Republic of Benin
République du Bénin
Political Status: Independent Republic of Dahomey established August 1, 1960; military regime established October 26, 1972, becoming Marxist one-party system 1972–1975; name changed to People’s Republic of Benin on November 30, 1975; name changed further to Republic of Benin on February 28, 1990, by National Conference of Active Forces of the Nation, which also revoked constitution of August 1977; multiparty constitution approved by popular referendum on December 2, 1990.
Area: 43,483 sq. mi. (112,622 sq. km.).
Population: 6,769,914 (2002C); 9,315,000 (2008E).
Major Urban Centers (2005E): PORTO NOVO (240,000), Cotonou (789,000).
Official Language: French.
Monetary Unit: CFA franc (official rate December 1, 2009: 434.59 CFA francs = $1US). The CFA franc, previously pegged to the French franc, is now permanently pegged to the euro at 655.957 CFA ...