Benin city restores monuments from slave trade era

As anti-racism protests in the United States and Europe grew, so did demands for the removal of statues linked to slavery.
Protesters toppled and vandalised some, others were removed by city leaders.
But a coastal city in Benin in West Africa is going the other way – restoring monuments from the slave trade era.
It is part of a billion-dollar development project aimed at promoting tourism and confronting its role in the slave trade.

Al Jazeera’s Raheela Mahomed has more.

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In This Story: Benin

Benin, officially the Republic of Benin, is a country in West Africa. Formerly known as Dahomey, the country gained full independence from France in 1960.

It is bordered by Togo to the west, Nigeria to the east, Burkina Faso to the north-west, and Niger to the north-east. The majority of its population lives on the small southern coastline of the Bight of Benin, part of the Gulf of Guinea in the northernmost tropical portion of the Atlantic Ocean.

The capital of Benin is Porto-Novo, but the seat of government is in Cotonou, the country’s largest city and economic capital. Benin covers an area of 114,763 square kilometres (44,310 sq mi) and its population in 2018 was estimated to be approximately 11.49 million.

The official language of Benin is French, with several indigenous languages such as Fon, Bariba, Yoruba and Dendi also being commonly spoken. The largest religious group in Benin is Roman Catholicism, followed closely by Islam, Vodun (commonly referred to as Voodoo outside the country) and Protestantism.

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