The area that today makes up Benin became a
unit first in the 18th-18th centuries. Some parts were
previously included in larger states, others in the
minor states. The area was for a long time the center of
the income-generating slave trade to the American
continents. At the end of the 19th century, the French
took over; In 1960 Benin became an independent state,
then under the name Dahomey.
In the 1600s, the small kingdom of Abomey gradually
became more powerful, partly as a result of the
profitable trade started with European buyers along the
coast. In exchange for slaves, they received fabrics,
alcohol and, above all, weapons. With these, Abomey was
able to attack the neighboring states and capture more
slaves. First Portuguese, then French, English but also
Danes founded quickly in the city of Ouidah, which
became the center of the lucrative slave trade. From
here, a total of nearly one million slaves were shipped
out and the area where Ouidah is known as the "Slave
Comprehensive guide to and popular abbreviations of Benin, covering history, economy, and social conditions.
In the early 18th century, Abomey conquered several
nearby kingdoms, including Allada on the Atlantic coast.
The expanded empire was called Dahomey, a name for the
country that would live on until 1976. Under King
Guezo's rule (1818-1858), the empire reached its heyday,
largely through the income from the slave trade.
From the mid-19th century onwards, the trade in
slaves was gradually stopped, as more and more European
governments began to regard it as brutal and unfair.
Dahomey went on to export palm oil. However, this was
not as profitable and the kingdom was hit by economic
downturn. The French managed to take control of the
coast, and in 1892 Dahomey became a French protectorate.
The area came to play a stealth role in the colony of
French West Africa, with no particular economic value to
the mother country. In 1958, Dahomey gained extensive
autonomy within the French Commonwealth and in 1960 the
country gained full independence.
Ether media is closed
One radio station and three TV stations are closed by
the authorities. All the broadcasters were close to the
political opposition. Formally, they are forced to cease
operations because the shipments have been from other
places than the original ones. The Reporters Without
Borders organization says the closures are a completely
disproportionate punishment for a bureaucratic
wrongdoing and warns that the country will be pulled in
an authoritarian direction.
President Talon takes office
Businessman Patrice Talon is installed as president.
In his speech at a sports arena in the capital, Porto
Novo, he reiterates his promise to change the
constitution so that a president can only sit for a term
Talon wants to stop re-election to the presidential
Benin's new president Talon will work to change the
constitution so that one person can only be president
for a five-year term instead of now for two terms. He
also promises to reduce the government from today's 28
ministers to 16.
Talon wins the presidential election
The businessman and business leader Patrice Talon
clearly wins the second and decisive round of the
presidential election with just over 65 percent of the
vote. The ruling party FCBE's candidate, Prime Minister
Lionel Zinsou, gets just over 34 percent and admits
being defeated. The 57-year-old Talon is one of Benin's
most successful business leaders. Among other things, he
has worked in the cotton industry and has been head of
the port of Cotonou. The electoral movement has mainly
been about how new jobs should be created. The vast
majority of Beninis support themselves in the informal,
black, sector of the economy.
Zinsou and Talon move on in the presidential
In the first round of the presidential election, the
ruling party gets FCBE's candidate, Prime Minister
Lionel Zinsou, with the most votes. He wins just over 28
percent compared to businessman and company manager
Patrice Talon, who gets almost 25 percent and thus
becomes the second choice. In third place is the company
manager Sébastien Ajavon with just under 23 percent.
Since no candidate received at least 50 percent of the
vote, Zinsou and Talon will meet in a second and
decisive round of elections later in March.
The presidential election is postponed until March
The Constitutional Court decides to postpone the
presidential election by one week, from February 28 to
March 6. The reason is that the distribution of voting
cards has extended over time.