The Republic of Benin is a West African nation. Bounded by Togo, Nigeria, Burkina Faso, and Niger, the country covers a total area of 43,484 sq miles. The country is home to an estimated population of 8,791,832 (2009).
The territory of contemporary Benin was governed by the Empire of Dahomey since the 17th century till the 19th century. The territory was named as the Slave Coast throughout the early 17th century because of the incidence of the trans-Atlantic slave traffic. When the slave traffic was prohibited and local control weakened in 1892, France conquered the territory and changed the named to French Dahomey. Dahomey attained complete independence from France on August 1, 1960, constituting an autonomous administration for the following 12 years.
The economy of Benin is weak and relies on subsistence agriculture, local business, and cotton production. Cotton represents 40% of the Gross Domestic Product and approximately 80% of the official revenue from exports. The country is also involved in textile production and production of cocoa beans and palm products. Beans, maize (corn), peanuts, rice, pineapples, cashews, yams, cassava, and other different corms are cultivated for regional survival. Major industries are textiles, processed food, construction materials, and cement. Benin exports cashews, cotton, textiles, shea butter, seafood, palm products, and imports foodstuffs, petroleum products, and capital goods.
Maps of Benin:- Benin covers a total area of 43,484 sq miles. It is the 89th most populated country in the world. Locate Benin and its nearby regions by seeing detailed maps of the country.
Administrative Regions: Benin is divided into 12 departments (French: départements), and these departments are further divided into 77 communes.
Hotels:- Novotel Cotonou Orisha Hotel, Benin Marina Hotel Cotonou, and Au Jardin Helvetia Hotel Cotonou are some of the popular names in the hotel industry of Benin.
Cities: Porto-Novo, Abomey, Cotonou, Grand Popo, Kétou, Parakou, Malanville, Natitingou, and Tanguiéta are the major cities in Benin. Porto-Novo is the national capital.
Travel:- The royal palaces, beach resorts, and the ancient remains of temples make Benin a top choice for travelers.
Business and Economy:- Benin's economy has kept on growing over the last few years, with actual GDP growth projected at 5.1% and 5.7% in 2008 and 2009, respectively. Agriculture is the principal driver of development and cotton is the principal export.
Education:- Though the education system was not free, Benin has now done away with school fees and is implementing the proposals of its 2007 Educational Forum.
Events and Festivals: National Voodoo Day (Ouidah), Zou, and Ouémé are some of the famous festivals in Benin.
History and culture:- The Republic of Benin served as the seat of Dahomey, one of the grand African empires in the Middle Ages, ruled from Abomey, the capital, currently a UNESCO World Heritage Site.