Country Description

 

General information

Official name: Republic of Benin

Government: Republic

Area : 112,622 sq. km

CapitalPorto-Novo (official capital); note - Cotonou is the seat of government

Official language: French

Other languages: Fongbe, Yoruba and other tribal languages

Population: 10,448,647 (CIA July 2013 est.)

Religions: Christian 27%, Muslim 24%, Vodoun 17% (2002 census)

 

Political Data

Independence day: 1 August 1960 from France

 

Structure of Government:

Executive: The President is elected by popular vote for a 5-year term. He appoints the Prime Minister.

Legislative: Unicameral National Assembly .The members are directly elected by proportional representation vote; members serve 4-year terms.

Judicial:  The Supreme Court, the Constitutional Court and the High Court of Justice are the highest courts. The Court of Appeal, district courts, village courts, Assize courts are subordinate courts.

 

Foreign policy: Benin is a member of ACP, AFDB, AU, CD, ECOWAS, Entente, FAO, FZ, G-77, IAEA, IBRD, ICAO, ICCT, ICRM, IDA, IDB, IFAD, IFC, IFRCS, ILO, IMF, IMO, Interpol, IOC, IOM, IPU, ISO, ITSO, ITU, ITUC (NGOs), MIGA, MINUSMA, MONUSCO, NAM, OAS (observer), OIC, OIF, OPCW, PCA, UN, UNAMID, UNCTAD, UNESCO, UNHCR, UNIDO, UNMIL, UNMISS, UNOCI, UNWTO, UPU, WADB (regional), WAEMU, WCO, WFTU (NGOs), WHO, WIPO, WMO, WTO

 

Economic Data

GDP: 19, 8 USD billion (2014 CIA est.)

Main economic resources: Cotton, textiles, palm products, cocoa beans, maize (corn), beans, rice, peanuts, cashews, pineapples, cassava, yams, and other various tubers grown for local subsistence. Fish and shrimp for local subsistence and export to Europe.

 

Legal System

Civil law system modeled largely on the French system and some customary law.

 

Useful Links

National: Constitution and Benin Government portal.

Regional:  Visit the website of the African Union

International: United Nations Treaty Online Collection

 

National Partners of African Law Library

www.africanlawlibrary.net/partners