Adopted on Nov. 16, 1959, the flag of the former French colony used the Pan-African colors. Yellow was for the savannas in the north and green was for the palm groves in the south. Red stood for the blood of patriots. In 1975 a Marxist-oriented government replaced the flag, but after the demise of Communism it was restored on Aug. 1, 1990.

Location of Benin

Official name: République du Bénin (Republic of Benin).

Form of government: multiparty republic with one legislative house (National Assembly [83]).

Head of state and government: President, assisted by Prime Minister.

Population (1998): 6,101,000.

Population projection: (2000) 6,517,000; (2010) 8,955,000.

Natural increase rate per 1,000 population (1997): 33.0 (world avg. 15.7).

Land use (1995): agricultural and under permanent cultivation 17.0%; other 83.0% (of which [1994] forested 30.7%, meadows and pastures 4.0%).

Gross national product (1996): U.S.$1,998,000,000 (U.S.$350 per capita).
GALLERIA - Index 1 GALLERY - Index 1