Benin, a West African nation on the coast of Guinea, is considered one of the most stable and safest countries in the region. It has a history of peaceful transitions between governments through democratic elections, and a progressive government striving to modernize.
The now stable country has experienced some economic growth, and is one of Africa’s largest cotton producers, however, it is still considered one of the poorest nations in the world, ranking at 165 out of 187 countries according to the United Nations Human Development Index (2013).
A brief history of Benin
• Until 1894: Dahomey was an African Kingdom under strong military rule.
• 1894: Defeated by the French
• 1958: Became a self-governing part of the French Community
• 1960: Became independent and is admitted into the United Nations.
• 1972: Major Mathieu Kereko seizes power and remains until 1991
• 1975: Dahomey is renamed the People’s Republic of Benin
• 1989: Strikes provoke constitutional reform and multi-candidate elections
• 1996: Mathieu Kerekou becomes president
• 2004: Benin, Nigeria agree to redraw their mutual border
• 2006: Yayi Boni becomes president
• 2009: Benin finds oil offshore near Seme
• 2016: Patrice Talon became president