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PanAfriL10n - PanAfrLoc - Benin

Benin - Bénin (BJ)

1.  Language information / Données sur les langues

1.1  Languages spoken / Langues parlées

a) Official / Officielle(s)

French, as stipulated in the constitution (Aménagement linguistique)

b) National, indigenous / Nationale(s), indigène(s)

The site L'aménagement linguistique dans le monde has a page on Benin including a summary of (2.2) "Les langues nationales" at http://www.tlfq.ulaval.ca/axl/afrique/benin.htm

Ethnologue has an extensive list at http://www.ethnologue.com/show_country.asp?name=BJ

c) Relevant pages in the Major Languages section of this report / Pages appropriées dans la section de ce rapport sur les Langues principales

Gbe (Fon), Yoruba, Songhai/Zarma (Dendi), Fula

1.2  Language policy / Politique de langue :

a) Laws/legislation / Lois/législation

The site L'aménagement linguistique dans le monde has a page on Benin including a section on (4) "La politique linguistique" at http://www.tlfq.ulaval.ca/axl/afrique/benin.htm

b) Agencies / Agences :

Two institutions "involved in or responsible for African Language research" in Benin (UNESCO 1985). Updated information is needed:

  • Département d'études littéraires, linguistiques et de traditions orales (DELTO), Facultés des Lettres, Arts & Sciences humaines, Université nationale du Benin, B. P. 526 - COTONOU
  • Commission nationale de linguistique B.P. 348 - COTONOU

c) Languages in education/literacy / Langues dans l'éducation/l'alphabétisation :

UNDP (2006) gives a literacy figure (without reference to which language[s]) of: 34.7%

1.3  Writing in national/indigenous languages / Ecriture en langues nationales/indigènes

a) Orthographies / Orthographes :

National languages are written in the Latin alphabet with some additional modified letters (extended characters). A chart showing the extended Latin characters and diacritics used in some Beninese languages is available at: http://www.bisharat.net/A12N/BENIN-table.htm

b). Print publications / Editions imprimées :

UNESCO (1985) reported the following periodicals (name, frequency of publication, circulation, language). Updated information is needed:

  • Alladjumose (Cooperation), monthly, 1,500, Yoruba
  • Cookanne (Concertation), monthly, 1,000, Waama
  • Fitila (Lumiere), monthly, 500, Dendi
  • Inbuke (Autre nouvelle), monthly, 600, Adja
  • Kparo (Crieur public), monthly, 2,000, Bariba
  • Sedonyonwi (Information), monthly, 1,500, Fon

1.4  Other comments / Autre commentaire


2.  ICT situation / Situation des TIC

2.1  Infrastructure / Infrastructure

a) Telephones / Téléphones

  • Fixed lines:
    • Telephone mainlines: 9 per 1000 people (APC)
    • Telephones - main lines in use: 76,300 (2005) (CIA)
  • Mobile subscriptions:

b) Radio stations / Stations de radio

Radio broadcast stations: AM 2, FM 9, shortwave 4 (2000) (CIA)

c). Connectivity / Connectivité

  • International internet bandwidth / Bande passante internationale d'internet :
  • ISPs / FSI :
  • Internet hosts : 882 on .bj domains (ISC)
  • Geographic coverage / Couverture géographique :

2.2  Computer & internet access / Accès aux ordinateurs et à l'internet

a) Computers & points of access / Ordinateurs et lieux d'accès

  • Number of computers / Nombre d'ordinateurs: 1.3 per 1000 people (APC)
  • Cybercafés / Cybercafés:
  • Project telecentres / Télécentres de projets:

b) Internet / Internet

  • Dial-up subscribers / Abonnés par ligne téléphonique :
  • Internet users / Utilisateurs de l'internet :
    • 100,000 internet users as of Sept/05, 1.3% of the population, per ITU (Internet World Stats)
    • 425,000 (2005) (CIA)

c) Other / Autre

Digital Opportunity Index (DOI): 0.17 (ITU 2006)

2.3  ICT policy / Politique de TIC

Information on Benin's NICI (National Information and Communications Infrastructure) policy is available via http://www.uneca.org/aisi/nici/Benin/benin.htm and http://www.uneca.org/aisi/nici/country_profiles/benin/benab.htm

The APC page, "ICT Policy in Benin" has some information and links to documents:

2.4  ICT4D/E & ICT training / TIC pour le développement/éducation, et formation en TIC

2.5  Resources / Ressources

Institutions & organisations:

On the web:


3.  Localisation situation / Situation de localisation

3.1  Country web content / Contenu web du pays

3.2  Web content in indigenous languages / Contenu web en langues indigènes

(See also specific language pages.)

3.3  Software localisation / Localisation de logiciel

There are some individuals in and out of Benin interested in localisation.

(See also specific language pages.)

3.4  Projects & organisations / Projets et organisations

3.5  Localisation policy / Politique de localisation


4.  References / Références

APC, "ICT Policy in Benin" Africa ICT Policy Monitor, http://rights.apc.org/africa/index.shtml?apc=s21822e_1 ("Politiques de TIC en/au Benin," Observatoire des politiques des TIC en Afrique, ) http://afrique.droits.apc.org/index.shtml?apc=s21822e_1

Halaoui, Nazam. 2001. "Aménagement et politique linguistiques: La politique des langues au Bénin." Language Problems and Language Planning 25 (2): 145-166.

International Telecommunications Union (ITU). 2006. World Information Society Report 2006. Geneva: ITU. http://www.itu.int/osg/spu/publications/worldinformationsociety/2006/wisr-web.pdf

______. 2004. African Telecommunication Indicators 2004. Geneva: ITU.

Internet Systems Consortium (ISC), "Distribution of Top-Level Domain Names by Host Country, Jan 2007" http://www.isc.org/index.pl?/ops/ds/reports/2007-02/dist-bynum.php

Internet World Stats: Africa. 2006. http://internetworldstats.com/africa.htm

Leclerc, Jacques. L'aménagement linguistique dans le monde, "Bénin," http://www.tlfq.ulaval.ca/axl/afrique/benin.htm

SIL International, Ethnologue: Languages of the World, "Languages of Benin," http://www.ethnologue.com/show_country.asp?name=BJ

UNDP. 2006. ''Beyond scarcity: Power, poverty and the global water crisis. Human Development Report 2006.'' New York: United Nations Development Programme (UNDP). [Human development index Adult literacy rate (% ages 15 and older) (HDI) http://hdr.undp.org/hdr2006/statistics/indicators/3.html ]

UNESCO Regional Office for Education in Africa. 1985. African Community Languages and Their Use in Literacy and Education: A Regional Survey. Dakar: UNESCO.

U.S. Central Intelligence Agency (CIA), "The World Factbook: Benin," https://www.cia.gov/library/publications/the-world-factbook/geos/bn.html

Vodafone. 2005. "Africa: The Impact of Mobile Phones." The Vodafone Policy Paper Series, Number 3, March 2005. http://www.vodafone.com/assets/files/en/GPP%20SIM%20paper.pdf

WikiEducator, "ICT4Africa/Country Report Benin," http://www.wikieducator.org/ICT4Africa/Country_Report_Benin

Wikipedia, "Benin," http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Benin

______, "Bénin," http://fr.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bénin

______, "Communications in Benin," http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Communications_in_Benin


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