Benin

Brazzaville Exec Comm

Date of Inception:

November 16, 2006

Number of Members:

80 (as of December 2011)

Recent Promotions:

Lieutenant Colonel Awal Nagnimi (Participant, Senior Leader Seminar, June 2005) has been appointed Deputy Defense Attache to Belgium for Benin. He previously served as the Director of Organization and Employment at the Gendarmerie Nationale.

Chapter Events :

  • Topical Outreach Program: October 2010
  • Topical Outreach Program: October 2009
  • Topical Outreach Program: November 2008
  • Topical Outreach Program: July 2007
  • Chapter Launch: 16 November 2006

United States Department of State Background Note - Benin

Visit the Benin Photo Galleries

Recent news:

  • Africa Center Faculty and Staff Conduct TOPS in Benin and Nigeria

    Benin TOPS 2010The Africa Center for Strategic Studies’ most recent Topical Outreach Program Series took place in Benin and Nigeria during Oct. 17-21. The first stop was Benin where the topic of elections and security was especially pertinent because the country is preparing for national elections. Some 90 attendees, to include the Deputy Chief of Mission of the U.S. Embassy, ranking Beninese military, and other Benin Chapter members, attended the one-day symposium on Oct. 20. Mathurin Houngnikpo, PhD, Chair of Civil-Military Relations at the Africa Center, spoke about the challenges that can occur before and after elections. An additional event was held at the Armed Forces Headquarters to discuss some of the practical challenges security officials may face during elections. The Africa Center also hosted a Community Reunion Meeting during the visit. Community Affairs Specialist Ms. Emily Renard managed this TOPS visit. Dr. Houngnikpo stressed that democracy is a debate of ideas, not a physical battle between people. He reinforced the concept of political neutrality and the critical role the armed forces can play in elections by remaining non-partisan. Poverty and corruption are challenges that many countries face. Dr. Houngnikpo encouraged symposium attendees to be creative in how they address these issues and to find solutions that make sense in the Beninese context. Dr. Houngnikpo reminded attendees that peace and stability often do not exist without democracy; and without peace and stability, there cannot be development. The outreach program in Nigeria on Oct. 19, overseen by Community Affairs Specialist Ms. Amanda Balderston, focused on elections and the role that legitimate choice plays in enhancing the prospects for democratization. Presentations were given by Monde Muyangwa, PhD, the Africa Center’s Academic Dean, and Professor Kingsley Macebuh, formerly of the City University of New York and who currently resides in Nigeria. Dr. Muyangwa discussed the case studies of elections in Ghana, Kenya, and Zimbabwe and the lessons learned from those experiences. She noted the lack of implementation of normative standards and an attitude of winner take all. Professor Macebuh’s talk focused on Nigeria as a presidential federal state, noting that is also the model in the U.S. and Argentina. He said that both countries had taken nearly 100 years to become legitimate democracies with credible elections. On a note of optimism, Professor Macebuh said that even though Nigeria is still a young democracy, it is catching up to other older democratic states.

    Click here to view photos from this event.

  • Africa Center’s Topical Outreach Program Comes to Benin

    Spotlight_2009_Benin_TopsSMALL_ACSS_photoThe Africa Center held its annual Topical Outreach Program (TOPS) to Cotonou, Benin, on Oct. 26-28. During their three-day visit, Dr. Mathurin Houngnikpo, the Africa Center’s Academic Chair of Civil-Military Relations, and Mary McGurn, Community Affairs Specialist, attended meetings with U.S. and Benin government officials, conducted a chapter capacity-building workshop, and delivered a TOPS symposium entitled “Emerging Security Challenges in Africa.” During the capacity-building workshop, members of the Benin Chapter discussed their individual and collective perceptions of who they are as a chapter. This discussion led to the chapter members defining the chapter’s mission, values, and vision, as well as goals and objectives the chapter would like to accomplish in the next year. The topical symposium featured two sessions. The morning session was presented by two Benin Chapter members, Colonel Etienne Adossou, Technical Advisor, Strategic Affairs, Ministry of Defense, Republic of Benin, and Ambassador Robert Zantan, Senior Counselor, Embassy of the Republic of Benin to the United States. They discussed the dimensions and implications of global and military defense. At the afternoon session, Dr. Houngnikpo delivered a presentation about different elements involved in the democratic process. Both sessions generated extensive discussion among the 135 participants who represented Benin’s current and future civilian and military security professionals, as well as representatives from Benin’s civil society. There are 22 Community Chapters (Africa Center alumni associations) in Africa. Under the TOPS program, Africa Center staff visit each of the 22 countries once a year to maintain long-term positive relationships with them and to continue the Africa Center experience of open and frank dialogue on security-related topics of mutual interest to the members, their governments, and the U.S. government.

    View more photos from this event

    Visit the Benin Community Chapter page