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Updated: Oct 3, 2022

Home> Countries> Africa> Benin

Country Name

Benin, officially the Republic of Benin.


Is a country in West Africa. It is bordered by Togo to the west, Nigeria to the east, Burkina Faso, and Niger to the north.

From the south, it overlooks the Gulf of Benin, where the majority of the population is located.


Porto Novo.

Reason for naming the country

The name of the state dates back to the period of colonial rule in the name of Dahomey, and after its independence, it was renamed on November 30, 1975, to the name of Benin, in relation to the Gulf of Benin, which is opposite it.


The Benin flag was first adopted on November 16, 1959, when Benin was under French colonial rule. Benin's flag includes a green vertical stripe on the left side as well as a yellow and red horizontal bicolor on the right.

There is a cultural, regional, and political significance behind the colors of the flag of Benin.

The colors are designed to represent the natural beauty of the country, including the savannahs to the north and the palm groves located to the south. The colors yellow and green represent the natural features of this nation, while the red represents the blood shed by people fighting for Dahomey.


The official language in Benin is French, however, indigenous languages such as Fon and Yorba are usually used.

There are 50 indigenous languages also spoken in Benin that have been granted the status of national languages.

Other indigenous languages spoken in the country include the Dendi, Mina, Yoruba, and Bariba. Fon and Yoruba are most common in Benin’s southern region, while Bariba, Fulfulde, and other indigenous languages are spoken in the north.

English is spoken as a foreign language it is also taught in secondary schools in the country.


The population of Benin follows a diverse mix of Christian, Muslim, and West African traditional beliefs. Roman Catholicism is by far the largest religious group in Benin and is followed closely by Islam and Vodoo.

Christianity is the most practiced religion with more than half of the entire Christian group belonging to Roman Catholicism.

Most Muslims in Benin practice the Sunni which is an Islamic branch with the existence of Shi'a Muslims who are very few and are mostly expatriates from the Middle East.


West African CFA franc (XOF).