Space Program of Benin

------The Benin Space Agency------

Level = 0                                         Development: Very Low


Country Overview

What has been going on in Benin?



Space Agency and its Activity

What kind of space power do they have?



Weapons and Power Projection

Does Benin have space weapons?



Timeline and the Future

What are they planning over there?

Population: 8,500,000 / Language: French / GDP: $1100 / Cities: Cotonou

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   Benin, formerly known as Dahomey, has emerged as a beacon of democracy and is one of Africa's most stable nations.

In the first decade after independence in 1960 it was ruled by a succession of military leaders until Major Mathieu Kerekou seized power in 1972 and gradually restored civilian rule.

Benin's shore includes what used to be known as the Slave Coast, from where captives were shipped across the Atlantic. Elements of the culture and religion brought by slaves from the area are still present in the Americas, including voodoo.


  • Politics: President Boni won elections in 2006, replacing Mathieu Kerekou, who was in office for most of the time since he seized power in 1972
  • Economy: Benin to benefit from G8 commitment to write off debt. It is pressing Western cotton producing countries to compete more fairly by cutting subsidies to their farmers
  • International: Thousands of Togolese refugees have yet to return home

Once banned in Benin, the religion is celebrated at the country's annual Voodoo Day, which draws thousands of celebrants.

Before being colonised by France towards the end of the 1800s, the area comprised several independent states, including the Kingdom of Dahomey, which had a well-trained standing army and was geared towards the export of slaves and later palm oil.

Instability marked the first years after full independence from France in 1960 and the early part of Mr Kerekou's rule featured Marxism-Leninism as the official ideology.

However, during the 1980s Mr Kerekou resigned from the army to become a civilian head of state and liberalised the economy.

While Benin has seen economic growth over the past few years and is one of Africa's largest cotton producers, it ranks among the world's poorest countries. The economy relies heavily on trade with its eastern neighbour, Nigeria.

To the north, there have been sporadic clashes along Benin's border with Burkina Faso. The trouble has been blamed on land disputes between rival communities on either side of the border.

Thousands of Togolese refugees fled to Benin in 2005 following political unrest in their homeland. Benin called for international aid to help it shelter and feed the exiles.

Full name: The Republic of Benin

  • Population: 7.1 million (UN, 2005)
  • Capital: Porto-Novo
  • Area: 112,622 sq km (43,484 sq miles)
  • Major languages: French (official) Fon, Ge, Bariba, Yoruba, Dendi
  • Major religions: Indigenous beliefs, Christianity, Islam
  • Life expectancy: 53 years (men), 54 years (women) (UN)
  • Monetary unit: 1 CFA (Communaute Financiere Africaine) franc = 100 centimes
  • Main exports: Cotton, palm oil
  • GNI per capita: US $510 (World Bank, 2006)
  • Internet domain: .bj
  • International dialling code: +229

The BBC World Service and Radio France Internationale are available on FM in Cotonou.

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 Benin's Space Infrastructure




Benin is one of the world's poorest countries, and its space program is not suprisingly, nonexistent. Not only does it not have an agency, but also no infrastructure in which one would arise. The National University of Benin (Dahomey) in Cotonou has no space related educational architecture, lacking astrophysics, astronautics, aeronautics and natural sciences, favoring instead medicine. The government has no ministry devoted to science of this type.

No history of being part of any organization dealing with space, nor has any launch capability.

Benin lacks the industrial base, the educational base and the political foundation for a process like this to occur within it. It has no functioning university with an astrophysics or astronautics program, and nonexistant industry.

Benin operates no satellites and, not having an orbital presence, has no space power.

The government of Benin in Mogadishu has no plans for attempting to further any ambition in space development or research.




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Timeline of Events in Benin

...From the Past to the Future


1960 - Dahomey gains independence and is admitted to the UN.

1960 - Elections won by the Parti Dahomeen de L'Unite. Party leader Hubert Maga becomes country's first president.

1963 - President Maga is deposed in a coup led by the army's Chief of Staff, Colonel Christophe Soglo.

1963 - Dahomey joins the IMF.

1964 - Sourou-Migan Apithy is elected president.

1965 - General Soglo forces the president to step down and a provisional government is formed. In December he assumes power.

1967 - Major Maurice Kouandete leads a coup. Lt Col Alley replaces Gen Soglo as head of state.

1968 - The military regime nominates Dr Emile-Derlin Zinsou as president.

1969 - Lt Col Kouandete deposes President Zinsou.

1970 - Presidential elections are held but abandoned. Power is ceded to a presidential council consisting of Ahomadegbe, Apithy and Maga, who received almost equal support in the abandoned poll. Maga is the first of the three to serve as president with a two year term.

1972 - Ahomadegbe assumes the presidency from Maga for the next two year term.

1972 - Major Mathieu Kerekou seizes power; the presidential council members are detained.

1973 - The Conseil National Revolutionnaire (CNR) is created. Representatives are taken from across the country.

Dahomey becomes Benin

1975 - November - Dahomey is renamed the People's Republic of Benin.

1975 - The Parti de la Revolution Populaire du Benin (PRPB) is established as the country's only political party.

1977 - The CNR adopts a "Loi Fondamentale", setting out new government structures.

1979 - Elections are held to the new Assemblee Nationale Revolutionnaire (ANR). The list of people's commissioners is resoundingly approved. The Comite Executif National (CEN) replaces the CNR.

1980 - ANR unanimously elects Kerekou as president. Kerekou is the sole contender.

1981 - Members of the former presidential council are released from house arrest.

1984 - ANR increases the terms of the president and people's commissioners from three to five years. The number of people's commissioners is reduced from 336 to 196.

1984 - ANR re-elects Kerekou; no other candidates contest the election.

1987 - Kerekou resigns from the military.

1988 - Two unsuccessful coup attempts.

1989 - Elections are held; a list of 206 people's commissioners is approved. Benin agrees to IMF and World Bank economic adjustment measures.

1989 - President Kerekou re-elected for a third term. Marxism-Leninism is abandoned as Benin's official ideology. Anti-government strikes and demonstrations take place.

Constitutional changes

1990 - Unrest continues. President Kerekou meets dissident leaders. Agreement on constitutional reform and multi-candidate presidential elections is reached.

1990 March - Implementation of agreed reforms begins. Benin drops "people's" from its official title and becomes the Republic of Benin.

1990 December - In a referendum, the constitutional changes are approved by a majority of voters.

1991 February - Legislative elections: No party secures an overall majority. The largest grouping is an alliance of pro-Soglo parties.

1991 March - President Kerekou is beaten by Nicephore Soglo in the first multi-candidate presidential elections. Kerekou is granted immunity from prosecution over actions taken since October 1972.

1992 - The Parti de la Renaissance du Benin is formed by Soglo's wife.

1995 - Legislative elections: Parti de la Renaissance du Benin forms the new government.

1996 - Following accusations of irregularities in presidential elections, the constitutional court announces that Kerekou has received the majority of valid votes cast.

1999 - Legislative elections: New government is formed of representatives of 10 parties.

Kerekou re-elected

2001 March - Presidential elections: none of 17 candidates receives an overall majority. Kerekou is declared re-elected in second round.

2002 - Benin joins the Community of Sahel-Saharan States.

2002 December - First local elections since the end of the single-party regime more than 10 years ago.

2003 March - Legislative elections: Parties supporting President Kerekou win 52 of the 83 elective seats.

2003 December - Lebanese charter plane crashes after taking off from Cotonou, killing some 140 people. French investigators subsequently find that the plane was overloaded.

2004 July - Benin, Nigeria agree to redraw their mutual border.

2005 March - US telecommunications company is fined after it admits to bribery in Benin. The company was accused of funnelling millions of dollars into President Kerekou's 2001 election campaign.

2005 July - International Court of Justice awards most of the river islands along the disputed Benin-Niger border to Niger.

2006 March - Political newcomer Yayi Boni, running as an independent, wins the run-off vote in presidential elections. The incumbent, Mathieu Kerekou, is barred from the poll under a constitutional age limit.

2006 March, April - World Bank and the African Development Bank approve debt relief for several countries including Benin, as part of measures agreed at a G8 nations summit at Gleneagles, Scotland, in 2005.

May - Students protests against visit by French Interior Minister Nicolas Sarkozy who introduced a bill making it more difficult for unskilled workers to migrate to France.





Nothing Planned


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