Benin Country Profile
Currency: West African CFA Franc (XOF)
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Benin is a West African country. Its capital city is Porto-Novo. Its largest city is Cotonou, which is its main port and administrative capital.
It is bordered by Burkina Faso to the northwest, Nigeria to the east and Togo to the west. Its territory has a narrow wedge that stretches 420 miles to the North from the Gulf of Guinea in the Atlantic Ocean. At the northern, its seacoast is 75miles on River Niger.
French is the official language, while the other indigenous languages include Fon, Ge, Bariba, Yoruba, and Dendi.
The main religion the Roman Catholic closely followed by Islam and a small percentage that still practice Voodoo.
During the pre-colonial period, the country was called Dahomey, which was an African kingdom with powerful arms and military discipline. The Kingdom was overthrown by France in 1894.
Later on, in 1960, Dahomey received its independence and was recognised by the UN. In 1975, the country was renamed from Dahomey to the People’s Republic of Benin with its first president being Hubert Maga.
The economy is heavily reliant on mineral ores and oil, which was discovered near Seme in 2009. Its major mineral is Bronze.
The country has a tropical climate and its largest economic activity is subsistence agriculture. Farming has been a substantial source of employment and income in the country.
Benin is one of the largest cotton producers in Africa. Its other exports are coconuts, brazil-nuts, scrap copper and refined petroleum and gold.
Benin’s most eaten dish is ‘Kuli Kuli’, while the staple foods are yams, rice, beans, tomatoes, and couscous.
The education system consists of two years in preprimary education, six years in primary school, three years in junior secondary school, six years in senior secondary school, and finally university.
The first female Vice-Chancellor of Nigeria studied at the University of Benin.
The most popular sport is football.
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