Why Benin

Message from the President

Patrice Talon – President of the Republic of Benin

“Benin is a model of democracy and stability, with all the necessary assets to become a centre of inclusive and sustainable development, economic dynamism and social progress”

My Government’s Action Programme for 2016-2021 delivers a strong message of hope for the future. Benin is a model of democracy and stability, with all the necessary assets to become a centre of inclusive and sustainable development, economic dynamism and social progress. This potential, left for too long untapped, is ready to be revealed.

Benin’s strategic location in West Africa, and its human capital, political stability, potential and heritage, are all indisputable advantages. It is time to promote these advantages and exploit them to their fullest.

That is what the ‘Revealing Benin’ programme is all about. It aims to create an environment that embraces the talent and dynamism of the Beninese people in order to revive our country’s development on a long-term basis.

The ‘Revealing Benin’ programme acts simultaneously in institutional, economic and social areas. Among other things, it comprises 45 flagship projects in the economy’s key sectors. It will be implemented with the support of various private-sector partners. The programme involves a scale of investment never before seen in the country, and is designed to boost employment, improve public well-being, create wealth and raise Benin’s international profile.

It will mark a ‘New Momentum’ for all Beninese citizens, for all sectors of the economy, and for relations between our country and its partners.

About Benin

A strategic location

Stretching 670km from the Niger River to the Gulf of Guinea, Benin occupies a geo-strategic position in West Africa.

Its economic zones (free-trade, industrial, and special), its road network, and the Port of Cotonou are central to the region’s commerce, offering sea access to Benin’s neighbours (Burkina Faso, Niger, Mali, Chad) and benefitting from close proximity to Nigeria. Benin is an essential crossroads, a crucial asset for its development strategy over the coming years.

A unique heritage

As the home of Voodoo culture, arts, and civilisation and of the ancient kingdom of Dahomey, Benin enjoys a historical, cultural, and architectural heritage unrivalled in West Africa.

Its natural heritage is no less impressive and diverse.

The coastline and natural parks provide breath-taking landscapes. Abomey’s royal palaces date back thousands of years, while Ouidah gives physical testimony to the slave trade. Benin’s lake, lagoon, and seaside cities are crowned by Ganvié, the largest lake city in Africa.

These sights and experiences beckon to be revealed.

Inspired by a young, dynamic, and educated population, Benin – often called Africa’s “Latin Quarter” – occupies a unique place in West Africa, thanks to this rich artistic and intellectual tradition.

Unparalleled democratic stability

Benin’s solid and stable institutions make it a model of democracy in sub-Saharan Africa and in the world, with the country ensuring a series of peaceful electoral transitions since 1991.

This was confirmed when, in December 2016, the Mandela Institute awarded its 2016 Governance Prize to President Patrice Talon of the Republic of Benin. Both the Committee and governing Jury of the Mandela Prizes recognised President Talon’s role in promoting good governance.

Promising growth

From 2001-2016, Benin achieved average economic growth of 4.1%. Growth was 5.4% in 2017 and is predicted to reach 7.1% in 2021.
This is one of the strongest growth rates in the region, and is well above the average of sub-Saharan African countries of 4.5%.
Moreover, Benin’s success has been achieved without harming the country’s overall economic health – the budget deficit was just 2.2% of the GDP in 2016.

A new economic momentum for the country

The country-wide assessment conducted by the government in 2016 clearly shows that Benin’s assets are under-developed. As a result, Benin’s economic development is behind its potential.

President Talon’s arrival in office represents a turning point in Benin’s economic history. An important investor in Africa, his ambition is to quickly implement necessary reforms and restructurings of the national economy, which will result in the rapid and sustainable growth of Benin’s national wealth.

“As individuals, each and every citizen of Benin is filled with talent and dynamism”. A team of inspired and competent leaders would be able to rapidly achieve a transformational development programme within an environment of strengthened democracy and freedom”

Revealing Benin

In December 2016, the Government of the Republic of Benin launched “Revealing Benin”, a development and investment programme of unprecedented scale in the country’s history. With a budget of 9.039 trillion FCFA (€13.78 billion) over the next five years, it will raise investment to 34% of GDP (compared to 18.8% currently) through a collaboration with private sector partners, who will provide 61% of the programme’s total planned investment.

A programme that will sustainably boost Benin’s economy and reveal its potential to the world

President Talon’s ambition for his single term in office is to launch a period of renewed economic and social growth.

The “Revealing Benin” programme’s objective is clear: to reveal Benin’s considerable, yet so far untapped, potential. To make the growth rapid, inclusive, and sustainable, the Government has chosen to act simultaneously on all levers of development – political, administrative, economic, and social.

This over-arching plan is based on the Government’s uncompromising and far-reaching assessment of Benin’s potential. It offers enormous opportunities to public, private, and multilateral partners, at both the national and international levels.

These opportunities span the programme’s 45 major projects and 9 key sectors: tourism, agriculture, infrastructures, digital economy, electricity, living environment and sustainable development, international knowledge and innovation city, drinking water, and social protection.

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