Saturday, October 31, 2009

Mayotte, Geography (contd-1)

Area= 374 km sq.
Poulation=194,000, 2009 estimate.


Mayotte or Mahore , officially the Departmental Collectivity of Mayotte, is known in overseas collectivity of France consisting of a main island, Grande Terre (or Mayotte or Mahore) , a smaller island, Petite-Tre (or Pamanji), and several islets, around these two.
Mayotte is very densely populated.It is in the northern Mozambique Channwl in the Indian Ocean, between northern Madagascar and Northern Mozambique. The Territory is Geographically Is part of the Comoro Islands

but hasbeen politically separatesince the 1970s.The territory is also known as Mahore, the native name of its main Island, especially by advocates of its inclusion in the Union of Comoros.


The main Island Grande-Terre (or Mahore), geographically the oldest of the Comoros, 39 km long and 22 km wide and its highest point is Mount Benara at 2,165ft above sea level.Because of the volcanic rock, the soil is relatively rich in some areas. A coral leaf encircling much of the island ensures protection for ships and a habitat for fish.

DZaoudji was the capital of Mayotte until 1977.It is situated on Petite-Terre (or Pamanzi), whhich is of largest of several islets of adjacent to Mahore. Mayotteis a member of the Indian Ocean Commission, with a separate membership rather than as part of the Comoros.

Here is a list of 22 small islands of Mayotte.

Friday, October 30, 2009

Comoros, Introduction

It is a set of island nation, officially known as Union of the Comoros, situated in the Indian ocean on the northern end of the Mozambique channel between northern Madagascar and northeastern Mozambique. The nearest country to the Comoros are Mozambique, Tanzania, Madagascar and the
Seychelles. It is the southermost member state of the Arab League.
It is the third smallest African nation by area and sixth smallest African nation by population ( nearly 8 lacs) but with one of the highest population densities in Africa.
its name is derived from Arabic word Qamar means "moon."
The country officially consists of the four big islands and many smaller islands. namely, 1. Ngazidja, Mwali, Nzwani and Mayotte.But Mayotte was never administered by the govt. of Comoros and the voted against independence of from France. France has vetoed United nations Security Council's resolutions that would affirm Comorian soverignityover the Island. In addition, a 29 March 2009 referendumon Mayotte's becoming an overseas department of France in 2011 was passed overwhelmingly by the people of Mayotte.
Comoros is one of the poorest country of the world with its rank 168 and GNI per capita, atlas method est.2003 and from the bottom 38th. In other forms of measurement IMF,WB and CIA per capita ppp method (nominal) est. 2007,2007 and 2008 respectively.

Members of Arab League

Benin, Religion and people

The majority of the Benin's population lives in south.The ethnic groups are Yoruba in the southeast, Dendi in the northcentral area, Bariba and Fulbe in the north east etc.42.8 % are christian, 24.4 p.c. are Muslim, others are local indeginous religion. Literacy is below 50 %.

Benin, History (comtd-6)

Dr. Thomas Yayi Boni, born in 1952 in Tehaourou, in the northern Benin, then the French colony ob Dahomey.He was educated in the regional capital Parakou, and later studied economics at the National University of Benin. He studied Banking at Cheick Anta Diop University in Dakar, Senegal, and latereconomics and politics at the University of Orleans, France and at Paris University, where he completed a doctorate in economics in 1976. From 1980 to 1988 Boni worked for the Central Bank of the States of West Africa (BCEAO), becoming its Deputy director for professional department at the west Adfrican Center for Banking Studies, also in Dakar. From 1992 to 1994 he worked in the office of the President of Benin, Nicephore Soglo, in charge of monetory and banking policy. Finally in 1994 he was appointed President of the West African Development Bank (BOAD). For his work on West African Development he was appointed Chevalier de l'Ordre national de Merite of the French Republic.
In the first round of the presidential elections, held on 5 March,Boni polled 32 %. His nearest challenger Adrien Houngbedji of the Party for Democratic renewal, polled 25%. 6 candidates contested the election, which was reported to have been peaceful and fair. A ronoff was held between Boni and Houngbedji on 19 March, Boni won with almost 75 % of the vote.
Originally he was a Muslim but now an Evangelical Protestant. He has five children and his wife a native of coastal city of Ouidah,
Assassination Attempt:
On March 15,2007, Yayi Boni survived an ambush on his convoy near the village of Ikemonwhile returning from an election campaign rally in the town Ouesse for the upcoming of Parliamentary election. The attackers blocked the road nd fired upon the vehicle which was meant for the President ; however the President was in a separate car and was saved. Due to cross firing some of the guards were wounded.

Thursday, October 29, 2009

Benin, History (contd-5)

Mathieu Kerekou (born on 2 Sep 1933)
became president from 1972 to 1991 and again from 1996 to 2006. He was the only person who remained president for so long period in his life time.He told officially that he followed Marxist line though he was not actually a Marxist.
Born in 1933 in Kouarfa, in the north-west of the country, he studied at Military Schools in Mali and Senegal and served in the Military.

Following independence, from 1961 to 1963 he was an aide-de-camp to President Hubert Maga.
When Maurice Kouandete seized power in Dec 1967, Kerekou being his cousin, was made cairman of the Military Revolutionary Council. After Kerekou attended French military schools from 1968 to 1970, maga made him a Major, deputy chief of staff, and commander of the Ouidah paratroop unit.
Military Dictator:
Kerekou seized power in Benin in a military coup on 26 October, 1972, and thus the three members presidential council ended. During his first two years in power he expressed himself as nationalist and said that the country's revolution would not "burden itself by copying foreign ideology --We donot want communism or capitalism or socialism. We have our own Dahomeansocial and cultural system." But on Nov 30, 1974, he announced the adoption of Marxism-Leninism by the state and renamed the state as Peiple's Republic of Benina year later. He nationalised the banks, petroleum Industry and formed the People's Revolutionary Party of Benin as the sole ruling Party. In 1980, he was elected president by the Revolutionary National assembly. He retired from the army on 1987.
But his move to Marxism-Leninism was mainly from a pragmatic cosideration to obtain the support of leftist radicals. Even his nationalisation could not help the country as there was no infrastructure in the country.
Kerekou survived numerous attempts to oust him, including an attack by mercenariesat the airport in Cotonou in Jan. 1977 as well as two coup attempts in 1988. Reversing his course of action, he accepted anIMF structural adjustment programm in 1989. A student strike and various strikes began to start on economic issues of increasing salary etc.
Transition to democracy
Kerekou was forced to take action to make concessions to popular demandsand arranged for election. he dropped the idea of Marxism-Leninism and re-elected as President. He arranged a national conferencein the worsenning of economic situation in 1990 which he termed a "civilian coup". During the transition his power had been curtailed and a new constitution was approved in a referendom in 1990 and a multiparty election was held in March 1991 which was lost by Kerekou securing 32 % vote in the first round to Prime Minister Soglo. Kerekou was so clever that he took the responsibility of the country's distress and apologized for "deplorable and regrettable incidents".
Kerekou reclaimed the presidency in the 1996 election winning by securing 52.5% votes in the second round defeating Soglo for five year term. He lost again on 5 March, 2006 to Yayi Boni and left office at end of his term. There are two other instances when military rulers came back to power in democratic election as Olusegun Obasanjo of Nigeria and John jery Rawlings of Ghana.

Benin, History (contd-4)

After Independence Maga and his Ministers moved their offices from Porto Novo to Cotonou.

De facto President
Shortly fter Independence, the three parties united to form a Front d'Action Patriotique (Patriotic Action front)and reorganised Dahomey's one electoral conssttuency. This unity didn't last long.
In early 1961, the president began applying repressive measures on the opposition press and any one suspected of trouble-making, thus effectively silencing Tometin's voice in the country.Being unable to to pursue a coup d'eta
Statue of Maga
t , he decided to conspire against the president.The country was engulfed with political turmoil and coup d'etats. Under such condition Maga formed a presidential coucil with Apithy and Tometin that the presidentship would be nhanged after every two years. maga inaugurated this system. The cabinet was composed of 4 Tometin's allies, three Maga allies and three allies of Apithy and different portfolios of the ministers were distributed.
Officially after two years, Maga transferred power to Ahomadegbe -Tometin on 7 May, 1972.This was the first time in 12 years that the head of Dahomey was suceeded in a non-military fashion.
But another coup was successfully launched by Major Mathieu kerekou who installed himself as president and the three memberw of Council Maga, Tometin and Apithy were sent prison and for nine years after which they were released by Kerekou. Maga died on 8 May, 2000 and at the time of his death he sat upon the Constitutional Court of Dahomey.
In the mean time Dahomey's BOP came down severely. Since 1924, Dahomey faced a major economic recession and GDP grew by 1.4 p.c. annually from 1957 to 1965, making Dahomey's economy one of the weakest in Africa.

Benin, History (contd-3)

In 1951 election, only 44% of the voters out of 333,693 (enlarged from 61,958) voted on the election day. Though list of voters contained the names of many dead persons. Apithy was reelected a deputy with 53,463 votes out of 147,350 cast, while maga captured the second seat with 49,463 votes. There were other candidates securing less votes.
Maga's rise to the power occurred during a period of intense regionalism, the 1951 election has been cited as when regionalist parties arose. Not only regionalism , but also it depended on ethnicity one belonged. Regionalism in Dahomey was spurred by the historical resentment shared by members of the former kingdoms of Abomey, Porto Novo, and and disorganised tribes from the north. Its result was the creation of three defacto tribal zones: the north, southeast and southwest, which were led by Maga, Apithy and Ahomadegbe- Tometin, respectively.Maga received 98% votes from the northern towns and villages but only 0.5 % votes came from the coastal regions.
In 1959 election, Maga agreed that the Maga's party RDD (Dahimey Democratic Rally) would field candidates only in the north of the country, in return Apithy's Republican Party of Dahomey (PRD) ran only in the south. The result of the election was that the PRD received 37 seats, RDD received only 22 and Tometin's party UDD (Dahomey Democratic Union) received 11 seats. Tometin took to the streets in rioting and French soldiers were called in. As a compromise formula Maga was chosen as the Premier on may ,1959.
But election coincided with a collapse of the colonial economy. There was little foreign investment in the country, and unemployment was rising
Maga tried to minimise the tribalism in the country's politics.
On Aug1, 1960, Maga went to Paris to Dahomey was offered Autonomey and mag waas chaosen as Dahomey's first president.

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Benin,History (contd-2)

The name of Hubert Maga (Aug 1916-8 may, 2000) came out first during the post independence Period of Dahomey (later known as Benin). Born in a peasnt family in Parakou, northern Dahomey, in 1916, began his education in Parakou and then to Victo Ballot School at Porto Novo for three years. Subsequently in Ponty normal School in Dakar. Here Maga became friends with Hamani,the Roman Catholicism. (Location of Parakou in Benin).
He became a teacher in 1935 at Natitingou and married a fellow Chistian, a nurse by profession and daughter of a prominant Brazilian of Ouidah, which was rare marriage between a northern and a southern. Maga was appointed director of the school in 1945. He along with his wife began to increase influences among the uneducated citizens.After WWII he began to work in trade unions and joined Teacher's Union of Dahomey.
Early political Career :
Maga was elected a general advisor for the Atacora region in 1945, and two years later, was appointed to the Grad council of French West Africa, in which he served until 1952. Following his election to the Dahomey territorial Assembly Maga resigned from teaching post and became vice-president of the assemblhy until 1957.
In the election of 1951, Maga got the second position where as Sourou migan Apithy (1913-1989) got the 1st position.
Sourou-Migan Apathy was a Beninese political
figure most active when his country was known as Dahomey.Born in Porto-Novo in 1913, Apithy was a descendant Goun Royal family though was was not born into privilege himself.His middle name signified that he had familial ties with the chief ministers of old Dahomeyan kingdoms.He began his education at local mission schools and gained a bias for Roman Catholicism for which he would later be insulted.Apithy would later become an assistant teacher at his school. To further his education Apithy
travellled to Paris in 1033 and got legal and economic studiesat the Free school of political Sciences, under paris Chamber of Commerceand gained his diploma in accounting.He also served as counsel in Paris and Dakar appeal court. He joined in army and later after WWII he came back to his country and being inspired by a Roman Catholic Pastor h contested in an electionas a socialist candidate and was elected to represent Togo and Dahomeyat the french Constituent assembly in 1945.
In the legislative elections of June ,1951, He defeated Hubert Maga , a northern candidate.

Benin, History (contd-1)

Dahomeys were well known for their handicrafts.
Europeans began to arrive in the 18th century, as the kingdom of Dahomeys were expanding their territories.
The Portuguese, the French and the Dutch established trading postsalong the coast (Porto-Novo, Ouidah, and Cotonou), and traded weapons against slaves. Slave trade ended in 1848. Then
the Frenchsigned treaties with kings of Abomeyto establish French Protectorates in the main cities and ports. However, king Behanzin foyght the french influence which cost him deportation to Martinique. As of 1900, the territory became a French colony ruled by a Fren
ch Governor. Expansion contnued to the north, upto the border with upper Volta. Due the internal problems the French offered them either to remain in the French Community or to become Independent. The people of Dahomey opted for Independence.
In 1958, France granted autonomy to the Republic of Dahomey and in 1960, Aug. 1, gave them full Independence. The president who led them to Independence was Hubert Maga.

Benin, History

Name ;
During the colonial period and at independence the country was known as Dahomey.It was renamed on Nov 1975, to the Benin after the body of water on which the country lies , the Bight of Benin, which had in turn been named after the Benin is greater in area than the area of Dahomey by 1/3 of its original area and extended towards north.
Dahomey tribes in Benin;
Benin was the seat of one of the great medieval African kingdoms callled Dahomey. European began arriving in the area in the eighteenth century, as the kingdom of of Dahomey was expanding its territory. Dahomey was a mixture of ethnic groupswith its culture and traditions and had a strong military strength. They are trained from young boys as apprentice. Dahomey was also famous to have an elite female soldier corps, caalled Ahosi or "our mothers."
Thogh the leaders of Dahomey appeared initially to resist the slave trade, still it flourished in the reign of Dahomey, leading to the area being named "the slave Coast." The
Dahomeys were well known for their handicrafts.

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Benin, Economy

The economy of Benin remains underdeveloped and dependent on subsistence agriculture, cotton production and regional trade. Cotton accounts for 40% of GDP and roughly 80% of official export receipts. Growth in real out put has averaged around 5% in the past seven years, but rapid population growth has offset much of this increase.
Inflation has subsided over the past several years, Benin uses CFA franc, which is pegged to Euro.
In order to raise growth still further, Benin plans to attract more foreign investment , place more emphasis on Tourism,facilitate the development of new food processing system and agricultural products, and encourage new information and communication technology. Projects to improve the business
climate by reforms to the land tenure system
the commercial justice system, and the financial sector were included in Benin's US$ 307 million Millennium Challenge Account Grant signed in 2006.The Paris club and bilateral creditors have eased the external debt situation, with Benin benefiting from G8 debt reduction announcement in July 2005, while passing for more structural reforms.An insufficient electric supply
continues to adversely affect Benin's economic growth though the govt. recently has taken steps to increase domestic power production.
Although trade unions in Benin represent up to 75% of the formal workforce, the large informal economy has been noted by the International Trade Union Confederation (ITCU) to contain ongoing problems, including a lack of women's wage equality, the use of child labour, and the continuing issue of forced labour.

Benin is a member of the Organisation for the Harmonization of Business law in Africa (OHADA).
Cotonou's harbour is
the only sea port and
International airport.
A new port is
currently under
construction between
Cotonou and port
Novo. Benin is
connected by 2 lane asphalted roads to its neighbouring countries (Togo, Burkina Faso, Niger and Nigeria). Mobile telephone service is available across the country through various operators. ADSL connections are available in some areas.
Benin is connected to Internet by way of satellite

Benin, Agriculture (contd)

Fisheries are one of the important economic activity in Benin. There are many rivers and lakes where such activities can be performed.
Increasing Commercial Presure on Land:
ILC (International land Coalition) is an organisation which tries to create awareness amongst the international community,deepening the issue's understanding through research based activities and advocating for effective measuresto be adoptedthrough a constant engangmentinto international fora, are objectivesat center of the initiative the ILC is leading on commercial presure on land.This initiative intends to promote a wide collaborations between CSOs, IGOs and esearch based institutions.
this they have come to the conlusion fron the members and partners and that recent global trends are promoting a massive increase in in global commercial interest in land and natural resources. Predicted medium and long and long term inceasing food prices, demand for land to meet an increasing global demandfor food and livestock as well as to produce feedstock for accelerating agrofuel production and carbon trading mechanism that place a commercial values
on standing forests and rangelands are converging factors that are causing steep increases in demand for land and in land values themselves.

Where there is uncovered water ,there is snake and fear from snake, which increases some professionals for catching fishes and doing different types of professional jobs.

Benin, Economy, Agricultural Sector

Population : Cheetahs are thought to be extinct outside of the tri-country national park in the north of Benin, the Park National du W, which adjoins Niger, Burkina Faso and Benin. In this park, a small population exists. Cheetahs also exist in and around Pendjari complexof protected areas in north west of Benin.
Agriculture Sector:
The problems in the agriculture sector arise from poor transport, inadequate storage, and the inability of the farmers to provide legal evidence of land ownershipas collateral for loans. Despite these difficulties, agriculture has expanded and developed since 1994 CFA franc devaluation. In 1997,a project was started to rejuvenate the collective farms costing US $ 5 million and employing 2000 people over 5 years. The project will be run by the private sector, with foreign management of some farms.
The oil palm is the most important tree crop in the south, and the oil it produces has a wide variety of uses in foodstuffs ( specially margarine) and in industry (specially soap). Output in the 1970s and 1980s , however, felldue to drought, the overvalued franc , and low world prices.
Cotton , the main export, is ,normally grown, in
the north. Higher producer prices after 1994
devaluation boosted output to 15,000 metric tons of lint in the 1997-98 season, though it fell again in1998-99
Food and livestock

Distribution of Livestck in Benin