Benin as one of the most stable countries in West Africa and a strategical gateway to the sub-region, Benin offers today industrial potential with high added value to national and international investors. For example, Benin has become the leading cotton producer in Africa and its production of cashew nuts, soybeans, shea nuts, pineapples and wood are among the most sought across the world.
Benin became aware of its socio-economic development potential, through the government action program named “Benin revealed” 2016-2021. This program, which is based on Beninese’s talent and dynamism, will help us to shift our industrial and commercial development into a new gear.
Benin enjoys a strategic position in West Africa:
Benin has a land area of 114,763 km2 – in size larger than Portugal and somewhat smaller than Greece – stretching 670 km from North (the river Niger) to South (the Gulf of Guinea).
The economic zones – free zones, industrial zones, special economic zones), the road infrastructure and the Port of Cotonou constitute a central position for transit in the region, offering access to sea lanes for several landlocked neighboring countries (Burkina Faso, Niger, Mali, Chad). Benin also benefits from the proximity of Nigeria with which it shares more than 800 km of border. Benin is located at multiple crossroads, which constitutes considerable advantage for the country’s development strategy in the years to come.
Cradle of culture, of arts, of the voodoo civilization and the ancient kingdom of Dahomey, Benin possesses a unique historical, cultural and architectural heritage in West Africa. Its seaside and lagoon attractions also constitute a unique natural heritage which waits to be visited.
Sharing borders with Togo, Burkina Faso, Niger, and Nigeria, Benin has 121 kilometers of coastline along the Gulf of Guinea, a population of nearly 11.53 million (2018), and an average life expectancy of 61.2 years. Cotonou and Porto- Novo, Benin’s two most populous major cities. Located in the south of the country, they have 2,557,723 inhabitants and 926,839 inhabitants respectively.
Abundance of raw materials in Benin
Benin is the No 1. producer of seed cotton in Africa, and N°10 in the world ranking. Benin exceeded 700.000 tons of harvest in 2020 and plans multi-fold production by 2024 which offers tremendous opportunity for cotton products- MADE IN BENIN. According to Government of Rebublic of Benin website, the cotton production has evolved over the last 10 years in Benin. Read more about the Textile Park in Benin that specializes in production of cotton textiles and apparels.
In Benin, cashew is the second largest export crop after cotton, with a quality rated highly in regional and international markets. The dynamic observed within the cashew sector has enabled the local, regional and national economy to generate substantial income which balances the trade balance. In West African sub-region, Benin is among the best quality cashew producing countries.
Pineapple is one of Benin’s main export products, with a quality rated highly in regional and international markets. Currently, export worthy and domestically consumed pineapple is produced mainly in 6 communes of Benin with the largest quantity of production in the commune of Allada.
- Shea nut:
Shea butter, generally used as cooking oil or soap, is widely exported to Europe, where it is used in chocolate making, cosmetology / pharmacology. Benin has a shea park that stretches from Atchérigbé to Malanville. The figures available at the national level show a relatively large population (about 6,550,000 plants of shea in the departments of Atacora and Donga). Beninese Shea has several comparative advantages in terms of quality, taste, price, virtue, and many uses along with several derivatives.
- Soya beans:
Soya beans are processed for their oil and fodder (for the animal feed industry). A smaller percentage is processed for human consumption and transformed into products like soy milk, soy flour, soy protein, tofu and other retail food products. Soybeans are also used in many non-food (industrial) products. In 2019, Benin sold 7,564 tonnes of soya beans globally.
- Other industries:
Light engineering, Agro-processing industries, Wood product industries, Phones and computers assembly industries, Pharmaceutical industries, and Electric vehicle industries.
Infrastructure of Benin
- Road: 5000 km long, the road network occupies an important place in the national transport system. A vast program to build new infrastructure has been launched since 2016 and will bring this road network to more than 6,000 km by 2021.
- Railway: The Beninese rail network extends over 758 km and is managed in public-private partnership (PPP) by a private company named BENINRAIL SA, a joint-venture between Benin and Niger states.
- Airport & Air Transport: Cotonou has an international airport with an average capacity of around 576,456 passengers annually. It is the largest airport in Benin. Its international code (IATA code) is COO. This airport is currently located in the city of Cotonou which is being relocated near the Benin Industrial Zone project.
- Seaport & maritime transportation: The Port of Cotonou is the only seaport in Benin and a natural outlet to countries without a seafront and neighboring Nigeria, which gives it a function of transit port par excellence in the Gulf of Guinea region. The Port currently operates around 450 bulk cargo and freight vessels per year, which represents around 11.0 million tons of various products and 350 container vessels which themselves represent approximately 280,000 TEUS per year.
- Power generation & Distribution: The Power Generation project is to help Benin meet its own power generation needs by increasing Benin’s domestic generation capacity by approximately 50 MW to reduce its dependence on external energy sources. This will be achieved by installing solar photovoltaic power plants; rehabilitating and installing additional generation capacity at an existing hydroelectric plant.
Environmental Law, Acts, & Regulations
- The waste regulation
The management of solid household waste in Grand Nokoué is designed around the state of the road system and considers the main links: pre- collection, collection and transport, sorting- recovery and burial of around 500,000 tons of waste to be collected each year. A total of 611,519 households for an estimated population of over 2.3 million will benefit from the solid waste management service.
- Waste treatment
According to Article 9 of Decree No. 2003-332 of August 27, 2003, any natural or legal person who produces or holds waste is required to ensure or have it managed under conditions capable of limiting the effects. negative on water, air, soil, fauna, flora, to avoid inconvenience due to noise or odors and in general, not to harm either the environment or the health of the man.
There are broadly eight business units at GDIZ, Benin Africa
One of the important missions of SIPI-Benin within the framework of the development and the management of the GDIZ is to develop and manage the model farms and associated processes and systems, the mechanism to boost agriculture production, including the integration with collection system and transport up to the Zone. GDIZ is divided into following zones:
Why invest in Benin?
- Stable Democracy
One of the most stable democracies in Africa, Republic of Benin has recently initiated major economic and structural reforms. Benin is ranked 149 in the ease of doing business, according to the World Bank annual ratings.
- Geographical Position
Benin enjoys a strategic geographical position, sharing its borders with Togo, Nigeria, Burkina Faso and Niger.
- Promising Growth
Solid growth rate of 5.4% in 2017 and plans to reach 7.1% by 2021. Benin’s success has been achieved without harming the country’s overall economic health – the budget deficit was just 2.2% of the GDP in 2016.
- New Momentum For Benin
Bénin Révélé is a large-scale investment program based on 45 flagship projects in 9 key sectors, and which aims to sustainably revive the country’s economy.
- Digital Platform
Benin has been instrumental in creating digital platform for key administrative procedures, leading to a higher level of transparency and process efficiency comparable to any developed nation.
Read more: Glo-Djigbé Industrial Zone (GDIZ) – BENIN