Political relations and development cooperation
The Federal Republic of Germany has maintained uninterrupted diplomatic relations with Benin since 1960, with the focus on development cooperation.
German support is held in high regard in Benin. At the intergovernmental negotiations in September 2016, Germany pledged approximately 87 million euros for bilateral projects from 2017 to 2019 in addition to the some 20 million euros provided to Benin as part of global projects.
Bilateral cooperation is carried out along the development axes of the National Development Plan adopted in 2018. The focus is on decentralisation and local development; drinking water, water management, sanitation and solid waste management; and food security and agriculture. Agricultural development is of great importance in reducing poverty. In the field of food security, German experts are advising the Beninese Government on the implementation of the national agricultural strategy. In tandem, the value‑added chains of agricultural products (cotton, shea, cashew nuts, rice, etc.) are being supported in rural areas across Benin.
The volume of trade between Germany and Benin is modest. Bilateral trade with Germany rose slightly again in 2018. Germany exported goods worth 39,598 million euros to Benin and imported goods worth 793,000 euros; Benin thus ranked 155th as an export partner and 187th as an import partner for Germany.
Germany’s private sector has a majority holding in the local company CIMBENIN through a Norwegian subsidiary of HeidelbergCement. DHL has also been operating there since 1984.
A cultural agreement between Germany and Benin was signed in 1987. The German Embassy promotes bilateral cultural relations by arranging scholarships and visiting professorships via the German Academic Exchange Service, organising German courses, concerts and film screenings, and donating sports equipment. In addition, Germany supports Beninese cultural projects.