Judges and gynaecologists in Benin have undergone training on the interpretation of forensic evidence in cases of violence against women, as well as in investigative procedures when dealing with rape cases. The training took place in Cotonou, the country’s economic capital, at an international conference held Mar. 16 to 19 as part of the Women's Justice and Empowerment Initiative, a U.S. government-funded programme to strengthen awareness of gender-based violence and prosecution of more

Beninese President Boni Yayi met with Chinese Assistant Foreign Minister Zhai Jun here Wednesday. Yayi said Benin and China have a deep-rooted friendship and the Beninese government and people thank China for its long-term aid. He said the Beninese government will continue to adhere to the one-China policy. Benin hopes to establish and develop a comprehensive partnership of cooperation with China, enlarge collaboration in the fields of infrastructure and social development, and enhance more

Voodoo rituals have long been inaccessible to anyone except disciples and priests. Even though certain practices like scarification carry a high risk of HIV infection, outsiders to the voodoo community have largely been unable to penetrate the secrecy that health officials say can be deadly to its followers.

Local NGOs subcontracted by a multi-million-dollar microfinance programme are taking bribes from borrowers, according to the fund’s directors. Aboubacar Aboudou, the first director of the government-run “microloans to the poorest” programme, told IRIN a lack of oversight and the programme’s rapid growth since its creation in February 2007 has left it open to “unscrupulous intermediaries” hired to process loans.

President Yayi Boni has formed a new government. It is composed of 30 ministries: 6 ministries more than the previous. It is a national government since all departments of the country are represented. In this new team, there are 19 new ministry and 14 departures. The new government has 4 women instead of 6 in the previous one.