Country Facts: Official name – The Republic of Benin

Benin, a narrow, north-south strip of land in West Africa, lies between the Equator and the Tropic of Cancer. Colonized by the French from 1872 until the 1st of August 1960 when the country achieved independence, Republic of Benin lies between latitudes  and 13°N, and longitudes  and 4°E. It is bounded by Togo to the West, Burkina Faso and Niger to the North, Nigeria to the East, and the Bight of Benin to the South. The capital of Benin is Porto-Novo, but the seat of government is in Cotonou, the country's largest city. French is the official language spoken in the former colony and the official currency used is the CFA franc.

Formerly known as the Republic of Upper Volta, the country was renamed “Burkina Faso” by then President, Thomas Sankara on 4 August 1984. Also known by its short form name, Burkina, the country is landlocked and surrounded by six countries; Mali to the North, Niger to the East, Benin to the South-East, Togo and Ghana to the South and Ivory Coast to the South-West. Burkina Faso gained independence from France on 5 August 1960 and has as its capital, Ouagadougou, which serves as the administrative, communications, cultural and economic centre of the nation. The country lies mostly between latitudes  and 15°N and longitudes 6°W and 3°E. The official currency used is the CFA franc and the official language being French.

Often referred to as “Africa in miniature,” Cameroon in actual terms is located in West and Central Africa. It is bordered by Nigeria to the West; Chad to the northeast; the Central African Republic to the East; and Equatorial Guinea, Gabon, and the Republic of the Congo to the South. Cameroon's coastline lies on the Bight of Bonny, part of the Gulf of Guinea and the Atlantic Ocean. It lies between latitudes 1° and 13°N, and longitudes 8° and 17°E. Reflecting the old colonial spirit of the country, Cameroon has two official languages, English and French. The official currency used is the CFA franc while Yaounde is the country’s capital.

Consisting 10 volcanic, rocky islands and about seven islets, the country became independent of colonial master, Portugal, on 5 July 1975. Cape Verde is an archipelago in the Atlantic Ocean 385 mi (500 km) west of Senegal. It lies between latitudes 14° and 18°N, and longitudes 22o and 26oW. The official currency spent on the islands is the Cape Verdean Escudo and its capital city is Praia. Portuguese is the official language of the Cape Verdean islands.

Though Abidjan is the largest city and administrative capital of Cote d’Ivoire, Yamoussoukro is the legislative, official capital of the country. Colonized by the French, the official language and currency of the country is French and the CFA francs respectively. Its neighbours are Ghana to the east, Burkina Faso to the northeast, Mali to the north, Guinea to the northwest, Liberia to the west and a southerly facing the North Atlantic Ocean coast on the Gulf of Guinea to the south. Cote d’Ivoire is on the coordinates of latitude 8o north of the Equator and longitude 5o west of Greenwich Meridian. It became independent of France on 7 August 1960.

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