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,
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.