Information about state
Official Name: The Republic of Benin
Capital: Porto Novo
Extent: 112 622 square kilometres
Population Number: 7 250 033 (2004)
Official Language: French
State Organization: Republic
Main Religion: Animism (50%), Christianity (30%), Moslems (20%)
Time: Middle European Time 0
Benin, (officially The Republic of Benin), is a state in West Africa, situated at Guinea Bay, known as Dahome till 1975. In west, the country borders with Togo, in north-west with Burkina Fasso, in north with Niger and in the east with Nigeria. The territory has the extent of 112 622 square kilometres (it is nearly the same as former Czechoslovakia) and it is inhabitated with 7,46 millions of persons. Porto Novo is a capital, but Cotonou is a seat of government. The territory of the republic is rather flat, the average altitude is only 100 metres above sea level. The country could be divided, from south to the north, into four main areas:
low situated, sandy coastal plains (up to the altitude to 10 metres above sea level). They are swampy areas, with lakes and lagoons, leading to the ocean. Further, plain-lands of south Benin (20-200 metres above sea level) are divided with valleys, leading in north-south direction along Couffo, Zou and Oueme rivers. Next, it is plain-land area with rocky hills, seldom reaching the height of 400 metres. They are spreaded in the environs of Nikki and Save. Atacora Mountain Range, passing along north-west border, is directing to Togo, with its highest Mont Sokbaro Mountain (658 m).
In south, two types of countryside are dominating – infertile earth with a soil lieing fallow, and with rests of great holy forests. In the rest of the country, the savannah, covered with thorny bushes and baobabs, is to be found. Along rivers, some forests are placed. The population of Benin is divided into several tribes. The Fons (1,7 millions of persons, speaking Fons´ languages - 2001) are followed with various groups of Yorubs (1,2 millions of persons), Ays (600 thousands), Baribs (460 thousands), Ayizs (330 thousands), Fulbs (310 thousands) and Guns (240 thousands).
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