Present day Benin was the site of Dahomey, a West African kingdom that rose to prominence in about 1600 and over the next two and a half centuries became a regional power, largely based on its slave trade. Coastal areas of Dahomey began to be controlled by the French in the second half of the 19th century; the entire kingdom was conquered by 1894. French Dahomey achieved independence in 1960; it changed its name to the Republic of Benin in 1975.
Benin can be found in Western Africa, bordering the Bight of Benin, between Nigeria and Togo situated a total land are of 2,123 km. Its border countries (4) are: Burkina Faso 386 km, Niger 277 km, Nigeria 809 km, Togo 651 km. its natural resources include small offshore oil deposits, limestone, marble, timber. With its tropical climate; hot, humid in south; semiarid in north, Benin has a population of 11,340,504 (July 2018 est.). The population is primarily located in the south, with the highest concentration of people residing in and around the cities on the Atlantic coast; most of the north remains sparsely populated with higher concentrations of residents in the west. The official language in Benin is French and they are predominantly Muslim. Benin has a youthful age structure – almost 65% of the population is under the age of 25 – which is bolstered by high fertility and population growth rates. Poverty, unemployment, increased living costs, and dwindling resources increasingly drive the Beninese to migrate. An estimated 4.4 million, more than 40%, of Beninese live abroad.