In 2003, Benin was a small West African country bordered by Nigeria, Burkina Faso, Niger and Togo. Its economy was mainly based on services, tourism, and agriculture. Infrastructure was in need of improvement throughout the country with education levels being quite high. Unemployment had decreased since the 1990s but still remained relatively high in certain areas. According to computergees, the government at this time was stable with strong democratic institutions and a commitment to free-market capitalism. Foreign investment had increased significantly in recent years due to Benin’s favorable business climate and proximity to major markets such as Nigeria and Togo. Tourism also played a major role in driving economic growth due to its vibrant culture, historical sites, and diverse wildlife. Benin’s capital city Cotonou had become one of the most important cities in West Africa at this time and had attracted many international businesses looking for a base of operations within the region.
Benin. According to Countryaah, Benin Independence Day is August 1. Former President Nicéphore Soglo was elected mayor of Benin’s financial center Cotonou in February. Another opposition leader, Adrien Houngbedji, who is also the Speaker of Parliament, was appointed mayor of the capital, Porto-Novo. The appointments were a result of the success of the opposition parties in the municipal elections, whose decisive round was held in January.
In the parliamentary elections at the end of March, however, the opposition fared significantly. The Union of the Future Benin (UBF) government party, together with allied small parties, received 52 of Parliament’s 83 seats.
Thanks to increased cotton exports, Benin was able to perform well financially, which at the end of 2002 had a growth of 6% and inflation of only 2.5%. The country’s way of managing its economy was rewarded by the International Monetary Fund (IMF), which included Benin in its debt relief program for especially indebted countries. At the end of 2002, Benin had a foreign debt of EUR 1.6 billion.
For a few days in August, neighboring Nigeria kept its border with Benin closed in protest against crime in the border area. The border was opened since the Benin government promised efforts against smuggling, human trafficking and other criminal activities on the part of Benin. A parliamentary commission was set up to investigate cross-border crime and 44 suspected robbers were extradited to Nigeria.
Benin Brief Guide
According to AbbreviationFinder, Benin (until 1975 Dahomey) is a state in West Africa. Its neighbors are Togo to the west, Burkina Faso and Niger to the north, and Nigeria to the east. To the south, Benin is bordered by the Gulf of Guinea. Benin’s official capital is Porto Novo, but the government holds its hut in Cotonou.
Food and drink
As elsewhere in West Africa, Benin also eats a lot of rice, which is grown and imported primarily from Thailand, couscous is also used, but it is more valuable than rice. Other food crops used include cassava, yams, sweet potatoes and corn. A Beninian everyday meal consists of a carbohydrate-containing porridge or stew and a sauce garnished with vegetables and meat or fish. In Benin, food is carefully prepared and a lot of time is spent cooking. Typical dishes are various casserole dishes that are cooked for a long time. A lot of chili, tomato and ginger are used in the sauces. The food drink is usually water. The most popular local beer brands are Eku, Flag, Beninoise, Castel and Pils. The local drink before a meal to increase appetite is Sodabi, or palm spirit. Dessert is often served with fruit or a variety of pastries. Drinking tap water is not recommended. All water and beverages must be industrially bottled. Salads and vegetables should also be rinsed with bottled water. Heated or tablet-purified water can be drunk. The food should be heated or cooked. Reheated foods and seafood should be avoided.