Benin 1999

In 1999, the population of Benin was estimated to be around 6.2 million people. The economy of Benin was largely based on subsistence agriculture and cotton exports. Its foreign relations were mainly with other African countries, such as Nigeria, Togo and Burkina Faso. Politically, Benin in 1999 was a semi-presidential republic under President Mathieu Kérékou. The Prime Minister was Pascal Koupaki and his party held a majority in Parliament. The country had a unicameral parliamentary system known as the National Assembly of Benin. See ethnicityology for Benin in the year of 2018.

Yearbook 1999

Benin 1999

Benin. General elections were held in March. The Rebirth Party (Parti de la Renaissance du Bénin, PRB), led by former President Nicéphore Soglo, became the largest with 27 of Parliament’s 83 seats. At first it seemed as if parties in opposition to President Mathieu Kérékou were in the majority, which could have led to a complicated division of power, but in June Kérékou, with the support of ten parties, succeeded in forming a loyal ministry.

Map of Benin Porto Novo in English

Visit Countryaah official website to get information about the capital city of Benin. The new government’s first difficult task was to overcome a national guard, which in the autumn lynched hundreds of suspected criminals in southwest Benin. In October, the army was deployed to the area.

  • Also see to see the acronym of BEN which stands for Benin and other definitions of this 3-letter abbreviation.


Having assumed the new name of Benin in 1975, the ex-Dahomey seemed to have found a certain stability under the regime of M. Kérékou, in power since October 26, 1972. A new Constitution was enacted in 1977. In 1979 the National Revolutionary Assembly was formed, with 336 members, down to 196 in 1984, all from the Benin Popular Revolution Party, the only legal one. Kérékou was re-elected head of state for a period of 5 years in 1984 and again in August 1989. In 1989 the national assembly was also re-elected. In 1984 a broad political amnesty was granted. The continuity of the regime did not exclude periodic jolts. The last in order of time occurred in January 1977 (mysterious attempted invasion by ‘mercenaries’ of various origins), in May 1985 (accidents caused by university students) and in March 1988 (failed coup by some soldiers, including a close collaborator of the president). Demonstrating a remarkable mastery of the situation, Kérékou always managed to thwart threats, recovering the necessary consensus.

Benin has moved away over time from the socialist option in the Marxist-Leninist version solemnly proclaimed in 1974. In fact, behind the revolutionary rhetoric, Benin has engaged in a policy of privatization and adjustment according to the prescriptions of the World Bank and of the International Monetary Fund. The rapprochement with France and the Western powers took place at the same time. Beyond the possible recovery in economic and financial terms, a breach has opened on the social security side, with repercussions above all among students and graduates, wealth but also a critical point of Benin, which since colonial times has produced intellectuals and bureaucrats in excess of his needs. Ethnic-national cohesion is also precarious due to the persistence of rivalry between the different tribal groups. In December 1989, the ruling party officially repudiated Marxism, recognizing the separation of state and party. In February 1990 a National Conference of the living forces of the country was held to draw up a National Charter and initiate a policy of conciliation and freedom. The new government (March 12, 1990), chaired by a Kérékou with reduced powers and composed entirely of ” technicians ”, called free presidential elections in March 1991, won by Prime Minister N. Soglo, who defeated Kérékou with a large majority.

Benin  occupies a strategic position in West Africa, also as an outlet for Niger and Burkina Faso, and its economy is heavily dependent on trade. From this point of view, the relationship with Nigeria is of particular value, so much so that Italy was heavily affected by the crisis in the Nigerian economy after the collapse of oil prices on the world market.

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