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 majority of Benin’s population lives in the south. The population is young, with a life expectancy of 59 years. About 42 African ethnic groups live in this country; these various groups settled in Benin at different times and also migrated within the country




Economy and society
Real gross domestic product (GDP) growth in Benin is projected to drop to 4.6% in 2016. The GDP growth rate was 4.6% in 2012, 6.9% in 2013, and 6.5% in 2014, and decelerated to 5% in 2015, mainly due to a slowdown of re-export activities to Nigeria and a drop in agriculture production.
Cotton production, which represents 5% of GDP and 27% of exports, dropped to 300,000 tons over the 2015/2016 campaign, from 400,000 tons during 2014/2015 campaign. Furthermore, the economic slowdown in Nigeria has resulted in a drop in demand for informal re-exports from Benin, both as a direct result of slower growth and indirectly as a result of a depreciating Nigerian currency (Naira).
In spite of the decline in economic activities in recent months, Benin GDP’s growth was among the best in WAEMU countries during the 2011-2015 period. Inflation is estimated at 0.3% for 2015 and is projected to remain under 3% in 2016. Inflation has typically remained below the 3% WAEMU target. After peaking in December 2012 (6.8%), inflation declined to 1% in 2013 and -1.1% in 2014
Despite moderate GDP growth of between 4 and 5% annually over the past two decades, poverty remains widespread and on the rise in Benin, with national poverty rates of 37.5% in 2006, 35.2% in 2009, 36.2% in 2011 and 40.1% in 2015. Female-headed households experience lower levels of poverty (28% compared to 38% for male-headed households), and women remain more vulnerable and continue to suffer from a lack of economic opportunities. Women are also underrepresented in high-level decision making positions.



Benin is bordered by Togo to the west, Nigeria to the east, and Burkina Faso and Niger to the north. It has an estimated population of 10.9 million inhabitants as of 2015. With the support of its partners, Benin has been able to make important economic and structural reforms and sustain its economic growth rates over the last decade.

The education and health sectors continue to represent a significant share of annual public expenditure (on average 23% of public expenditure is allocated to education and 7% to the health sector). Significant efforts are needed to ensure more equity in the geographical distribution of resources and greater effectiveness and efficiency in the management of these two sectors.

Benin continues to enjoy a stable and democratic government. Since the end of the Marxist-Leninist regime in 1989, it has organized six presidential elections, seven legislative elections and three local elections peacefully. Presidential elections held in March 2016 were won by the multi-millionaire and cotton sector tycoon, Patrice Talon. Since taking office in April 2016, the new government has resolved to promote better political and economic governance, and has plans for massive political and institutional reforms to consolidate democracy, reduce poverty, and attract investments.

(World bank)