Benin - Services

After the collapse of several banks in 1998 and 1999, the financial sector was completely overhauled, with the liquidation of failed banks and the setting up of new private sector institutions with assistance from France and the World Bank. Benin's banks include the Banque Internationale du Benin, Ecobank, Bank of Africa-Benin, and Financial Bank.

A regional stock exchange, the Bourse Regionale des Valeurs Mobilieres (BRVM), was opened in 1998. It will help improve the capital market by attracting local savings and slowing capital outflow to Europe. The headquarters of the stock exchange is in Abidjan, but all UEMOA members have trading floors in their countries.

Tourism is in its infancy, and arrivals are usually French citizens or backpackers exploring West Africa. Attractions are many: the former slave towns of Porto Novo and Grand Popo, stilt villages and the lagoons around Ganvie, the northern nature reserves including the Pendjari area, and the Parc West (on the border of Burkina Faso and Niger). Hotel facilities vary in quality and availability, and outside Cotonou they provide only the basics.

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