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2 definitions found
 for Benin
From WordNet (r) 3.0 (2006) :

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

From CIA World Factbook 2002 :

     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
     Geography Benin
                                Location: Western Africa, bordering the North
                                          Atlantic Ocean, between Nigeria and
                  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;
              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
                              Death rate: 14.52 deaths/1,000 population (2002
                      Net migration rate: 0 migrant(s)/1,000 population (2002
                               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)/
                                          total population: 0.97 male(s)/
                                          female (2002 est.)
                   Infant mortality rate: 88.52 deaths/1,000 live births (2002
                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)
                       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
                                          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
                                 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
                                          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
                                          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
            Political pressure groups and NA
               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,
     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,
                                          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
       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,
                      Exports - partners: Brazil, France, Indonesia, Thailand,
                                          Morocco, Portugal, Cote d'Ivoire
                                 Imports: $437.6 million (c.i.f., 2000)
                   Imports - commodities: foodstuffs, capital goods, petroleum
                      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
                                           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
                                           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
     Military manpower - reaching military males: 71,278
                             age annually: females: 70,088 (2002 est.)
            Military expenditures - dollar $27 million (FY96)
        Military expenditures - percent of 1.2% (FY96)
     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

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