Benin: History

  1. 1900

    The Kingdom of Dahomey becomes a French colony ruled by a French governor.

  2. 1960

    Dahomey gains its independence from France and becomes part of the United Nations.

  3. 1963

    Dahomey joins the International Monetary Fund (IMF).

  4. 1972

    Major Mathieu Kerekou takes power of the country, professing strict Marxist-Leninist principles. The Revolutionary Party of the People of Benin (PRPB) becomes the country’s only political party.

  5. 1975

    Dahomey is renamed the People’s Republic of Benin.

  6. 1989

    Benin forms an agreement with the IMF and World Bank that includes economic reforms.

  7. 1990

    Civil unrest and anti-government strikes occur. President Kerekou announces that the country is abandoning Marxist-Leninism principles and multi-candidate elections will be held the following year.

  8. 2002

    Benin joins the Community of Sahel-Saharan States.

  9. 2006

    Benin is awarded debt relief by the World Bank and the African Development Bank.

  10. 2009

    Significant amounts of oil are discovered at a town along the disputed Benin-Niger border.


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