A while back I set up Google alerts to send me daily summaries of all new web content that match the search terms “Benin” or “Cotonou” — sort of cool, although honestly less useful than I hoped.
I’d say something like 49% of what comes through is actually about a place called Benin City in Nigeria. It’s a rubber industry hub. Lots of fascinating news about that. (Riiiight.)
Another, say, 49% of what pops up are blog entries by Peace Corp volunteers throughout Benin. These can indeed be interesting, but they don’t of course give me much historical or political content, which is what I really want.
It’s only every few days or so that a real news article comes through.
Here are some of the most recent:
NYT: “From West Africa, a Recipe for Spicy Trans-Atlantic Funk”
Orchestre Poly-Rythmo de Cotonou, from Benin, belongs on the very short list of the world’s greatest funk bands. More than four decades into its career, most of them spent touring Benin and nearby West African countries, the 10-man orchestra made its blistering North American debut on Sunday night at the Gerald W. Lynch Theater at John Jay College as part of the Lincoln Center Festival… (Click here to read more.)
Bloomberg: “Benin Dismisses and Arrests Minister of Security for Fraud”
Benin dismissed and arrested Security Minister Armand Zinzindohoue for his involvement in a finance company that took deposits from people and hasn’t returned the funds, Work Minister Gerard Kuassi said. President Thomas Boni Yayi on July 8 fired Zinzindohoue, who was arrested yesterday after a commission of inquiry found he was involved in the company, known as ICC Services, Kuassi told reporters in Cotonou, the country’s commercial hub, today… (Click here to read more.)
Al Jazeera English: “Anger at France Bastille Day parade”
France has staged its traditional Bastille Day parade amid criticism from human rights groups at the invitation of some African leaders. Soldiers from 13 African nations marched through Paris on Wednesday to mark 50 years of independence from French colonial rule. … The parade saw fighter jets fly over the city, followed by African troops marching down the Champs Elysees avenue, headed by an all-female unit from Benin. (Click here to read more.)