BRIEF SUMMARY OF COOPERATION BETWEEN BENIN AND DENMARK
The Republic of Benin and the Kingdom of Denmark established diplomatic relations in the 1960s. The relations have evolved slowly and have been almost totally relaxed from 1972 to 1990.
The two countries re-launched their cooperation relations in 1992, following the official visit of President Nicéphore Dieudonné Soglo to Denmark with a focus on development activities, as Benin was experiencing democratic renewal. Danish assistance to Benin focused on many sectors like agriculture, transport, education, water, sanitation, gender promotion, democracy, environmental protection, health, road infrastructure, the fight against HIV / AIDS, support for democratic governance, decentralization, etc.
Through DANIDA, Denmark funded alone or in association with other donors, several projects and programs in Benin in the above-mentioned sectors from 1992 to 2009, for a total amount of 400 billion FCFA.
Cooperation between Benin and Denmark has thus helped to improve living conditions in Benin.
But in 2012-2013, Denmark has decided to withdraw Benin from the list of its priority countries, thus reducing the Danish public interventions in Benin.
Despite this withdrawal of Denmark at the end of 2013, Benin has kept its Embassy in Copenhagen in order to develop a new dimension of cooperation focusing on public-private partnership with the Danish private sector and increased actions of Danish NGOs to support local development in Benin.
With the Danish private sector, initiatives are underway for Danish investors to participate in the implementation of the Government’s flagship projects. It is in this context that the Danish Consortium BWSC-Aiim-EnPOWER-IFU has been awarded a concession contract for the construction of a 120 MW thermal power plant at Maria Gleta, Benin that will be operated by the Consortium over a period of fifteen years.
Similarly, after the seminar organized by the Embassy on 16 November 2016 on investment opportunities in Benin, a Danish business delegation is expected to make a visit to Benin, with the involvement of the Confederation of Danish Industry (DI), the Danish Agriculture and Food Council, (DAFC), the Danish Council for Investments in Africa and NORDEKON Aps, to learn more about the 45 flagship projects of the Government Action Program 2016-2021 as well as the business environment in Benin.
The Danish BørneFonden Foundation has remained in Benin for more than twenty years, working in the areas of education, income-generating activities, maternal and child health in the Department of Ouémé (Dangbo, Adjohoun, Bonou) and the Department of Zou (Djidja, Agbangnizoun, Za-Kpota And Ouinhi). BørneFonden executes this project in partnership with the Danish firm FALCK.
Finally, on 18 August 2016, the BørneFonden Foundation launched its new LIFT project which aims to make young entrepreneurs truly rural business leaders. To this end, the NGO provides them with basic technical and capacity building tools as well as funding to start their businesses. The project is located in the Department of Zou.