What Is The Capital Of Benin?

Porto Novo sits on the bank of the Yewa River. Editorial credit: Cora Unk Photo / Shutterstock.com
Porto Novo sits on the bank of the Yewa River. Editorial credit: Cora Unk Photo / Shutterstock.com

Where Is Benin?

Benin is a West African nation that occupies an area of 114,763 square km. The country has a population of about 10.87 million. Benin is bordered by Togo and Nigeria to the west and east. The northern boundaries of the country are shared with Burkina Faso and Niger. The country has a short coastline on the Bight of Benin which is part of the Gulf of Guinea.

What Type of Government Does Benin Have?

Benin is governed as a presidential representative democratic republic. Here, the President of Benin serves as the head of both the state and the government. The executive functions are performed by the government comprising of the President and his/her cabinet of ministers. The legislative powers are vested in both the government and legislature. The judiciary of the country works independently.

What Is the Capital of Benin?

Porto-Novo is Benin’s capital city. It encompasses an area of 110 square km and hosts a population of around 223,552 people. The population density of the city is 2,400 individuals per square km. Although Porto-Novo is the country’s capital, it is not the largest city in the country. Cotonou, located on the coast between the Atlantic Ocean and Lake Nokoué, is the most populous city in the country. Porto-Novo is located in southeastern Benin on the coast of the Gulf of Guinea. The region around the city is an important agricultural area producing cotton, kapok, and palm oil.

History of Porto-Novo

Porto-Novo was formerly known as Ajase. It was for a long time in its history the capital of Popo, a nation of the Yoruba people. During the Portuguese rule in the region, the city flourished due to the thriving slave trade in the region. Today, the ruins of ancient castles and colonial-style buildings serve as a reminder of the history of Porto-Novo.

Role of Porto-Novo as the Capital of Benin

Although Porto-Novo is the capital of Benin, the government of the country (the executive wing of the government) does not operate from here. Porto-Novo is, however, the place where the national legislature sits. The city of Cotonou is the seat of the government of Benin. Most government buildings and departments are located in Cotonou.


More in World Facts