Nicéphore Dieudonné Soglo is a Beninese politician, Prime Minister of Benin from 1990 to 1991 and President from 1991 to 1996. He was Mayor of Cotonou from 2003 to 2015. Soglo is married to the Beninois former First Lady and politician. Soglo was born in Togo. After receiving degrees in law and economics from the University of Paris, Soglo returned to Benin and was the inspector of finance before his cousin, Colonel Christophe Soglo, overthrew President Sourou-Migan Apithy and appointed his relative minister of finance and economic affairs. Following the 1972 coup that brought Mathieu Kérékou to power, he left the country and held positions at international organizations such as the International Monetary Fund and the World Bank. In the late 1980s, faced with growing dissatisfaction over a stagnant economy, the Kérékou government agreed to convene a national conference that would lead the country towards multiparty democracy; the conference designated Nicéphore Soglo interim Prime Minister, he took office on March 12, 1990.
The conference produced a constitution, overwhelmingly approved in a referendum held on 2 December 1990. In the country's first multiparty presidential election, Soglo took first place in the first round, held on March 10 1991, with 36.31% of the vote. A run-off against Kérékou followed on 24 March in which Soglo won a strong majority, receiving 67.73% of the vote--the first time that an opposition candidate in post-colonial Francophone Africa had won a free election. He took office on April 4, 1991. In the following year, the Renaissance Party of Benin was founded by Rosine Soglo. In 1993, President Soglo headed the Benin delegation which participated in the first Tokyo International Conference on African Development. During his presidency, Soglo took efforts to refurbish Benin's devastated economy; these economic measures undermined his popularity. Despite these problems, his government was praised for its adherence to democratic principles and respect for human rights. In the March 1996 presidential election, Soglo again took first place in the first round, but in the second round he was defeated by Mathieu Kérékou, receiving 47.51% of the vote.
Soglo alleged election fraud. In a bid to regain the presidency in the March 2001 election, he placed second behind Mathieu Kérékou, winning 27.12% of the vote. Although Soglo qualified to participate in a run-off against Kérékou, he withdrew alleging irregularities, which resulted in a Kérékou victory. Soglo could not run again in the March 2006 presidential election due to the age limit of 70 years. Another son, Ganiou ran in the election, but he fared poorly, receiving only about 0.17% of the vote. Nicéphore Soglo and the RB were victorious in the December 2002–January 2003 municipal election in Cotonou, Benin's largest city. In the 12th arrondissement, Soglo defeated pro-government Movement candidate Sévérin Adjovi. Soglo was elected as Mayor by the city's council on February 13, 2003, receiving the support of 41 of the 45 councillors, he was sworn in on the same day, he said that he would focus on improving waste management and drainage. While hospitalized at the American Hospital of Paris, located in Neuilly-sur-Seine, Soglo was falsely reported to have died in February 2005.
Along with former United States President Jimmy Carter, Soglo headed the multinational delegation of the National Democratic Institute and the Carter Center for the October 2005 Liberian election. Soglo ran for re-election as a municipal councillor in the April 2008 local election in Cotonou, he faced Jérôme Dandjinou of the governing Cauris Forces for an Emerging Benin. Following the local election, the municipal councillors re-elected Soglo as Mayor on June 3, 2008. There were 48 votes in favor of one abstention, he was succeeded as Mayor by his son, Léhady Soglo, who had served as his deputy. Timeline of Cotonou, 2000s-present
The Pan-African Parliament known as the African Parliament, is the legislative body of the African Union and held its inaugural session in March 2004. The PAP exercises oversight, has advisory and consultative powers, lasting for the first five years; the seat of the Pan-African Parliament was in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia but it was moved to Midrand, South Africa. On 28 October 2009, the second legislature of the Pan-African Parliament opened its first ordinary session and began a new 5-year mandate. South African president, Jacob Zuma, gave the opening speech and called for the PAP to be given full legislative powers and its members elected by universal suffrage; the Parliament is made up of three main bodies. There are Ten Permanent Committees which were created to deal with different sectors of life in Africa; the Plenary is the main decision-making body of the Parliament. The Plenary consists of the delegates from the member states, is chaired by the President, it is the body. The Pan-African Parliament has 235 representatives that are elected by the legislatures of 47 of the 54 AU states, rather than being directly elected in their own capacity.
Each member state sends a delegation of five parliamentarians to the Parliament, at least one of whom must be a woman. The composition of the delegation should reflect the political diversity of the member state's legislature; the Bureau is the leadership group of the Parliament and consists of the President and four Vice-Presidents. Each member of the Bureau represents a different region of Africa; the current members of the Bureau are:President - Roger Nkodo Dang from Cameroon, representing Central Africa First Vice-President - Stephen Julius Masele from Tanzania, representing East Africa Second Vice-President - Haidara Haïchata from Mali, representing West Africa Third Vice-President - Bouras Djamel from Algeria, representing Northern Africa Fourth Vice-President - Chief Chirumbira from Zimbabwe, representing Southern Africa The Secretariat assists in the day-to-day running of the Parliament, undertaking duties such as minuting meetings, organising elections and managing staff. The Secretariat consists of two Deputy Clerks and other support staff.
The current members of the Secretariat are: Acting Clerk - Yusupha Jobe Deputy Clerk - Gali Massa Harou Acting Deputy Clerk - Charlotte Marck The Abuja Treaty and Sirte Declaration called for the creation of a PAP. The former had listed the PAP among the organization's bodies and stated, "In order to ensure that the peoples of Africa are involved in the economic development and integration of the Continent, there shall be established a Pan-African Parliament; the composition, functions and organisation of the Pan-African Parliament shall be defined in a Protocol providing thereof." The Treaty on the Establishment of the African Union and a Protocol to the Treaty Establishing the African Economic Community relating to the Pan-African Parliament followed. There was the Constitutive Act of the African Union; the Protocol Establishing the Pan African Parliament was adopted in 2000 during the OAU Summit in Lomé, Togo. The Protocol is now open for ratification. So far 21 member states have signed and three have ratified.
Article 22 of the PAP protocol provides for the Protocol to enter into force after deposit of the instruments of ratification by a simple majority of the member states. Implement the policies and objectives of the African Union. Cultivate human rights and democracy in Africa. Make sure Member States adhere to good governance and accountability. Let the peoples of Africa know what the objectives and policies of the African Union are so that they might be able to integrate themselves contentally while still working within the framework of the AU. Engender peace and stability on the Continent. Promote self-reliance and economic recovery so as to lead to a more prosperous future for the peoples of Africa. Engender cooperation and development in Africa. Strengthen a sense of solidarity and build common destiny among the peoples of Africa. Create cooperation among Regional Economic Communities and their Members in Parliament. Examine, discuss or express an opinion on any matter, either on its own initiative or at the request of the Assembly or other policy organs and make any recommendations it may deem fit relating to, inter alia, matters pertaining to respect of human rights, the consolidation of democratic institutions and the culture of democracy, as well as the promotion good governance and the rule of law.
Discuss its budget and the budget of the Community and make recommendations theron prior to its approval by the Assembly of the African Union. Work towards the harmonisation or co-ordination of the laws of the Member State. Make recommendations aimed at contributing to the attainment of the objectives of the OAU/AEC and draw attention to the challenges facing the integration process in Africa as well as the strategies for dealing with them. Request officials of the OAU/AEC to attend its sessions, produce documents or assist in the discharge of its duties. Promote the programmes and objectives of the OAU/AEC, in the constituencies of the Member States. Promote the co-ordination and Harmonization of policies, measures and activities of the Regional Economic Communities and the parliamentary fora of Africa. Adopt its Rules of Procedure, elect its own President and propose to the Council and the Assembly the size and nature of the support staff of the Pan-African Parliament. Perform such other functions as it deems appropriate to achieve the objectives set out in Article 3 of the Protocol.
In one of its first actions the Pan African Parliament
Ouidah or Whydah the Kingdom of Whydah, is a city on the coast of the Republic of Benin. The commune covers an area of 364 km2 and as of 2002 had a population of 76,555 people. In local tradition Kpase is supposed to have founded the town; this happened towards the end of the sixteenth century. The town was known as Glēxwé, literally'Farmhouse', was part of the Kingdom of Whydah. Ouidah saw its role in international trade rise when the British built a fort here in 1650. Whydah troops pushed their way into the African interior, capturing millions of people through tribal wars, selling them to the Europeans and Arabs. By 1716, when the massive English slave ship Whydah Gally arrived to purchase 500 slaves from King Haffon to sell in Jamaica, the Kingdom of Whydah had become the second largest slave port in the Triangular trade; the Kingdom was ruled by King Haffon, who received his coronation crown as a gift from Portugal, until, in 1727, the Kingdom of Whydah was captured by the forces of King Agaja of Dahomey.
On 19 March 1727, the Boston News-Letter gave this report: "WHYDAH IN AFRICA: the beginning of this month, Agaja the king of Dahomey came down unexpectedly with an army, soon became master of this place, the country adjacent Allada. The factory at Saber, once the king's town and Seat of Trade, was burnt to the ground, in it a great quantity of merchandise. Forty Europeans were carried into captivity, to the King of Dahomey's camp at Ardrah, but after having been detained about 14 days, seven of them were released and are now returning hither; this country, the pleasantest in all these parts, is now laid waste by fire and sword, made a wilderness!" The land which constituted the Kingdom of Whydah became a mere city in the new Kingdom of Dahomey. The Portuguese, English and French all constructed forts in the city to protect their interests in slaving; the Portuguese had reached the town which they called Ajudá in 1580 and the Portuguese Fort of São João Baptista de Ajudá, now housing The Whydah Museum, dates from 1721 and remained with Portugal until 31 July 1961.
In the time frame of 1946-1949 French government estimates put the population of Ouidah at about 14,600. By it had a railway, it was a center for production and trade in palm kernels, palm oil, coffee, beans and onions. It was a venter of the fish trade and the manufacture of vegetable oil, it had Catholic and Muslim places of worship. The Fort of São João Baptista de Ajudá is a small fortress built by the Portuguese in Ouidah on the coast of Dahomey, reached by the Portuguese in 1580, after which it grew around the slave trade, for which the Slave Coast was renowned. In 1680 the Portuguese governor of São Tomé and Príncipe was authorized to erect a fort. In 1721, after having been abandoned for some years, it was reconstructed and named São João Baptista de Ajudá; the Fort, built on land given to Portugal by King Haffon of Whydah, remained under Portuguese control from 1721 until 1961. The fort had an important impact in Benin contributing to both the Portuguese and African slave trade, its importance is attested by the fact that the Portuguese language was the only foreign language that the Kings of Dahomey authorised.
Portuguese descendants were important in the political structure of the kingdom and some established Portuguese-Brazilian families, such as the de Sousa / de Souza whose descendants still exist in Benin and Ghana, were powerful and abided by private law. In January 1722 the pirate Bartholomew Roberts sailed into the harbour and captured all the eleven ships at anchor there. Following the abolition of the legal slave trade in 1807, the fort, which had before been one of the major slave ports lost its importance and although Portugal continued to claim it as one of its possessions, formal occupation and administration were abandoned on several occasions, it was only when French presence in the region started threatening Portugal's interests that the settlement was again permanently manned. This didn't prevent the French conquest of Dahomey. After this, São João Baptista de Ajudá – now reduced to the territory within the walls of the fort – lost what remained of its importance; the fort was reoccupied by Portugal in 1865.
In this period it served as a base for a brief Portuguese attempt to create a protectorate in the Kingdom of Dahomey of which the city of Hweda was part. Until its annexation by Dahomey in 1961, São João Baptista de Ajudá was the smallest recognized separate modern political unit around 1 km2 and reduced to only 2ha, at which time, according to the census of 1921, it had 5 inhabitants and, at the moment of the ultimatum by the Dahomey Government, it had only 2 inhabitants representing Portuguese sovereignty, who tried to burn it rather than surrendering it; when the fort was captured, they were hastily escorted to the Nigerian border and expelled from the country. Only in 1975, after the Portuguese Estado Novo regime had been overthrown due to the Carnation Revolution at Lisbon, did the annexation of the fort by Dahomey gain official Portuguese recognition; this was followed by the fort's restoration, paid for by Portugal. The fort is a small square with towers at the four corners, it comprises a church and officers' qu
Benin the Republic of Benin and Dahomey, is a country in West Africa. It is bordered by Togo to the west, Nigeria to the east, Burkina Faso and Niger to the north; 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 and its population in 2016 was estimated to be 10.87 million. Benin is a tropical nation dependent on agriculture. Benin is a big exporter of palm oil; the substantial employment and income arise from subsistence farming. The official language of Benin is French. However, indigenous languages such as Fon and Yoruba are spoken; the largest religious group in Benin is Roman Catholicism, followed by Islam and Protestantism. Benin is a member of the United Nations, the African Union, the Organisation of Islamic Cooperation, the South Atlantic Peace and Cooperation Zone, La Francophonie, the Community of Sahel-Saharan States, the African Petroleum Producers Association and the Niger Basin Authority.
From the 17th to the 19th century, the main political entities in the area were the Kingdom of Dahomey, along with the city-state of Porto-Novo, a large area with many different nations to the north. This region was referred to as the Slave Coast from as early as the 17th century due to the large number of enslaved people who were shipped to the New World during the Trans-Atlantic slave trade. After enslavement was abolished, France renamed it French Dahomey. In 1960, Dahomey gained full independence from France; the sovereign state has had a tumultuous history since with many different democratic governments, military coups, military governments. A Marxist–Leninist state called the People's Republic of Benin existed between 1975 and 1990. In 1991, it was replaced by the current multi-party Republic of Benin. During the colonial period and at independence, the country was known as Dahomey. On 30 November 1975, it was renamed to Benin, after the body of water on which the country lies—the Bight of Benin.
This had been named by Europeans after the Benin Empire in present-day Nigeria. The country of Benin has no connection to Benin City in modern Nigeria, nor to the Benin bronzes; the form "Benin" is the result of a Portuguese corruption of the city of Ubinu. The new name, was chosen for its neutrality. Dahomey was the name of the former Fon Kingdom of Dahomey, limited to most of the southern third of the present country and therefore did not represent Porto-Novo, central Benin, the multi-ethnic northwestern sector Atakora, nor the Bariba Kingdom of Borgu, which covered the northeastern district; the current country of Benin combines three areas which had distinctly different political systems and ethnicities prior to French colonial control. Before 1700, there were a few important city-states along the coast and a mass of tribal regions inland; the Oyo Empire, located to the east of modern Benin, was the most significant large-scale military force in the region. It conducted raids and exacted tribute from the coastal kingdoms and the tribal regions.
The situation changed in the 1600s and early 1700s as the Kingdom of Dahomey, consisting of Fon people, was founded on the Abomey plateau and began taking over areas along the coast. By 1727, king Agaja of the Kingdom of Dahomey had conquered the coastal cities of Allada and Whydah, but it had become a tributary of the Oyo empire and did not directly attack the Oyo allied city-state of Porto-Novo; the rise of the kingdom of Dahomey, the rivalry between the kingdom and the city of Porto-Novo, the continued tribal politics of the northern region, persisted into the colonial and post-colonial periods. The Dahomey Kingdom was known for its culture and traditions. Young boys were apprenticed to older soldiers, taught the kingdom's military customs until they were old enough to join the army. Dahomey was famous for instituting an elite female soldier corps, called Ahosi, i.e. the king's wives, or Mino, "our mothers" in the Fon language Fongbe, known by many Europeans as the Dahomean Amazons. This emphasis on military preparation and achievement earned Dahomey the nickname of "black Sparta" from European observers and 19th-century explorers such as Sir Richard Burton.
The kings of Dahomey sold their war captives into transatlantic slavery. They had a practice of killing war captives in a ceremony known as the Annual Customs. By about 1750, the King of Dahomey was earning an estimated £250,000 per year by selling African captives to European slave-traders. Though the leaders of Dahomey appear to have resisted the slave trade, it flourished in the region of Dahomey for three hundred years, beginning in 1472 with a trade agreement with Portuguese merchants; the area was named the "Slave Coast" because of this flourishing trade. Court protocols, which demanded that a portion of war captives from the kingdom's many battles be decapitated, decreased the number of enslaved people exported from the area; the number went from 102,000 people per decade in the 1780s to 24,000 per decade by the 1860s. The decline was due to the Slave Trade Act 1807 banning the trans-Atlantic slave trade by Britain and the United States following in