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Benin: Political System

Benin is a presidential republic. The Assemblée Nationale is a unicameral parliament and has 83 members. It is re-elected every 4 years. The direct election of the head of state takes place every 5 years; re-election is possible once.

Benin: Political System

According to, the official name of the country is:

République du Bénin

Republic of Benin

National anthem

The national anthem of Benin is L'Aube Nouvelle. It was introduced with the country's independence in 1960. Gilbert Jean Dagnon wrote and composed the hymn.

In French In the English translation
Jadis à son appel, nos aïeux sans faiblesse

Ont su avec courage, ardeur, pleins d'allégresse

Livrer au prix du sang des combat éclatants.

Accourez vous aussi, bâtisseurs du présent,

Plus forts dans l'unité, chaqu'jour à la tâche,

Pour la postérité, construisez sans relâche.Refrain

Enfants du Bénin, debout!

La liberté d'un cri sonore

Chante aux premiers feux de l'aurore,

Enfants du Bénin, debout!Quand partout souffle un vent de colère et de haine.

Béninois, sois fier, et d'une âme sereine,

Confiant dans l'avenir, regarde ton drapeau!

Dans le vert tu liras l'espor du renouveau,

De tes aïeux le rouge évoque le courage,

Des plus riches trésors le jaune est le présage.

refrainTes monts ensoleillés, tes palmiers, ta verdure,

Cher Bénin, partout font ta vive parure.

Ton sol offre à chacun la richesse des fruits.

Bénin, désormais que tes fils tous unis

D'un fraternel élan partagent l'espérance

De te voir à jamais heureux dans l'abondance.refrain

In the past, at our appeal, our ancestors

knew no weakness, With courage and ardor, full of joy

At the price of blood, fought an overwhelming battle.

Hurry up too, you builders of the present,

stronger in unity, every day in the task of building

for the descendants without interruption of work.Refrain

Children from Benin, get up!

The freedom of a sonorous scream

Sing by the first fires of dawn.

Benin children, stand up!When a wind of anger and hate blows everywhere.

The Benin is proud and of a calm soul.

Entrust your flag to the future and look!

In the green you will read the hope of renewal.

Courage is mentioned in red by your ancestors.

The yellow of the omens is richer treasures.refrainYour sunny mountains, your palm trees, your greenery,

Dear Benin, make your lively jewelry set everywhere.

Your soil offers everyone the richness of fruits.

Benin, from now on that your threads all united.

The hope is shared by a brotherly vigor

to see you happily in abundance into eternity.refrain

National flag

The national flag (country flag) of Benin was introduced on December 4, 1958 as the flag of Dahomey, which was then independent from France. Based on flag descriptions by, the three colors - the traditional Pan-African colors - are interpreted as follows:

- Green symbolizes the fertile south

- Yellow stands for the savannahs in the north

- Red stands for the blood that was shed earlier.

Benin flag and coat of arms

Benin: animals


Numerous mammals that are otherwise only known from the zoo or television live in the wild in Benin. Here you can meet elephants, leopards, hyenas, antelopes, lions and, with a lot of luck, the shy panthers. The latter in particular live solitary and very withdrawn. On the other hand, an encounter with wild boars or brush-eared pigs, which are spread all over the country, is much more likely to take place. Giraffes, warthogs and hippos are at home

in the nature reserves.


Reptiles are very common in Benin and can be found almost everywhere. For example, Nile crocodiles can be found on the rivers and banks. Especially in the Pendjari National Park you can see the animals in their natural environment. The crocodile, which is up to 5 m tall, was threatened with extinction for a while, but it was saved from this through targeted protective measures and is now found in relatively stable populations throughout Africa.

Widely used is the python, which mainly by notice that he curls up in case of danger into a ball and hence the name "Ball Python" has received. Another non-poisonous snake is the rock python.

Venomous snakes in Benin:

- Common puff adder

- Green mamba

- Rhinoceros viper

- Black and white cobra

- Southern bird snake, Thelotornis capensis


The bird life in Benin is amazingly rich in species. Flamingos, pelicans, boobies, ibises, cormorants, numerous species of herons and also small specialties such as the secretary and the darter, which, as the name suggests, is characterized by an extremely long neck, are at home here. The hammer head is one of the wading birds, and if you take a closer look at its head shape and beak, you understand the unusual naming without further explanation. One of the birds of prey in Benin is the osprey, which however only hibernates here. In his diet he specializes in fishing, but can also fall back on reptiles and small mammals in times of need.


Some of the native insects are carriers of parasites that cause diseases that are not harmless. These include the anopheles mosquito as the carrier of malaria, as well as the no less dangerous tsetse fly, which transmits sleeping sickness. But there are other mosquitos as well as flies and ants.

Benin: plants


The predominant type of landscape in Benin is the savannah, where a distinction is made between the wet and dry savannah in the Niger plain. The former rainforest near the coast was cut down so that small areas of forest are only near rivers.

The dominant tree species are coconut and oil palms, which are particularly common along the coast. Ebony and kapok trees are also found here. The latter grow up to 70 m high and are characterized by fold-like roots at the foot of the tree. The German name is "Wollbaum", in English it is known as "Silk cotton tree". This is because there are cotton-like hairs in the fruit capsules, which can be used to stuff mattresses, among other things.


The crops that are increasingly grown include cotton in particular, which is one of Benin's main export goods. but also cereals, beans, rice, peanuts and cassava. Manioc is also known under the name cassava or bread root. This plant belongs to the milkweed family, grows up to 3 m high, has a bushy habit and greenish-yellow flowers. The starchy, up to 8 cm thick and up to 90 cm long tubers are used. All parts of the plant contain a toxin that is destroyed by washing out and exposure to heat. This makes the cassava palatable.

Fruits growing in Benin are bananas, guavas, limes, lemons, mangoes, melons, papayas and pineapples.

A useful plant of particular importance is the physic nut. The oil contained in the seeds is not only used in the production of lamp oil, soaps and candles, but also has a much more important function in the production of biodiesel. Furthermore, due to its inedible nature, it is often planted as a hedge to protect cultivated fields from animal damage.

Medicinal plants

The physic nut, which belongs to the wolf milk family, was previously used as a laxative. Today this is no longer the case due to their high toxicity. Local healers still use the plant as a cure for malaria.

Poisonous plants

Both the nuts and the leaves of the physic nut are highly poisonous and inedible. The plant has its origin in tropical America as well as in Mexico and Chile. Seafarers eventually brought the plant to Asia and Africa.

More plants

Much of the original vegetation had to give way to growing agriculture in Benin. And the savannah as the dominant type of landscape is not exactly rich in vegetation due to the constant lack of water. Because of the drought, seedlings either do not sprout at all or are grazed very early.






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