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Benin

 

Republique du Bénin a country with a chequered past, on the site of the former Dahomey—a 15th-century West African kingdom—and the infamous Slave Coast. France took over French Dahomey from 1892 until 1960, when Dahomey gained independence. Between 1972 and 1990, a Marxist-Leninist dictatorship—the People’s Republic of Benin—existed, leading to repression and economic collapse. The Republic of Benin was declared in 1991, bringing in multi-party elections.

The total area of Benin is 110,000 square kilometres with a population of 9 million, comprised of 42 ethnic groups. Benin borders Togo in the West, Nigeria in the East, Burkina Faso and Niger in the North. The majority of its population is concentrated in the South, on the Bight of Benin coastline, part of the Gulf of Guinea.

The capital is Porto-Novo and the political and economic capital is Cotonou (population 2 million).

 

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