The country of Benin
The north of Benin | © Marianne Dötzer

The country of Benin

A report by Marianne Dötzer

Benin is a country in West Africa. It borders with Togo to the west, to the north with Burkina Faso and Niger, to the east with Nigeria, and to the south with the Bight of Benin, in the Gulf of Guinea. Until 1975, the country was called Dahomey. Benin has about 9 million inhabitants, the official language is French. The illiteracy rate in 2005 was 60%.

Benin is a very small country compared to its neighbour Nigeria. The metropolis of Lagos alone has more inhabitants than all of Benin.

The country has minimal natural resources and is dependent on agriculture and trade with neighbouring countries  Around two- thirds of all Beninese people work in the agricultural sector and generate about one-third of the gross domestic product. Within the "Human Developement Index" the country is on the 167th place out of 187.