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Wordnet 3.0

NOUN (1)

1. a country on western coast of Africa; formerly under French control;
[syn: Benin, Republic of Benin, Dahomey]

WordNet (r) 3.0 (2006):

Benin n 1: a country on western coast of Africa; formerly under French control [syn: Benin, Republic of Benin, Dahomey]
CIA World Factbook 2002:

Benin Introduction Benin ------------------ Background: Dahomey gained its independence from France in 1960; the name was changed to Benin in 1975. From 1974 to 1989 the country was a socialist state; free elections were reestablished in 1991. Geography Benin --------------- Location: Western Africa, bordering the North Atlantic Ocean, between Nigeria and Togo Geographic coordinates: 9 30 N, 2 15 E Map references: Africa Area: total: 112,620 sq km water: 2,000 sq km land: 110,620 sq km Area - comparative: slightly smaller than Pennsylvania Land boundaries: total: 1,989 km border countries: Burkina Faso 306 km, Niger 266 km, Nigeria 773 km, Togo 644 km Coastline: 121 km Maritime claims: territorial sea: 200 NM Climate: tropical; hot, humid in south; semiarid in north Terrain: mostly flat to undulating plain; some hills and low mountains Elevation extremes: lowest point: Atlantic Ocean 0 m highest point: Mont Sokbaro 658 m Natural resources: small offshore oil deposits, limestone, marble, timber Land use: arable land: 15.28% permanent crops: 1.36% other: 83.37% (1998 est.) Irrigated land: 120 sq km (1998 est.) Natural hazards: hot, dry, dusty harmattan wind may affect north from December to March Environment - current issues: inadequate supplies of potable water; poaching threatens wildlife populations; deforestation; desertification Environment - international party to: Biodiversity, Climate agreements: Change, Desertification, Endangered Species, Environmental Modification, Hazardous Wastes, Law of the Sea, Nuclear Test Ban, Ozone Layer Protection, Ship Pollution, Wetlands signed, but not ratified: none of the selected agreements Geography - note: sandbanks create difficult access to a coast with no natural harbors, river mouths, or islands People Benin ------------ Population: 6,787,625 note: estimates for this country explicitly take into account the effects of excess mortality due to AIDS; this can result in lower life expectancy, higher infant mortality and death rates, lower population and growth rates, and changes in the distribution of population by age and sex than would otherwise be expected (July 2002 est.) Age structure: 0-14 years: 47.2% (male 1,616,138; female 1,585,463) 15-64 years: 50.5% (male 1,665,439; female 1,764,966) 65 years and over: 2.3% (male 65,877; female 89,742) (2002 est.) Population growth rate: 2.91% (2002 est.) Birth rate: 43.66 births/1,000 population (2002 est.) Death rate: 14.52 deaths/1,000 population (2002 est.) Net migration rate: 0 migrant(s)/1,000 population (2002 est.) Sex ratio: at birth: 1.03 male(s)/female under 15 years: 1.02 male(s)/female 15-64 years: 0.94 male(s)/female 65 years and over: 0.73 male(s)/ female total population: 0.97 male(s)/ female (2002 est.) Infant mortality rate: 88.52 deaths/1,000 live births (2002 est.) Life expectancy at birth: total population: 49.69 years female: 50.61 years (2002 est.) male: 48.81 years Total fertility rate: 6.14 children born/woman (2002 est.) HIV/AIDS - adult prevalence rate: 4.1% (2002) HIV/AIDS - people living with HIV/ 160,000 (2002) AIDS: HIV/AIDS - deaths: 37,000 (2002) Nationality: noun: Beninese (singular and plural) adjective: Beninese Ethnic groups: African 99% (42 ethnic groups, most important being Fon, Adja, Yoruba, Bariba), Europeans 5,500 Religions: indigenous beliefs 50%, Christian 30%, Muslim 20% Languages: French (official), Fon and Yoruba (most common vernaculars in south), tribal languages (at least six major ones in north) Literacy: definition: age 15 and over can read and write total population: 37.5% male: 52.2% female: 23.6% (2000) Government Benin ---------------- Country name: conventional long form: Republic of Benin conventional short form: Benin local short form: Benin former: Dahomey local long form: Republique du Benin Government type: republic under multiparty democratic rule; dropped Marxism-Leninism December 1989; democratic reforms adopted February 1990; transition to multiparty system completed 4 April 1991 Capital: Porto-Novo is the official capital; Cotonou is the seat of government Administrative divisions: 12 provinces; Alibori, Atakora, Atlantique, Borgou, Collines, Couffo, Donga, Littoral, Mono, Oueme, Plateau, Zou Independence: 1 August 1960 (from France) National holiday: National Day, 1 August (1960) Constitution: December 1990 Legal system: based on French civil law and customary law; has not accepted compulsory ICJ jurisdiction Suffrage: 18 years of age; universal Executive branch: chief of state: President Mathieu KEREKOU (since 4 April 1996); note - the president is both the chief of state and head of government head of government: President Mathieu KEREKOU (since 4 April 1996); note - the president is both the chief of state and head of government cabinet: Council of Ministers appointed by the president elections: president reelected by popular vote for a five-year term; runoff election held 22 March 2001 (next to be held NA March 2006) note: the four top-ranking contenders following the first-round presidential elections were: Mathieu KEREKOU (incumbent) 45.4%, Nicephore SOGOLO (former president) 27.1%, Adrien HOUNGBEDJI (National Assembly Speaker) 12.6%, and Bruno AMOUSSOU (Minister of State) 8.6%; the second-round balloting, originally scheduled for 18 March 2001, was postponed four days because both SOGOLO and HOUNGBEDJI withdrew alleging electoral fraud; this left KEREKOU to run against his own Minister of State, AMOUSSOU, in what was termed a "friendly match" election results: Mathieu KEREKOU reelected president; percent of vote - Mathieu KEREKOU 84.1%, Bruno AMOUSSOU 15.9% Legislative branch: unicameral National Assembly or Assemblee Nationale (83 seats; members are elected by direct popular vote to serve four-year terms) election results: percent of vote by party - NA%; seats by party - RB 27, PRD 11, FARD-ALAFIA 10, PSD 9, MADEP 6, E'toile 4, Alliance IPD 4, Car- DUNYA 3, MERCI 2, other 7 elections: last held 30 March 1999 (next to be held NA March 2003) Judicial branch: Constitutional Court or Cour Constitutionnelle; Supreme Court or Cour Supreme; High Court of Justice Political parties and leaders: African Movement for Democracy and Progress or MADEP [Sefou FAGBOHOUN]; Alliance for Democracy and Progress or ADP [Sylvain Adekpedjou AKINDES]; Alliance of the Social Democratic Party or PSD and the National Union for Solidarity and Progress or UNSP [Bruno AMOUSSOU]; Cameleon Alliance or AC [leader NA]; Car-DUNYA [Saka SALEY]; Communist Party of Benin or PCB [Pascal FANTONDJI, first secretary]; Democratic Renewal Party or PRD [Adrien HOUNGBEDJI]; Front for Renewal and Development or FARD- ALAFIA [Jerome Sakia KINA]; Impulse for Progress and Democracy or IPD [Bertin BORNA]; Liberal Democrats' Rally for National Reconstruction- Vivoten or RDL-Vivoten [Severin ADJOVI]; Movement for Citizens' Commitment and Awakening or MERCI [Severin ADJOVI]; New Generation for the Republic or NGR [Paul DOSSOU]; Our Common Cause or NCC [Francois Odjo TANKPINON]; Party Democratique du Benin or PDB [Col. Soule DANKORO]; Rally for Democracy and Pan-Africanism or RDP [Dominique HOYMINOU, Dr. Giles Auguste MINONTIN]; Renaissance Party du Benin or RB [Nicephore SOGLO]; The Star Alliance (Alliance E'toile) [Sacca LAFIA]; Union for National Democracy and Solidarity or UDS [Adamou N'Diaye MAMA] note: the Coalition of Democratic Forces, [Gatien HOUNGBEDJI], an alliance of parties and organizations supporting President KEREKOU Political pressure groups and NA leaders: International organization ACP, AfDB, CCC, ECA, ECOWAS, participation: Entente, FAO, FZ, G-77, IAEA, IBRD, ICAO, ICFTU, ICRM, IDA, IDB, IFAD, IFC, IFRCS, ILO, IMF, IMO, Interpol, IOC, IOM, ISO (subscriber), ITU, MIPONUH, MONUC, NAM, OAU, OIC, OPCW, UN, UNCTAD, UNESCO, UNIDO, UNMEE, UNMIK, UPU, WADB (regional), WAEMU, WCL, WFTU, WHO, WIPO, WMO, WToO, WTrO Diplomatic representation in the US: chief of mission: Ambassador Cyrille Segbe OGUIN FAX: [1] (202) 265-1996 telephone: [1] (202) 232-6656 chancery: 2124 Kalorama Road NW, Washington, DC 20008 Diplomatic representation from the chief of mission: Ambassador Pamela US: E. BRIDGEWATER embassy: Rue Caporal Bernard Anani, Cotonou mailing address: B. P. 2012, Cotonou telephone: [229] 30-06-50 FAX: [229] 30-06-70 Flag description: two equal horizontal bands of yellow (top) and red with a vertical green band on the hoist side Economy Benin ------------- Economy - overview: The economy of Benin remains underdeveloped and dependent on subsistence agriculture, cotton production, and regional trade. Growth in real output averaged a stable 5% in the past five years, but rapid population rise offset much of this increase. Inflation has subsided over the past several years. In order to raise growth still further, Benin plans to attract more foreign investment, place more emphasis on tourism, facilitate the development of new food processing systems and agricultural products, and encourage new information and communication technology. The 2001 privatization policy should continue in telecommunications, water, electricity, and agriculture in spite of initial government reluctance. The Paris Club and bilateral creditors have eased the external debt situation. GDP: purchasing power parity - $6.8 billion (2001 est.) GDP - real growth rate: 5.4% (2001 est.) GDP - per capita: purchasing power parity - $1,040 (2001 est.) GDP - composition by sector: agriculture: 36% industry: 14% services: 50% (2001 est.) Population below poverty line: 37% (2001 est.) Household income or consumption by lowest 10%: NA% percentage share: highest 10%: NA% Inflation rate (consumer prices): 3% (2001 est.) Labor force: NA Unemployment rate: NA% Budget: revenues: $377.4 million expenditures: $561.8 million, including capital expenditures of $NA (2001) Industries: textiles, food processing, chemical production, construction materials (2001) Industrial production growth rate: 8.3% (2001 est.) Electricity - production: 240 million kWh (2000) Electricity - production by source: fossil fuel: 16.67% hydro: 83.33% other: 0% (2000) nuclear: 0% Electricity - consumption: 523.2 million kWh (2000) Electricity - exports: 0 kWh (2000) Electricity - imports: 300 million kWh (2000) Agriculture - products: cotton, corn, cassava (tapioca), yams, beans, palm oil, peanuts, livestock (2001) Exports: $35.3 million (f.o.b., 2000) Exports - commodities: cotton, crude oil, palm products, cocoa Exports - partners: Brazil, France, Indonesia, Thailand, Morocco, Portugal, Cote d'Ivoire (2001) Imports: $437.6 million (c.i.f., 2000) Imports - commodities: foodstuffs, capital goods, petroleum products Imports - partners: France, US, China, Cote d'Ivoire, Netherlands, Japan (2001) Debt - external: $1.18 billion (2000) Economic aid - recipient: $342.6 million (2000) Currency: Communaute Financiere Africaine franc (XOF); note - responsible authority is the Central Bank of the West African States Currency code: XOF Exchange rates: Communaute Financiere Africaine francs (XOF) per US dollar - 742.79 (January 2002), 733.04 (2001), 711.98 (2000), 615.70 (1999), 589.95 (1998), 583.67 (1997); note - from 1 January 1999, the XOF is pegged to the euro at a rate of 655.957 XOF per euro Fiscal year: calendar year Communications Benin -------------------- Telephones - main lines in use: 51,000 (2000) Telephones - mobile cellular: 55,500 (2000) Telephone system: general assessment: NA domestic: fair system of open wire, microwave radio relay, and cellular connections international: satellite earth station - 1 Intelsat (Atlantic Ocean); submarine cable Radio broadcast stations: AM 2, FM 9, shortwave 4 (2000) Radios: 660,000 (2000) Television broadcast stations: 1 (2001) Televisions: 66,000 (2000) Internet country code: .bj Internet Service Providers (ISPs): 4 (2002) Internet users: 50,000 (2002) Transportation Benin -------------------- Railways: total: 578 km narrow gauge: 578 km 1.000-m gauge (2000 est.) Highways: total: 6,787 km paved: 1,357 km (including 10 km of expressways) unpaved: 5,430 km (1997 est.) Waterways: streams navigable along small sections, important only locally Ports and harbors: Cotonou, Porto-Novo Merchant marine: none (2002 est.) Airports: 5 (2001) Airports - with paved runways: total: 1 1,524 to 2,437 m: 1 (2001) Airports - with unpaved runways: total: 4 2,438 to 3,047 m: 1 1,524 to 2,437 m: 1 914 to 1,523 m: 2 (2001) Military Benin -------------- Military branches: Armed Forces (including Army, Navy, Air Force), National Gendarmerie Military manpower - military age: 18 years of age (2002 est.) Military manpower - availability: males age 15-49: 1,509,760 note: both sexes are liable for military service (2002 est.) females age 15-49: 1,536,036 Military manpower - fit for military males age 15-49: 771,373 service: females age 15-49: 778,730 (2002 est.) Military manpower - reaching military males: 71,278 age annually: females: 70,088 (2002 est.) Military expenditures - dollar $27 million (FY96) figure: Military expenditures - percent of 1.2% (FY96) GDP: Transnational Issues Benin -------------------------- Disputes - international: Benin and Niger have refered to the ICJ the dispute over l'Ete and 14 smaller disputed islands in the Niger River, which has never been delimited; with Nigeria, several villages are in dispute along the Okpara River and only 35 km of the 436 km boundary are demarcated; the Benin-Niger-Nigeria tripoint remains undemarcated; Benin accuses Togo of moving boundary markers and stationing troops in its territory; two villages are in dispute with Burkina Faso Illicit drugs: transshipment point for narcotics associated with Nigerian trafficking organizations and most commonly destined for Western Europe and the US