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