Benin Culture

Benin Culture and Mass Media

Newspapers in Benin

The spread of daily newspapers in Benin is small (5 newspaper excl. Per 1,000 inv., 2000). State-owned La Nation (founded in 1990) is the only daily newspaper. After the regime change in 1990, when freedom of the press was introduced, several smaller non-daily newspapers were started. These have contributed to a lively social debate, even though government intervention has taken place.

The state-owned company Office de Radiodiffusion et de Télévision du Bénin broadcasts radio in French, English and 18 domestic languages ​​as well as TV in a channel that reaches about 20% of the country. Since 1997, the state has issued permits for private broadcasting. There are 439 radio and 45 TV receivers per 1,000 residents (2000).


According to ALLUNITCONVERTERS, Benin is known for its silver, bronze and tin figures. Until the 20th century, these were only manufactured in the royal palace of the old capital Abomey, while ordinary people were allowed to make figurines of wood or gourds. Abomey also made unique tissues, which tell the story of the ancient kings. The palace in Abomey is included in the UN agency UNESCO World Heritage List.

The voodoo cult plays an important role in the country’s cultural life and a voodoo festival is held annually just after New Year in the city of Ouidah, which is the center of the voodoo cult and former port of slave shipping.

The internationally renowned singer Angélique Kidjo is from Benin.

Jean Pliya is one of the country’s most respected writers. His novels have been awarded several awards and the book Repslagarna is available in Swedish (1996). In 1987, for the first time, a novel was published by a female Beninese author, Gisèle Hountandji.



Municipal elections despite the coronapandem

May 17

The controversial local election is being held as planned despite the risk of increased transmission of the coronavirus sars-cov-2. When the result becomes clear after a few days, it is clear that two parties close to President Patrice Talon have won a smashing victory. The result was expected when the main opposition parties did not stand in the election and urged their supporters not to go and vote. On Election Day itself, all voters must wear mouthguards, but several of the recently introduced coronary restrictions are temporarily lifted to attract people to the polling stations. No elections have been held and the election campaign has been limited to posters and appearances in the media. Benin is considered one of West Africa’s most stable democracies, but since the disputed parliamentary elections last year, the country has been in a political crisis (see April 28, 2019).

Mass tests on teachers before school start

May 9

Authorities are starting to test teachers for the reopening of the country’s schools. It is primarily students who attend the final year of compulsory school and study at universities who will return to classrooms. Oral protection should be distributed to the students and everyone is encouraged to social distance. Like many African countries, Benin relieves certain restrictions previously imposed in an effort to stop the spread of covid-19. The schools have been closed for six weeks and there has been a ban on entry to larger cities. As the number of coronate tests increases, the official figure for the number of infected has doubled and now stands at 284. So far, two people have died as a result of covid-19.


Measures against coronary pandemic

April 8

The authorities make it mandatory to wear face masks in public places in Benin’s cities. The injunction is an attempt to slow the spread of the new coronavirus sars-cov-2, which caused a pandemic. It is forbidden to enter or leave the agglomerations, where public transport is severely restricted, bars are closed and crowds are prohibited. At the time, Benin has 26 confirmed cases of coronary-infected residents and a death in covid-19, the disease caused by the virus.


Suspected jihadist attack on police officers

February 9

Unknown perpetrators at night attack a police post in northern Benin near the border with Burkina Faso, where jihadist groups are ravaging. At least one policeman is killed when about 10 motorcyclists drive past and shoot the post with automatic weapons, calling allahu akbar. This is the first time a similar attack has been targeted at Benin police, where they now fear that the jihadists will start making raids. Jihadist groups operate in three of Benin’s neighboring countries: Niger, Nigeria and Burkina Faso. Benin has until now been spared. However, it is not clear if the perpetrators were really violent Islamists. Assessors say it can also be about poachers.

Benin Culture

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