Benin. Like most other former French colonies in Africa, Benin celebrated its 50th anniversary as an independent state in 2010. Although Benin has been highlighted in recent years as something of a regional democratic example, the celebration was not characterized by any directly veiled mood. President Boni Yayi said in his solemn speech that the country is still hindered in its development by its troubled past, when Benin was plagued by constant military coups for decades. When 150 political parties want to join and govern and position the work of public institutions, the president said, also complaining that corruption is deeply rooted and that public funds are being squandered.
A few days earlier, more than half of the members of Parliament had made a request that the president be indicted for suspected involvement in a fraud involving an insurance company’s investment fund, which must have cheated a large number of people their savings. Earlier, the President had dismissed the Minister of the Interior for consultation with the Fund. However, the President of Parliament rejected the Members’ request on the grounds that the evidence against the President was insufficient.
In the fall, Benin suffered its worst natural disaster of 100 years when nearly three-quarters of the country was submerged. Large parts of West Africa were plagued by floods, but Benin was probably the worst affected. Over 100,000 people became homeless and about 680,000 were affected in one way or another. About 40 people were said to have perished. According to COUNTRYAAH, Benin has a population of 11.49 million (2018). The UN appealed to the outside world for US $ 46.8 million in disaster relief.