, bordering to the West with Togo, to the East with Nigeria, to the North with Burkina Faso and Niger, it faces the Gulf of Benin (Gulf of Guinea) to the S. Until 1975 it was called Dahomey.

Yearbook 2004

Benin. According to CountryAAH, the total population in Benin is 12,123,211 people in 2020. Several corruption revelations shook the country. In June, 27 judges and ten other court employees were sentenced to up to five years in prison for embezzlement of license fees equivalent to over SEK 100 million. While the trial was ongoing, the government announced that investigations had shown that higher officials had stolen the equivalent of about SEK 1 billion. from the Treasury in 1996–99. More than 200 cases were disclosed and more than 100 trials were initiated. Among the defendants were many police officers and employees at the customs office.

During the year Benin’s economy deteriorated drastically. The state’s tax revenue fell sharply and the price of staple maize doubled in a short time. The government blamed the problems on neighboring Nigeria’s restrictions on trade with Benin and on the fact that cotton exports were hampered by government subsidies to US and European cotton growers. Cotton accounts for about half of Benin’s export earnings. But there were also strong suspicions that employees of President Mathieu (Ahmed) Kérékou took the opportunity to bring large sums out of the country before his departure in 2006. According to abbreviationfinder, BN stands for Benin in text.

In October, the leading trade unions carried out a three-day strike for higher salaries for government employees, increased pensions and lower university fees.

Benin People


The population, from an ethnic and linguistic point of view, is quite heterogeneous: the largest group is that of the Fon (39%), which occupies the southern regions; to the East there is a large nucleus of Yoruba (12%), while to the North the Bariba (8%), Sudanese but with archaic characters, prevail. The territorial distribution is irregular, with a growing population density in the coastal strip (over 200 residents / km 2) which is contrasted by the northern regions, in which (near the border with Niger and Burkina Faso) the density is reduced to 20 -40 residents / km 2. The relief of overpopulation is emigration to Ghana and neighboring countries, not to Nigeria which has kept its borders closed. The largest demographic and economic center of the country is Cotonou (which exceeds 600,000 residents), followed by the capital Porto Novo (with more than 200,000 residents). Other cities with more than 100,000 residents they are Djougou and Parakou; the rest are small or large rural centers and a considerable number of traditional villages.

Numerous tribal languages ​​are commonly spoken alongside the official language.Animistic cults prevail, with Catholic and Muslim minorities.

Economic conditions

remains a poor and highly backward country: unemployment and underemployment are very accentuated phenomena, about one third of children under 5 suffer from malnutrition. Agriculture is the main activity (50% of the total active population), with a contribution of about 36.9% to the country’s GDP (2004). The main crops are made up of maize and cassava and make the Benin self-sufficient from a food point of view. Breeding is practiced, which has only meager natural pastures, with a modest productivity compared to the number of heads: almost 2 million cattle, 2 million sheep and goats, 322,000 pigs (2005); fishing is practiced, especially in the lagoons and inland waters. Industrial activities are modest and their development is conditioned by the lack of energy sources (Benin imports significant quantities of electricity from Ghana). The processing of agricultural products prevails to supply local markets. The oil reserves ran out in 1998, the fields remain offshore of Sémé.