The Federal Republic of Germany has maintained uninterrupted diplomatic relations with Benin since 1962, with the focus being on development cooperation.
German support is held in high regard in Benin. At the intergovernmental negotiations in October 2019, Germany pledged approximately 60 million euros for bilateral projects from 2019 to 2020 in addition to the some 19 million euros provided to Benin as part of global projects.
Bilateral cooperation is carried out in line with the National Development Plan adopted in 2018. The three top priorities are 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. German experts are advising the Government on the implementation of the national agricultural strategy, with the aim of supporting food security. In tandem, the value-added chains of agricultural products (cotton, shea, cashew nuts, rice, etc.) are being supported throughout 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 154th 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.