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Visit Swiss Cooperation Office websites.

Films - An insight into the SDC

A number of short films provide an insight into the SDC’s mission

Portrait of an employee in Benin
Regional Cooperation
All short films

Specific projects
30 years of cooperation

30 ans Bénin

In December 2011 Switzerland and Benin celebrated the 30th anniversary of the cooperation agreement between the two countries. A number of events took place on the spot to mark this anniversary.

 Photo gallery
 30ème anniversaire, les souvenirs qui dessinent le futur [zip] (fr)


Website of the Cooperation Office (SDC) Benin: www.cooperation-suisse.admin.ch/benin/


The Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation (SDC) encourages private and public stakeholders in Benin to develop a nation of solidarity, progress and social justice by reducing poverty. It supports local governance, rural economic development, basic education, and vocational education and training.

Benin has one of the highest population growth rates in the world, coupled with a low economic growth rate. The land is poor in natural resources. The state therefore struggles to offer adequate services– both in terms of quantity and quality– to the population. Benin's economy revolves around agriculture – particularly cotton – and trade through the port of Cotonou.

Despite numerous obstacles in the path of its development, the country enjoys a level of political stability that provides a favourable environment for long-term cooperation. The SDC supports the poverty-reduction efforts of various private and public stakeholders from across Benin's society. Its activities are focused on the departments of Borgou and Alibori in the north-east of the country.

Swiss International Cooperation 2011
mill. CHF
mill. CHF
mill. CHF
Bilateral development cooperation 8.49 17.44 15.26
Humanitarian aid 0.12 0.18 0.09
State Secretariat for Economic Affairs (SECO)
Economic Cooperation and Development
Total SDC/SECO 8.61 17.62 15.35
Other Federal Offices
State Secretariat for Education, Research and Innovation (SERI) 0.02
Total other Federal Offices 0.02
Cantons and municipalities 0.51 0.76 ..
Total 9.12 18.38 15.37
SDC figures excluding program contributions to Swiss NGOs
.. = figures not available | – = nil or amount < 5'000 CHF

Decentralisation and local governance
State structures that meet people's needs
The SDC supports the Benin government's efforts to decentralise state structures. The aim is to bring government closer to citizens and to meet their needs more effectivelyby improving the quality of services. Building on local administrative authorities and civil society, the SDC supports,

for example:

Rural economic development
Creating income-generating jobs
The SDC wants family-run farms to increase their production in order to boost the country's food security and foster the emergence of other economic sectors that create jobs in rural areas. To this end, it is committed to the modernisation of family-run farms and collaborates with farmers' organisations.

For example, it supports:

Basic education and vocational training
Offering alternatives to those excluded from the school system
The SDC is committed to an inclusive education that gives everyone a chance. Thanks to its efforts, children, young people and adults who have been unable to attend school or who have received insufficient schooling acquire skills that not only enable them to find jobs that provide an income, but also to exercise their citizenship.

For example, in Benin the SDC supports:

History of cooperation
30 years of work on behalf of the people of Benin
Swiss development cooperation with Benin began with a series of bilateral agreements, including a technical cooperation agreement that was signed in 1981. Switzerland subsequently opened a cooperation office in Cotonou in 1983. In 1994, the SDC began to support civil society organisations.

The SDC was also active in the health sector until it withdrew in 2007. In addition, until 2009 SECO provided budgetary support, bringing donors under one umbrella and persuading the government to reform public expenditure flows.

Background information Benin

Facts and figures
Surface area
Annual population growth rate (since 1990)
Life expectancy at birth women / men
Adult illiteracy rate: women / men
Gross Domestic Product GDP per capita
Percentage of population with less than 2 USD per day
57.9 / 54.2
69.7 / 44.8
Source: World Bank's World Development Indicators 2013

Background information provided by the BBC

Local SDC contact address:

Benin (Cotonou)

Bureau de la Coopération Suisse au Bénin
08 BP 0123 Cotonou
République du Bénin

Phone +229 21 31 47 37
+229 21 31 47 38
Fax +229 21 31 47 55
Email cotonou@sdc.net
Website www.cooperation-suisse.admin.ch/benin/

Additional Information and Documents

Here, you will find more publications, links, documents and articles about Swiss development cooperation and humanitarian aid in this country.