Benin is Beating the Odds

Population: 10,449,000

Christian percentage: 37 percent

Dominant religion: Christianity

Benin is a tiny West African nation overshadowed by her huge neighbor to the east, Nigeria. This country is known for poverty for a variety of reasons, but two dominate. Eighty percent of the people work in agriculture. If there is too little rain or a flood, an entire crop will suffer. Cotton is their main export. When the worldwide market for cotton declines, so does the economy of Benin. Child labor is rampant since rural families need their children to help plant and harvest cotton and other crops. The government requires children to get six years of elementary education, but family needs to prevent about one-fourth of them from completing their basic education. Thirty-eight percent of the Beninese aged 15 and over cannot read. The lack of education prevents the people of Benin from advancing. Corruption and graft are another challenge.

Yet Benin is advancing despite its shortcomings. Their government is described as a stable democracy, which is unusual in this part of the world. They have had the same president since 2016, Patrice Guillaume Athanase Talon. Their primary reason for advancing economically is their ingenious people.

Richard Odjrado was fed up when his cell phone was stolen for the second time. He spent the next two years researching and developing anti-theft devices for cell phones. He began a new corporation, AS World Tech, which along with the anti-theft tracker, also sells laptops and eyeglasses. His anti-theft device is popular all over the world because it is so effective.

MonEnterprises is an online platform that enables Beninese people to launch new companies. Such a platform allows them to begin startups far easier than they could before. Caludia Togbe was tired of waiting for someone to hire her, so she started her own business. Using MonEnterprises as her platform, she founded a cosmetic company, Origine Terre. She now exports cosmetics to four countries including France. From 2019-23, the number of new companies founded by the Beninese people has tripled! Women founded most of these companies, usually from home.

What will be the future of Benin? Economically, the future looks bright unless they have a war or political instability. This country will probably gain wealth in the years to come.

Despite its economic progress, Benin has spiritual hurdles. More than one-third of the people are Christian, but voodoo is a strong spiritual obstacle. If biblical Christian ethics become entrenched, they will thrive. If the Beninese resort to dark spiritual forces, they will return to poverty.

Let us pray fervently for:

  • Pray for them to forsake the ways of voodoo and the spiritual corruption that goes with it (the Bible, Ezekiel 14:6).
  • Pray for the peoples of Benin to learn God’s ways and embrace them in their daily business lives (the Bible, Proverbs 28:25).
  • Pray for a spiritual revival to accompany economic prosperity in Benin (the Bible, Zechariah 1:17).