Benin is a small country in West Africa with a coastline on the Bight of Benin. Neighboring countries include Burkina Faso, Niger, Nigeria, and Togo. The geography of Benin is mostly flat with sandbanks that make access to the coast difficult. The government system is a republic; the chief of state and the head of government is the president. Officially, Benin has a mixed economic system, however subsistence farming and underdeveloped industries are indicative of a traditional economy in which the allocation of available resources is based on inheritance and primitive methods. Benin is a member of the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS).
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