Since adopting a democratic political system in 1990, Benin has experienced peaceful political transitions. The country is relatively stable despite being situated in the fragile West African region where insecurity is on the increase in some neighbouring countries. The Benin government has launched ambitious structural reforms to improve governance and public finance management as well as stimulate economic transformation.
Cotton production is the main source of income for Benin's population and agriculture accounts for about 23% of the Gross Domestic Product (GDP).
Despite the country’s economic growth over the past 2 decades, poverty remains widespread. A lack of diversification is the main reason for Benin’s economic fragility. The country also faces challenges in boosting inclusive growth and providing work opportunities for its large and growing population of young people. Benin is considered a least developed country by the UN.
The cooperation strategy between Benin and the EU is defined by the National Indicative Programme (NIP) between 2014–2020 as part of the 11th European Development Fund (EDF).
Improving governance is at the centre of our cooperation. To strengthen good governance and to help maintain stability and security in the country as well as in the region, we provide support to:
- strong, credible and independent institutions
- better management of public finances
- the fight against corruption
- the improvement of access to justice
The rural sector provides over 50% of jobs in Benin. We support the sustainable development of the rural sector to increase job opportunities and tackle youth unemployment. Additionally, efforts in this sector aim to develop food security and food autonomy. Supporting the rural sector will also have an impact on preventing migration from rural areas to urban ones, alleviating pressure on the resources and livability of the city.
Lastly, through our support for the energy sector we focus on its structure, generation and distribution. This will have an impact on Benin’s sustainable economic development and strengthens our commitment to combat climate change.
Water and Sanitation
- In 2015, 66.07% of the Beninese population gained access to basic drinking water services, which is an increase by 4% since 2006
- A prepaid system for energy consumption has been established, made operational, and has become the reference system used by the national electricity operator Société Béninoise d’Energie Electrique
- 350 km of electricity connections have been installed by the national electricity operator Société Béninoise d’Energie Electrique
- 340 km of medium voltage power lines have been installed
- 510 km of low voltage power lines have been installed
- 1,200 km of road has been rehabilitated
11,000 km of road have been regularly maintained
Under the National Indicative Programme for 2014–2020, we provide support in 3 focus areas.
Through our support for good governance (€184 million), we cooperate with Benin to improve management of government resources and optimise their use by way of a more efficient and transparent management system. By doing this, we aim to reinforce the Rule of Law and the fight against corruption, to promote a sustainable territorial development based on concerted and inclusive local governance.
Sustainable rural development support (€76 million) contributes to Benin’s food sovereignty. It aims to improve the public’s nutritional health, create decent jobs for youth, and contribute to sustainable economic and social development.
Our support also goes to increasing access to modern and sustainable energy (€84 million), aiming to contribute to reducing poverty in rural areas through offering qualitative energy at a fair and affordable price.