The kingdom of Dahomey in West Africa was ended by French colonial occupation in 1894, after they took control during the Dahomey War of 1892-1894. The state was granted autonomy as the republic of Dahomey in 1958, followed by full independence on August 1st, 1960. A period of instability followed, with Marxism-Leninism being adopted as the official ideology. However, the country continued to bear its old name until 1975, when it was neutrally renamed the republic of Benin to appease the large number of ethnic groups which formed part of the relatively new modern state. The name came from the Bight of Benin, which itself gained its name from the Benin empire.
This day in 2010:
Home to celebrated singer Angelique Kidjo, today the country is one of Africa's most stable democracies, although it is severely under-developed and corruption is rife. Elements of voodoo, which are still practised in countries such as Haiti, originated from the West African coast which includes Benin. The religion is celebrated on the country's annual Voodoo Day. Today the country is bordered by Togo in the west, Burkina Faso to the north-west, Niger to the north-east, and Nigeria to the east.
[Partially sourced from here - More details here]
Sunday, 1 August 2010
1960-2010: The "Year of Africa" 50 Years On (X)
This Day in 1960: