Africa Notes: Benin Joins the Pragmatists - February 1986
February 28, 1986
The People's Republic of Benin (known from independence in 1960 until 1975 as the Republic of Dahomey) is the narrow, tubular state wedged between Nigeria and Togo along the coast of West Africa. From a 60-mile coastline, it stretches 400 miles inland to the border of Niger, occupying a total land area of 43,483 square miles. The population, concentrated in the south, is estimated at some 3.7 million. Although the economy is largely based on food production agriculture, Benin has a budding industrial sector and, since 1982, has been a modest producer of petroleum from an offshore field.