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District 9102 – COUNTRIES PROFILES

Today, Rotary District 9102 has ninety (95) clubs in all four (4) countries with two thousand and four hundred eighty-five (2485) members – five hundred (500) females representing 33.67% and nine hundred and eighty-four males representing 66.26%. Rotarians in Rotary District 9102 continue to increase efforts in eradicating polio; promoting peace; fighting disease providing clean water; saving mothers and children; supporting education and growing local economies. The District comprises Benin, Ghana, Niger and Togo.

Country Profile of Benin

Flag of The Republic of Benin

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.

Country Profile of Ghana
Flag of The Republic of Ghana

Flag of The Republic of Ghana

Another country is the Western Africa, bordering the Gulf of Guinea, between Cote d’Ivoire and Togo. Ghana has a total land area of 2,420 km with border countries (3): Burkina Faso 602 km, Cote d’Ivoire 720 km, Togo 1098 km. With a tropical climate; warm and comparatively dry along southeast coast; hot and humid in southwest; hot and dry in north, Ghana is enriched with gold, timber, industrial diamonds, bauxite, manganese, fish, rubber, hydropower, petroleum, silver, salt, limestone.

 

Formed from the merger of the British colony of the Gold Coast and the Togoland trust territory, Ghana in 1957 became the first sub-Saharan country in colonial Africa to gain its independence. Ghana endured a series of coups before Lt. Jerry RAWLINGS took power in 1981 and banned political parties. After approving a new constitution and restoring multiparty politics in 1992, RAWLINGS won presidential elections in 1992 and 1996 but was constitutionally prevented from running for a third term in 2000. John KUFUOR of the opposition New Patriotic Party (NPP) succeeded him and was reelected in 2004. John Atta MILLS of the National Democratic Congress won the 2008 presidential election and took over as head of state, but he died in July 2012 and was constitutionally succeeded by his vice president, John Dramani MAHAMA, who subsequently won the December 2012 presidential election. In 2016, however, Nana Addo Dankwa AKUFO-ADDO of the NPP defeated MAHAMA, marking the third time that the Ghana’s presidency has changed parties since the return to democracy.

 

The country has a population of 28,102,471 (July 2018 est.), concentrated in the southern half of the country, with the highest concentrations being on or near the Atlantic coast. English is the official language and the country is predominantly Christian

 

Lake Volta is the world’s largest artificial lake (manmade reservoir) by surface area (8,482 sq. km; 3,275 sq. mi); the lake was created following the completion of the Akosombo Dam in 1965, which holds back the White Volta and Black Volta Rivers

Ghana has a young age structure, with approximately 57% of the population under the age of 25. Its total fertility rate fell significantly during the 1980s and 1990s but has stalled at around four children per woman for the last few years. Fertility remains higher in the northern region than the Greater Accra region. On average, desired fertility has remained stable for several years; urban dwellers want fewer children than rural residents. Increased life expectancy, due to better health care, nutrition, and hygiene, and reduced fertility have increased Ghana’s share of elderly persons; Ghana’s proportion of persons aged 60+ is among the highest in sub-Saharan Africa. Poverty has declined in Ghana, but it remains pervasive in the northern region, which is susceptible to droughts and floods and has less access to transportation infrastructure, markets, fertile farming land, and industrial centres. The northern region also has lower school enrolment, higher illiteracy, and fewer opportunities for women.

Country Profile of Niger
Flag of The Republic of Niger

Flag of The Republic of Niger

Niger is one of the poorest countries in the world with minimal government services and insufficient funds to develop its resource base. The largely agrarian and subsistence-based economy is frequently disrupted by extended droughts common to the Sahel region of Africa. A Tuareg rebellion emerged in 2007 and ended in 2009. Niger is facing increased security concerns on its borders from various external threats including insecurity in Libya, spillover from the conflict in Mali, and violent extremism in northeastern Nigeria.

 

Situated on southeast of Algeria, Niger has a total land are of 5,834 km with border countries (7): Algeria 951 km, Benin 277 km, Burkina Faso 622 km, Chad 1196 km, Libya 342 km, Mali 838 km, Nigeria 1608 km. Its natural resources include uranium, coal, iron ore, tin, phosphates, gold, molybdenum, gypsum, salt, and petroleum. A desert, the climate is mostly hot, dry, dusty; tropical in extreme south. Landlocked, Niger is one of the hottest countries in the world; northern four-fifths is desert, southern one-fifth is savanna, suitable for livestock and limited agriculture

 

Niger became independent from France in 1960 and experienced single-party and military rule until 1991, when Gen. Ali SAIBOU was forced by public pressure to allow multiparty elections, which resulted in a democratic government in 1993. Political infighting brought the government to a standstill and in 1996 led to a coup by Col. Ibrahim BARE. In 1999, BARE was killed in a counter coup by military officers who restored democratic rule and held elections that brought Mamadou TANDJA to power in December of that year. TANDJA was reelected in 2004 and in 2009 spearheaded a constitutional amendment allowing him to extend his term as president. In February 2010, military officers led a coup that deposed TANDJA and suspended the constitution. ISSOUFOU Mahamadou was elected in April 2011 following the coup and reelected to a second term in early 2016.

Majority of the 19,866,231 (July 2018 est.) population is located in the southernmost extreme of the country along the border with Nigeria and Benin. Predominantly Hausa, French is the official language. Niger is a Muslim country.

For more than half a century, Niger’s lack of economic development has led to steady net outmigration. In the 1960s, Nigeriens mainly migrated to coastal West African countries to work on a seasonal basis. Some headed to Libya and Algeria in the 1970s to work in the booming oil industry until its decline in the 1980s. Since the 1990s, the principal destinations for Nigerien labor migrants have been West African countries, especially Burkina Faso and Cote d’Ivoire, while emigration to Europe and North America has remained modest. During the same period, Niger’s desert trade route town Agadez became a hub for West African and other sub-Saharan migrants crossing the Sahara to North Africa and sometimes onward to Europe.

Country Profile of Togo
Flag of The Republic of Togo

Flag of The Republic of Togo

The last Western African country in Rotary District 9102 is bordering the Bight of Benin, between Benin and Ghana. It has a total land area of 1,880 km and is bordered by countries Benin 651 km, Burkina Faso 131 km, Ghana 1098 km. Its climate is tropical; hot, humid in south; semiarid in north and natural resources are sulphates, limestone, marble, arable land. Togo is one of the more densely populated African nations with most of the population residing in rural communities, density is highest in the south on or near the Atlantic coast.

 

French Togoland became Togo in 1960. Gen. Gnassingbe EYADEMA, installed as military ruler in 1967, ruled Togo with a heavy hand for almost four decades. Despite the facade of multi-party elections instituted in the early 1990s, the government was largely dominated by President EYADEMA, whose Rally of the Togolese People (RPT) party has been in power almost continually since 1967 and its successor, the Union for the Republic, maintains a majority of seats in today’s legislature. Upon EYADEMA’s death in February 2005, the military installed the president’s son, Faure GNASSINGBE, and then engineered his formal election two months later. Democratic gains since then allowed Togo to hold its first relatively free and fair legislative elections in October 2007. Since 2007, President GNASSINGBE has started the country along a gradual path to political reconciliation and democratic reform, and Togo has held multiple presidential and legislative elections that were deemed generally free and fair by international observers. Despite those positive moves, political reconciliation has moved slowly and many Togolese complain that important political measures such as presidential term limits and electoral reforms remain undone, leaving the country’s politics in a lethargic state. Internationally, Togo is still known as a country where the same family has been in power for five decades.

 

 

Togo’s population numbers 8,176,449 (July 2018 est.) and is considered one of the more densely populated African nations with most of the population residing in rural communities, density is highest in the south on or near the Atlantic coast. Mainly African, French is the official language spoken with more

Christians than Muslims.  Togo’s population is estimated to have grown to four times its size between 1960 and 2010. With nearly 60% of its populace under the age of 25 and a high annual growth rate attributed largely to high fertility, Togo’s population is likely to continue to expand for the foreseeable future. Reducing fertility, boosting job creation, and improving education will be essential to reducing the country’s high poverty rate. Togo is both a country of emigration and asylum.

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