The Republic of Benin is a small, culturally rich nation is located in West
Africa with an ethnically diverse population and a varied landscape
stretching from the coast of the Gulf of Guinea in the south, to the Niger
River in the north. The official national language is French, although a
large number of indigenous languages are spoken as well. Benin's tapestries,
pottery, wooden masks, and bronze, brass, and ivory sculptures are
The majority of Benin's
population is concentrated in the southern edge of the country along the
coast of the Gulf of Guinea. The city of Cotonou is the main port and has
evolved to become the largest city and commercial capital of Benin with
9.1 million inhabitants. The capital city of Cotonou contains the
country's government institutions, major industries, and entertainment and
shopping districts. The historical town of Porto Novo, with nearby lagoons
and stilted fishing villages, is the official capital of Benin and houses
the Musée Éthnographique. Another major city, Abomey, is the site of the
Abomey Historical Museum, a UNESCO World Heritage site.
Since 1975, 22 Fulbright grants
to Benin have been awarded to scholars -- half for lecturing, and the other
half for research or a combination of research/lecturing. Previous Fulbright
Scholars to Benin have been involved in the fields of anthropology,
archaeology, art history, agriculture, American literature, economics,
education, English, French, linguistics, and mathematics.
Fulbright grant packages for
Benin include support for tuition and fees for accompanying children. More
than two-thirds of previous Fulbright Scholars in Benin have been
accompanied by family members, including spouses and children (ranging in
age from infants to teenagers).
The government of Benin spends
more on education than defense, and has cultivated an active intellectual
community. The Université Nationale du Bénin is the only public higher
education institution in the country. The Université d'Abomey-Calavi
(formerly called the Université Nationale du Bénin) is the largest and
oldest university in Benin. The university encompasses several faculties,
professional and technical colleges, teacher training schools, and
post-university institutions. The university's main campus is the
Abomey-Calavi campus, although some department and schools are located at
the Cotonou and Porto-Novo campuses as well.
Located in West Africa and covering a land area
Of 112,622 Sq. km. Benin constitutes a long stretch of hand perpendicular to
the Coast of the Gulf of Guinea. It is bordered on the North by Burkina Faso
and the Republic of Niger, on the East by the Federal Republic of Nigeria
and on the West by the Republic............
Benin has characteristically
unusual dry conditions. This is due primarily to two very important factors.
First, the situation of the coast which is rather well protected from the
western winds; second, the Atakora Barrier in the West and North West which
decreases the amount of............
Benin is rich in Craft traditions, where precolonial royal culture
encouraged the creation of a tremendous variety of art. Some of these art
forms, like the bronze heads sculpted centuries ago by Ife artists, are no
longer produced. Other forms provide continuity with the past. Appliqué
tapestries, for example,.............
Benin was the seat of one of
the great medieval African kingdoms called Dahomey. In the 18th century
Europeans began arriving in the area, as the kingdom of Dahomey was
expanding its territory. The Portuguese, the French, and the Dutch
established trading posts along the............