|République du Bénin|
Republic of Benin
|Motto: "Fraternité, Justice, Travail" (French)|
"Fellowship, Justice, Labour"
|Anthem: L'Aube Nouvelle (French)|
The Dawn of a New Day
|-||Date||August 1, 1960|
|-||Total||112,622 km² (101st)|
43,483 sq mi
|-||Water (%)||1. The national flag of Benin was originally adopted in 1959. It was changed upon the accession of the Marxist regime in 1975, but upon The Coat of Arms of Benin, originally introduced in 1964, was readopted in 1990 after being replaced in 1975. A motto (from the Italian word motto, meaning witticism sentence is a phrase meant to formally describe the general motivation or intention of a social group French ( français,) is a Romance language spoken around the world by 118 million people as a native language and by about 180 to 260 million people A national anthem is a generally patriotic musical composition that evokes and eulogizes the history traditions and struggles of its people recognized either by a nation's L'Aube Nouvelle (The Dawn of a New Day is the National anthem of Benin. The majority of Benin ’s 659 million people live in the south Cotonou is the economic capital of Benin, as well as its largest city An official language is a Language that is given a special legal status in a particular Country, State, or other territory French ( français,) is a Romance language spoken around the world by 118 million people as a native language and by about 180 to 260 million people A demonym or gentilic is a word that denotes the members of a People or the inhabitants of a place For the government of parliamentary systems see Executive (government. Latest election This page contains a list of presidents of Benin. Dr Thomas Yayi Boni (born 1952 a Beninois banker and politician is the current President of Benin. Independence is the Self-government of a Nation, Country, or State by its residents and population or some portion thereof generally exercising This article is about the country For a topic outline on this subject see List of basic France topics. Events 30 BC - Octavian (later known as Augustus enters Alexandria, Egypt, bringing it under the control of the Roman Year 1960 ( MCMLX) was a Leap year starting on Friday (link will display full calendar of the Gregorian calendar. Area is a Quantity expressing the two- Dimensional size of a defined part of a Surface, typically a region bounded by a closed Curve. To help compare Orders of magnitude of different geographical regions we list here Surface areas between 100000 km² and 1000000 km² This is a list of the countries of the world sorted by total area. The square mile is an imperial and US unit of Area equal the area of a square of one statute mile. Water is a common Chemical substance that is essential for the survival of all known forms of Life. In Mathematics, a percentage is a way of expressing a number as a Fraction of 100 ( per cent meaning "per hundred" 8|
|-||July 2005 estimate||8,439,0002 (89th)|
|GDP (PPP)||2005 estimate|
|-||Total||$8. In Biology a population is the collection of inter-breeding organisms of a particular Species; in Sociology List of countries by population in 2005|List of countries by population in 1907This is a list of countries ordered according to Population. Population density (in agriculture standing stock and Standing crop) is a measurement of Population per unit area or unit volume List of countries and dependencies by Population density in inhabitants/km² The purchasing power parity ( PPP) theory uses the long-term equilibrium Exchange rate of two currencies to equalize their Purchasing power. 75 billion (140th)|
|-||Per capita||$1,176 (166th)|
|Gini (2003)||36. There are three lists of Countries of the world sorted by their Gross domestic product (GDP (the value of all final goods and services produced within a nation Per capita is a Latin phrase meaning for each head with Per meaning 'through' or 'by' This article includes three lists of Countries of the world sorted by their Gross domestic product (GDP at Purchasing power parity (PPP Per capita The Gini coefficient is a measure of statistical dispersion most prominently used as a measure of inequality of income distribution or inequality of wealth 5 (medium)|
|HDI (2007)||▲ 0. The Human Development Index ( HDI) is an index combining normalized measures of Life expectancy, Literacy, Educational attainment, and GDP 437 (low) (163rd)|
|Currency||West African CFA franc (|
|Time zone||WAT (UTC+1)|
|-||Summer (DST)||not observed (UTC+1)|
|1||Cotonou is the seat of government. This is a list of countries by Human Development Index as included in the United Nations Development Program 's Human Development Report 2007 A currency is a unit of exchange, facilitating the transfer of Goods and/or services It is one form of Money, where money is The West African CFA franc ( French: franc CFA or simply franc, ISO 4217 code XOF) is the currency of eight independent states spanning ISO 4217 is the International standard describing three-letter codes (also known as the currency code) to define the names of currencies established West Africa Time, or WAT, is a time zone used in western and west-central Africa (though not in countries west of Benin, which instead use GMT Daylight saving time ( DST A country This is a list of country calling codes defined by ITU-T recommendation E|
|2||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 and death rates, lower population and growth rates, and changes in the distribution of population by age and sex than would otherwise be expected.|
|3||Rank based on 2005 estimate.|
Benin (IPA: /bə'nɪn/), officially the Republic of Benin, is a country in Western Africa. West Africa or Western Africa is the Westernmost Region of the African Continent. It borders Togo to the west, Nigeria to the east and Burkina Faso and Niger to the north; its short coastline to the south leads to the Bight of Benin. TOGO was a Japanese roller coaster design company famous for inventing the Stand-up roller coaster. Nigeria, officially named the Federal Republic of Nigeria, is a federal Constitutional republic comprising thirty-six states and one Federal Burkina Faso (bɚˌkiːnəˈfɑːsoʊ burr-KEE-na FAH-soh) also known by its short-form name Burkina, is a Landlocked nation in West Africa Niger ( or /ˈnaɪdʒɚ/) officially the Republic of Niger, is a Landlocked country in Western Africa, named after the Niger River. The Bight of Benin is a bight (a type of bay on the western African coast that extends eastward for about 400 miles (640 km from Cape St Its capital is Porto Novo, but the seat of government is Cotonou. The seat of government is the location of the government for a political entity. Cotonou is the economic capital of Benin, as well as its largest city Benin was known as Dahomey until 1975. Geographical renaming is the act of changing the name of a geographical feature or area Year 1975 ( MCMLXXV) was a Common year starting on Wednesday (link will display full calendar of the Gregorian calendar.
The name "Benin" has no proper connection to Kingdom of Benin (or Benin City). The Benin Empire or Edo Empire (1440-1897 was a large pre-colonial African state of modern Nigeria. Benin City, a city (2006 est pop 1147188 in Edo State, southern Nigeria, is a city approximately twenty-five miles North of the Benin River. The name Dahomey was changed in 1975 to The People's Republic of Benin, named after the body of water on which the country lies, the Bight of Benin. The Bight of Benin is a bight (a type of bay on the western African coast that extends eastward for about 400 miles (640 km from Cape St This name was picked due to its neutrality, since the current political boundaries of Benin encompass over fifty distinct linguistic groups and nearly as many individual ethnic groups. The name Dahomey was the name of the ancient Fon Kingdom, and was determined to be an inappropriate name. FON (FON Wireless Ltd is a company that runs a system of shared Wireless networks The business was launched in November 2005
The African kingdom of Dahomey was formed out of a mixture of various local ethnic groups on the Abomey plain. Note This article is about the modern nation of Benin, which encompasses the former French colony of Dahomey, located west of Nigeria. Abomey is a town in Benin, formerly the capital of the ancient kingdom of Dahomey. Historians theorized that the insecurity caused by the slave trade may have contributed to mass migrations of different groups to Abomey, including a segment of the royal family of the city of Allada. The history of slavery uncovers many different forms of human exploitation across many cultures throughout history Allada is a town located in the Atlantique Department of Benin. These groups coalesced around a strict military culture aimed at securing and eventually expanding the borders of the small kingdom.
Dahomey was known for its distinct culture and traditions. Boys were often apprenticed to older soldiers at a young age, and learned about the kingdom's military customs until they were old enough to join the navy. Dahomey was also famous for instituting an elite female soldier corps, called Ahosi or "our mothers" in the Fongbe language, and known in English as the Dahomean Amazons. The Amazons (in Greek, grc Ἀμαζόνες are a nation of all-female warriors in Classical and Greek mythology, who were possibly historical This emphasis on military preparation and achievement earned Dahomey the nickname of "black Sparta" from European observers and 19th century explorers like Sir Richard Burton. The city of Sparta ( Doric Σπάρτα Attic Σπάρτη Captain Sir Richard Francis Burton KCMG FRGS (19 March 1821 &ndash 20 October 1890 was an English Explorer, Translator, writer Human sacrifice was a common practice, according to contemporary sources; on holidays and special occasions, thousands of slaves and prisoners of war were beheaded in public. Human sacrifice is the act of Homicide (the Killing of one or several Human beings in the context of a Religious ritual ( ritual killing Some Dahomean religious beliefs maintained that decapitation enhanced the prestige and potency of the Dahomean king and his warriors.
Though the founders of Dahomey appeared initially to resist the slave trade, it flourished in the region of Dahomey for almost three hundred years, leading to the area being named "the Slave Coast". Court protocols, which demanded that a portion of war captives from the kingdom's many battles be decapitated, decreased the number of enslaved people exported from the area. The number went from 20,000 per year at the beginning of the seventeenth century to 12,000 at the beginning of the 1800s. The decline was partly due to the banning of the trans-Atlantic trade by Britain and other countries. This decline continued until 1885, when the last Portuguese slave ship departed from the coast of present-day Benin bound for Brazil.
Along with the powerful Dahomey Kingdom, other peoples inhabited the area that would become the Republic of Benin. Of note were the Ketu, Icha, Dassa, Anago, and other sub-groups of the Yoruba-speaking people. Ketu is a historical location in present day Republic of Benin. Yoruba (native name èdè Yorùbá, 'the Yoruba language' is a Dialect continuum of West Africa with over 25 million speakers These groups were in close contact with related sub-groups in present-day Nigeria, and were often enemies of the Dahomeans. However, some were also citizens of Dahomey. In regions such as present-day Porto Novo, both groups inter-married. North of these people were the Borgu, Mahi, and several other ethnic groups that are included in the country's current population. Borgu was a country in Africa, partitioned between the Great Britain and France by the Anglo-French Convention of 1898. The Mahi are a people of Benin. They live north of Abomey, from the Togo border on the west to the Zou River on the east and south to Cové between the Zou and Ouemé
By the middle of the nineteenth century, Dahomey started to lose its status as the regional power. The 19th century of the Common Era began on January 1, 1801 and ended on December 31, 1900, according to the Gregorian calendar This enabled the French to take over the area in 1892. This article is about the country For a topic outline on this subject see List of basic France topics. In 1899, the French included land called Dahomey within the French West Africa colony. Dahomey was a French colony of and a part of French West Africa from 1904 to 1958 French West Africa ( Afrique occidentale française, AOF) was a Federation of eight French colonial territories in Africa:
In 1958, France granted autonomy to the Republic of Dahomey, and full independence as of August 1, 1960. The Republic of Dahomey (République du Dahomey was established on December 11, 1958, as a Self-governing colony within the French Community Events 30 BC - Octavian (later known as Augustus enters Alexandria, Egypt, bringing it under the control of the Roman Year 1960 ( MCMLX) was a Leap year starting on Friday (link will display full calendar of the Gregorian calendar.
For the next 12 years, ethnic strife contributed to a period of turbulence. There were several coups and regime changes, with three main figures dominating - Sourou Apithy, Hubert Maga, and Justin Ahomadegbé - each of them representing a different area and ethnicity of the country. Sourou Migan Apithy ( April 8 1913 - December 3 1989) was a Beninese Political figure. Hubert Maga ( August 10, 1916 – May 8, 2000) became the first president of Dahomey, now Benin, when the country gained independence Justin Ahomadegbé-Tomêtin ( 16 January 1917 in Abomey &ndash 8 March 2002 in Cotonou) was a Beninese Political These three agreed to form a presidential council after violence marred the 1970 elections.
In 1972, a military coup led by Mathieu Kérékou overthrew the council. Mathieu Kérékou, also known as Ahmed Kérékou, (born 2 September 1933) was President of Benin from 1972 to 1991 and again Kérékou established a Marxist government under the control of Military Council of the Revolution (CNR). Marxism is the political philosophy and practice derived from the work of Karl Marx and Friedrich Engels. In 1975 he renamed the country the People's Republic of Benin. The People's Republic of Benin (République populaire du Bénin was the official name of the African country of Benin as a Socialist state from In 1979, the CNR was dissolved and elections took place. By the late 1980s, Kérékou abandoned Marxism after an economic crisis and decided to re-establish a parliamentary capitalist system. Capitalism is the Economic system in which the Means of production are owned by private Persons and operated for Profit and where
In 1991 he was defeated Nicéphore Soglo and became the first black African president to step down after an election. Nicéphore Dieudonné Soglo (born 29 November 1934) is a Beninese Politician who was Prime Minister of Benin from 1990 to 1991 and Kérékou returned to power after winning the 1996 vote. In 2001, a closely fought election resulted in Kérékou's winning another term. His opponents claimed election irregularities.
President Kérékou and former President Soglo did not run in the 2006 elections, as both were barred by the constitution's restricting age and total terms of candidates. President Kérékou is widely praised for making no effort to change the constitution so that he could remain in office or run again, unlike some African leaders.
On March 5, 2006, an election was held that was considered free and fair. Events 363 - Roman Emperor Julian moves from Antioch with an army of 90000 to attack the Sassanid Empire, in a Year 2006 ( MMVI) was a Common year starting on Sunday of the Gregorian calendar. It resulted in a runoff between Yayi Boni and Adrien Houngbédji. RUNOFF was the first Computer Text formatting program to see significant use Dr Thomas Yayi Boni (born 1952 a Beninois banker and politician is the current President of Benin. Adrien Houngbédji (born March 5, 1942) is a Beninese Politician. The runoff election was held on March 19 and was won by Yayi Boni, who assumed office on April 6. Events 1279 - A Mongolian victory in the Battle of Yamen ends the Song Dynasty in China. Events 46 BC - Julius Caesar defeats Caecilius Metellus Scipio and Marcus Porcius Cato in the Battle of Thapsus The success of the fair multi-party elections in Benin won high praise internationally. Benin is widely considered a model democracy in Africa.
United States President George W. Bush and First Lady Laura Bush briefly visited Benin on February 16 2008, marking the first visit of a major head of state to this tiny country. President Yayi Boni presented President Bush with the Grand Cross of the National Order of Benin and thanked him for US economic aid.
Benin's politics takes place in a framework of a presidential representative democratic republic, whereby the President of Benin, who is currently Yayi Boni, is both head of state and head of government, and of a multi-party system. Politics of Benin takes place in a framework of a presidential representative democratic Republic, whereby the President of Benin is both A presidential system is a System of government where an executive branch exists and presides (hence the term separately from the Legislature Representative democracy is a form of government founded on the principles of the people's representatives A republic is a State or Country that is not led by a hereditary Monarch, but in which the people (or at least a part of its people have impact on its Latest election This page contains a list of presidents of Benin. Dr Thomas Yayi Boni (born 1952 a Beninois banker and politician is the current President of Benin. Head of state is the generic term for the individual or collective office that serves as the chief public representative of a Monarchic or Republican Nation-state This article focuses on the cases where the Head of Government is a separate office from the Head of State A multi-party system is a system in which three or more political parties have the capacity to gain control of government separately or in coalition Executive power is exercised by the government. In Political science and Constitutional law, the executive is the branch of government responsible for the day-to-day management of the State. Legislative power is vested in both the government and the legislature. A legislature is a type of representative Deliberative assembly with the power to create amend and change Laws The law created by a legislature is called Legislation For the government of parliamentary systems see Executive (government. The Judiciary is independent of the executive and the legislature. In Law, the judiciary or judicial system is the system of Courts which administer Justice in the name of the sovereign or State The current political system is derived from the 1990 Constitution of Benin and the subsequent transition to democracy in 1991. The Constitution of Benin was adopted by referendum on 2 December 1990.
On February 16th 2008, United States President George W. Bush made a brief stop in Benin during which he held a meeting with president Thomas Boni Yayi as well as a press conference at Cadjehoun Airport in Cotounou. George Walker Bush ( born July 6 1946 is the forty-third and current President of the United States. Dr Thomas Yayi Boni (born 1952 a Beninois banker and politician is the current President of Benin. The president later proceeded to Tanzania to continue with his five-nation African tour.
In its 2007 Worldwide Press Freedom Index, Reporters Without Borders ranked Benin 53rd out of 169 countries.
Benin is divided into 12 departments (French: départements), and subdivided into 77 communes. |||} Benin is divided into 12 departments (French départements) and subdivided into 77 communes In 1999, the previous six departments were The departments of Benin are subdivided into 77 communes, which in turn are divided into arrondissements and finally into villages or city districts In the Terminology of Political geography and Historiography a National department (département departamento is an administrative A township (or Municipality) is a settlement which has the status and powers of a unit of local government In 1999, the previous six departments were each split into two halves, forming the current 12. The new six departments have not been assigned a capital yet.
Stretched between the Niger River in the northeast and the Bight of Benin in the south, Benin's elevation is about the same for the entire country. Alibori is the largest and northernmost départements of Benin, with an area of 25683 km² and a population of 355950 (2003 Atakora is the northwestern department of Benin, bordering Togo to the west and Burkina Faso to the north Atlantique is one of the twelve departments of Benin. Atlantique is divided into the communes of Abomey-Calavi, Allada, Kpomassè Borgou is one of the twelve departments of Benin. Borgou borders the country of Nigeria and the departments of Alibori, Atakora, Collines Collines is one of the twelve Departments of Benin. Collines was created in 1999 after the Benin government split up the former six departments of Atakora, Atlantique Donga is one of the twelve departments of Benin. Donga was created in 1999 when the government split up the original six departments into twelve Kouffo is one of the twelve departments of Benin. The area of Kouffo is 2404 km Littoral is one of the twelve departments of Benin, and is divided into 13 Arrondissements It contains just one commune/city Cotonou, the largest Mono is one of the twelve departments of Benin. The capital of this department is Lokossa. Oueme is one of the twelve departments of Benin. In 1999 the northern part of the department was split off to form the new Plateau Department. Plateau is one of the twelve departments of Benin. Plateau is divided into the communes of Ifangni, Adja-Ouèrè, Kétou, Zou is one of the twelve departments of Benin. Zou is divided into the communes of Abomey, Abgangnizoun, Bohicon, Cové Benin, a narrow north-south strip of land in West Africa, lies between the Equator and the Tropic of Cancer. The Niger River (ˈnaɪdʒɚ NYE-jer) is the principal River of western Africa, extending about 4180 km (2600 miles The Bight of Benin is a bight (a type of bay on the western African coast that extends eastward for about 400 miles (640 km from Cape St Most of the population lives in the southern coastal plains, where Benin's largest cities are also located, including Porto Novo and Cotonou. Cotonou is the economic capital of Benin, as well as its largest city The north of the country consists mostly of savanna and semi-arid highlands. A savanna or savannah is a Tropical or Subtropical Grassland or Woodland Ecosystem.
Running southernly, down the middle of the country is the Oueme River. The Ouémé River (Mewe is a river in Benin.
The climate in Benin is hot and humid with relatively little rain compared to other West African countries, although there are two rainy seasons (April-July and September-November). In the winter the dust winds of the harmattan can make the nights rather cold. The Harmattan is a dry and dusty West African Trade wind. It blows south from Sahara into the Gulf of Guinea between the end of November and the
The largest city and commercial capital is Cotonou. Cotonou is the economic capital of Benin, as well as its largest city The name Cotonou is from the Fon phrase ku tɔ nu 'at the lake of the dead', from the adjacent lagoon. Fon (native name Fɔn gbè fɔ̃̄ɡ͡bè is part of the Gbe language cluster and belongs to the Volta-Niger branch of the Niger-Congo languages This is a reference to the belief that falling stars represent the souls of those who have just died falling to the underworld. It is said that when Cotonou was founded, the lights of the lacustrine village of Ganvié across the lagoon were reflected in the waters, suggesting fallen stars at the bottom. Ganvie is a Lake village in Benin, lying in Lake Nokoué, near Cotonou. Ganvié is a fishing village sitting in the water on stilts at the western shore of the lagoon.
The town of Ouidah is the spiritual capital of Vodun, and is known locally as Glexwe. Ouidah (also Whydah in English is a city on the Atlantic coast of Benin. Dahomey mythology|Yoruba mythology Vodun or Vudun (vodṹ — that is with a nasal u on a high tone) (so It was a major slaving port under Portuguese occupation. Portugal, officially the Portuguese Republic (República Portuguesa is a country on the Iberian Peninsula. The town of Abomey is the old capital of the Fon kingdom of Dahomey, and the Fon king continues to reside there. Abomey is a town in Benin, formerly the capital of the ancient kingdom of Dahomey.
In Atakora province, Betamaribe settlements straddling the Togolese border are called tata somba 'Somba houses'; they are famous for their fortifications, with livestock housed inside and the people sleeping in huts among the granaries on the roofs.
The economy of Benin remains underdeveloped and dependent on subsistence agriculture, cotton production, and regional trade. Cotton is a soft staple Fibre that grows around the seeds of the cotton plant ( Gossypium sp Growth in real output has averaged a stable 5% in the past six years, but rapid population rise has offset much of this increase. Inflation has subsided over the past several years. In economics inflation or price inflation is a rise in the general level of prices of goods and services over a period of time In order to raise growth still further, Benin has plans to attract more foreign investment, place more emphasis on tourism, facilitate the development of new food processing systems and agricultural products, and encourage new information and communication technology. Tourism is Travel for Recreational or Leisure purposes The World Tourism Organization defines tourists as people who "travel Information and Communications Technology - or technologies ( ICT) is an umbrella term that includes all technologies for the manipulation and communication of Information The 2001 privatization policy should continue in telecommunications, water, electricity, and agriculture in spite of initial government reluctance. The Paris Club and bilateral creditors have eased the external debt situation, while pressing for accelerated structural reforms. The Paris Club is an informal group of financial officials from 19 of the world's richest countries which provides financial services such as debt restructuring debt relief and debt
Although trade unions in Benin represent up to 75% of the formal workforce, the large informal economy has been noted by the International Trade Union Confederation (ITCU) to contain ongoing problems, including a lack of women's wage equality, the use of child labour, and the continuing issue of forced labour. Trade unions in Benin operate in relative freedom with approximately 75% of the formal sector being unionized. Inaugural Congress The founding and first congress of the ITUC was held November 1 - 3 2006 in Vienna Child labor is the employment of Children at regular and sustained labour Unfree labour is a generic or collective term for those work relations especially in modern or early modern history in which people are employed against their will 
There are several dozen ethnolinguistic groups in Benin, representing three of Africa's language families: Niger-Congo, Nilo-Saharan, and Afroasiatic. The majority of Benin ’s 659 million people live in the south The Niger-Congo languages constitute one of the world's major language families, and Africa 's largest in terms of geographical area number of speakers and number The Nilo-Saharan languages are a hypothetical group of African languages spoken mainly in the upper parts of the Chari and Nile rivers (hence the term The Afro-Asiatic languages constitute a Language family with about 375 languages ( SIL estimate and more than 300 million speakers spread throughout North Africa The latter is represented by Hausa living mostly as merchants in the north, while Nilo-Saharan is represented by the Dɛndi, descending from the Songhai Empire. The Hausa are a Sahelian people chiefly located in the West African regions of northern Nigeria and southeastern Niger. The Songhai Empire, also known as the Songhay Empire was a pre-colonial African state of west Africa. The Dɛndi language predominates along the Niger River in the far north, and is used as a lingua franca in Muslim areas throughout the north, in Alibori, Borgou, and Donga provinces. The Songhay or Songhai languages, (soŋaj or in the dialects of Gao and Timbuktu are a group of closely related Languages Dialects centered on the The Niger River (ˈnaɪdʒɚ NYE-jer) is the principal River of western Africa, extending about 4180 km (2600 miles A lingua franca (from Italian, literally meaning Frankish language, see etymology under Sabir and Italian below is any Language widely Of the Niger-Congo family, five branches are represented:
The largest ethnic group are the Fon, with 1. 7 million speakers of the Fon language (2001), followed by the various Yoruba groups (1. 2 million), the Aja (600,000), the Bariba (460,000), the Ayizo (330,000), the Fulbe (310,000), and the Gun (240,000). Near the ports in the south can be found people who are descended from returned Brazilian slaves. |utc_offset = -2 to -4 |time_zone_DST = BRST |utc_offset_DST = -2 to -5 |cctld There are also small numbers of Europeans, principally French, and people from the western Asia, mainly Lebanese, and East Asia, chiefly Indians. Legal residents and citizens To be French according to the first article of the Constitution is to be a citizen of France regardless of one's origin race or religion ( Lebanon (ˈlɛbənɒn Arabic: ar لبنان Lubnān) officially the Republic of Lebanon or Lebanese Republic (ar الجمهورية اللبنانية India, officially the Republic of India (भारत गणराज्य inc-Latn Bhārat Gaṇarājya; see also other Indian languages) is a country
According to the 2002 census, 27. 1 percent of the population of Benin is Roman Catholic, 24. 4 percent Muslim, 17. 3 percent Vodun, 5 percent Celestial Christian, 3. 2 percent Methodist, 7. 5 percent other Christian, 6 percent other traditional local religious groups, 1. 9 percent other religious groups, and 6. 5 percent claim no religious affiliation. 
Indigenous religions include local animistic religions in the Atakora (Atakora and Donga provinces) and Vodun among the Yoruba and Tado peoples in the center and south of the country. Animism (from Latin anima ( Soul, Life) commonly refers to a religious belief that Souls or Spirits exist in Animals Atakora is the northwestern department of Benin, bordering Togo to the west and Burkina Faso to the north Dahomey mythology|Yoruba mythology Vodun or Vudun (vodṹ — that is with a nasal u on a high tone) (so The town of Ouidah on the central coast is the spiritual center of Beninese Vodun. Ouidah (also Whydah in English is a city on the Atlantic coast of Benin.
The Yoruba and Tado pantheons correspond closely:
The major introduced religions are Islam, introduced by the Songhai Empire and Hausa merchants, and now followed throughout Alibori, Borgou, and Donga provinces, as well as among the Yoruba, by 10-15% of the population; and Christianity, followed nominally by another 10-15% throughout the south and center of Benin and in Otammari country in the Atakora. God is the principal or sole Deity in Religions and other belief systems that worship one deity. In Dahomey mythology, Mawu (alternately Mahu) is a creator goddess, associated with the Sun and Moon. Ọlọrun also referred to as Olodumare as well as Eledumare, and Eleda among other names is a word for God (the Supreme Being) In Dahomey mythology, Shakpana (or Sopono Sakpata) is the god of smallpox Xevioso is also a spider genus ( Phyxelididae) found in southern Africa For the Togolese prefecture see Ogou Togo. In Haitian Vodou and Yoruba mythology, Ogun (or Ogoun For other meanings including people named 'Islam' see Islam (disambiguation. The Songhai Empire, also known as the Songhay Empire was a pre-colonial African state of west Africa. Alibori is the largest and northernmost départements of Benin, with an area of 25683 km² and a population of 355950 (2003 Borgou is one of the twelve departments of Benin. Borgou borders the country of Nigeria and the departments of Alibori, Atakora, Collines Christianity ( Greek Χριστιανισμός from the word Xριστός ( Christ)is a monotheistic Religion centered on the life and teachings Atakora is the northwestern department of Benin, bordering Togo to the west and Burkina Faso to the north Most Christians, however, continue to hold Vodun beliefs and have incorporated into Christianity the pantheon of Vodun.
Advance fee fraud (also known as "419" and the "Nigerian scam") is a form of organized crime common in many West African countries, including Benin. An advance-fee fraud is a Confidence trick in which the target is persuaded to advance sums of money in the hope of realizing a very much larger gain An advance-fee fraud is a Confidence trick in which the target is persuaded to advance sums of money in the hope of realizing a very much larger gain Nigeria, officially named the Federal Republic of Nigeria, is a federal Constitutional republic comprising thirty-six states and one Federal  The scammer persuades the target to advance relatively small sums of money (the advance fee) in the hope of realizing a much larger gain (usually touted as millions).  Nigerians often mastermind schemes operated from Benin with Beninese cooperating with the scammers in the schemes. Nigeria, officially named the Federal Republic of Nigeria, is a federal Constitutional republic comprising thirty-six states and one Federal 
It is believed that Vodun (or "Voodoo", as it is commonly known) originated in Benin and was introduced to the Caribbean Islands and parts of North America by slaves taken from this particular area of the Slave Coast. Christine Adjahi Gnimagnon, also connected with Senegal Berte-Evelyne Agbo, also connected with Senegal Colette Benin has played an important role in the African music scene producing one of the biggest stars to come out of the continent in Angélique Kidjo. Beninese literature had a strong oral tradition long before French became the dominant language Dahomey mythology|Yoruba mythology Vodun or Vudun (vodṹ — that is with a nasal u on a high tone) (so The Caribbean (ˌkærəˡbiən kæ'rəbiən Cariben|Caraïben or Caraïben; Caraïbe or more commonly Antilles; Caribe is a Region consisting As a social-economic system slavery is a legal institution under which a Person (called "a slave" is compelled to work for another The Slave Coast is the name of the coastal areas of present Togo, Benin (formerly Dahomey) and western Nigeria, a fertile region of coastal The indigenous religion of Benin is practiced by about 60% of the population. Since 1992 Vodun has been recognized as one of Benin's official religions, and a National Vodun Holiday is celebrated on January 10.
Many Beninois in the south of the country have Akan-based names indicating the day of the week they were born on. Twins are important in south Beninois culture, and special names for twins are also used.
Local languages are used as the languages of instruction in elementary schools, with French only introduced after several years. Beninois languages are generally transcribed with a separate letter for each speech sound (phoneme), rather than using diacritics as in French or digraphs as in English. The phoneME project is Sun Microsystems reference implementation of Java virtual machine and associated libraries of Java ME with source licensed under the GNU A diacritic ( also called a diacritic or diacritical mark, point, or sign, is a small sign added to a letter to alter pronunciation A digraph, bigraph, or digram is a pair of characters used to write one Phoneme (distinct sound or a sequence of phonemes that does not correspond This includes Beninese Yoruba, which in Nigeria is written with both diacritics and digraphs. Yoruba (native name èdè Yorùbá, 'the Yoruba language' is a Dialect continuum of West Africa with over 25 million speakers Nigeria, officially named the Federal Republic of Nigeria, is a federal Constitutional republic comprising thirty-six states and one Federal For instance, the mid vowels written é è, ô, o in French are written e, ɛ, o, ɔ in Beninese languages, whereas the consonants written ng and sh or ch in English are written ŋ and c. A mid vowel is a Vowel sound used in some spoken Languages The defining characteristic of a mid vowel is that the tongue is positioned mid-way between an In Articulatory phonetics, a consonant is a Speech sound that is articulated with complete or partial closure of the upper Vocal tract, the upper vocal However, digraphs are used for nasal vowels and the labial-velar consonants kp and gb, as in the name of the Fon language Fon gbe /fõ ɡ͡be/, and diacritics are used as tone marks. A nasal vowel is a Vowel that is produced with a lowering of the velum so that air escapes both through Nose as well as the Mouth. Labial-velar consonants are doubly articulated at the velum and the Lips They are sometimes called " Labiovelar consonants quot a term which can also Tone is the use of pitch in Language to distinguish lexical or grammatical meaning—that is to distinguish or inflect words In French-language publications, a mixture of French and Beninois orthographies may be seen.
Actor Djimon Gaston Hounsou (born April 24, 1964), pronounced "Jie-mon Hahn-soo" is an Academy Award-nominated Beninese actor, dancer and fashion model who was born in Cotonou, Benin. Djimon Gaston Hounsou (born April 24, 1964) is a two-time Academy Award -nominated Beninois Actor. He is now a naturalized U. S. citizen.
Singer Angelique Kidjo, who is a five time Grammy nominee and international goodwill ambassador for UNICEF, was born in Cotonou, Benin. Angélique Kidjo is a Grammy Award -winning Beninese Singer-songwriter, noted for her diverse musical influences and creative Music videos
During the 1980s, less than 30 percent of the population had access to primary health care services. Benin had one of the highest death rates for children under the age of five in the world. Its infant mortality rate stood at 203 deaths for every 1000 live births. Infant mortality is defined as the number of deaths of Infants (one year of age or younger per 1000 live births Only one of three mothers had access to child healthcare services. The Bamako Initiative changed that dramatically by introducing community-based healthcare reform, resulting in more efficient and equitable provision of services. The Bamako Initiative was a formal statement adopted by African health ministers in 1987 in Bamako, Mali, to implement strategies designed to increase the  A comprehensive approach strategy was extended to all areas of health care, with subsequent improvement in the health care indicators and improvement in health care efficiency and cost. 
The International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD a specialized agency of the United Nations, was established as an international financial institution in 1977 as one The Open Directory Project ( ODP) also known as dmoz (from directory Wikitravel is a Web -based project "to create a free, complete up-to-date and reliable worldwide travel guide.