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Present day Benin was the site of Dahomey, a prominent West African kingdom that rose in the 15th century. The territory became a French Colony in 1872 and achieved independence on 1 August 1960, as the Republic of Benin. A succession of military governments ended in 1972 with the rise to power of Mathieu KEREKOU and the establishment of a government based on Marxist-Leninist principles. A move to representative government began in 1989. Two years later, free elections ushered in former Prime Minister Nicephore SOGLO as president, marking the first successful transfer of power in Africa from a dictatorship to a democracy. KEREKOU was returned to power by elections held in 1996 and 2001, though some irregularities were alleged. KEREKOU stepped down at the end of his second term in 2006 and was succeeded by Thomas YAYI Boni, a political outsider and independent. YAYI, who won a second five-year term in March 2011, has attempted to stem corruption and has strongly promoted accelerating Benin's economic growth.


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Transportation

Airports World Ranking: 179
5 (2012)

Airports - with paved runways
Total 1
1,524 to 2,437 m 1 (2012)

Airports - with unpaved runways
Total 4
2,438 to 3,047 m 1
1,524 to 2,437 m 1
914 to 1,523 m 2 (2012)

Railways World Ranking: 113
Total 438 km
Narrow gauge 438 km 1.000-m gauge (2008)

Roadways World Ranking: 120
Total 16,000 km
Paved 1,400 km
Unpaved 14,600 km (2006)

Waterways World Ranking: 102
150 km (seasonal navigation on River Niger along northern border) (2011)

Ports and terminals
Cotonou


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  Benin (Porto-novo):


  GPS points from Benin (Porto-novo)

Seterra Benin (general)

Zougou Departement De L' Alibori

Bahikassari Benin (general)

Kumaga Benin (general)

Oudodoga Benin (general)


Hoko Departement Du Collines

Djagbalo Departement Du Collines




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