Beninese students. *Photo from Wikipedia
August 1 is National Day, celebrates the independence of Benin from France in 1960.
From the 17th to the 19th century, the main political entities in the area were the Kingdom of Dahomey. This region was referred to as the Slave Coast from as early as the 17th century due to the large number of slaves shipped to the New World during the Trans-Atlantic slave trade. After slavery was abolished, France took over the country and renamed it French Dahomey.
In 1960, Dahomey gained full independence from France and On November 30, 1975, Lt. Col. Mathieu Kérékou renamed the country to the People’s Republic of Benin. The country had a tumultuous period with many different democratic governments, many military coups and military governments.
Benin, officially the Republic of Benin, is a country in West Africa. It is bordered by Togo to the west, Nigeria to the east, and Burkina Faso and Niger to the north.