Formerly known as Dahomey, it is one of Africa's most stable and democratic countries. After changing from Marxist-Leninist politics and opening towards democracy, the country has organized six presidential elections peacefully. These elected governments have enacted important economic and structural reforms. In 2016, the new government adopted a Programme d’Actions du Gouvernement (PAG) structured around 45 flagship projects aimed at improving productivity and living conditions.
On the economic side, however, the picture is less bright. Benin is severely underdeveloped, and poverty is rising. While the country has experienced economic growth over the past few years, it ranks among the world's poorest countries. But the government is taking action. Focusing on urban development, Benin joined the PSUP in 2012 and contributed 60,000 USD. The goal: to halve the number of slum dwellers by 2020.
Benin’s first engagement already included the commitment to ensure security of tenure for slum dwellers. The three cities selected for the urban profile analysis were Cotonou, Abomey and Tchaourou. After participating in PSUP training, Benin’s Country Team members proceeded to collect data through focus groups and individual interviews in each of the selected cities, which is currently being analysed. The data collection process immediately identified flooding due to inadequate drainage, sanitation and waste management as key urban priorities. After city consultations, the Benin Country Team aimed at institutionalising their experiences through the establishment of a National Committee, thus making a strong commitment towards a future of nationwide slum upgrading.