Porto-Novo, the political capital of Benin, a calm city, a charming city, has a beautiful history from its origins to its modernization.
Let’s try to wink to better understand the assets of this city full of history.
Located in southern Benin 30 km from Cotonou, the city of Porto-Novo is located between 6°30 north latitude and 3°30 east longitude. It’s limited: in the North by the communes of Akpro-Missérété, Avrankou and Adjarra; in the South by the commune of Sèmè-Podji; in the East by the municipality of Adjarra; in the West by the municipality of Aguégués.
Named a creative city by UNESCO, the capital of Benin benefits from this honor because of the creativity of its population in areas such as crafts and popular arts, film, gastronomy, digital arts, literature, art and culture, music and finally, design.
The local economy of Porto-Novo is mainly based on the informal sector. The formal sector is not developed. There is no specialization of the city in a specific economic activity. However, Porto-Novo remains the metropolis of large Beninese traders with relatively large turnover.
With the new administrative divisions subsequent to decentralization, rural Porto-Novo no longer exists. Plant production activities in Porto-Novo are increasingly presenting the characteristics of urban agriculture, which needs substantial technical support for its development.
In fact, the agricultural production in Porto-Novo is reduced: to market gardening and fish farming in the lagoon areas or in the lowlands, to box crops practiced in the openings of undeveloped roads and on undeveloped plots, to the animal production, and processing activities.
Livestock also play an important role in the socio-economic life of the Municipality of Porto-Novo. It is practiced by many households.
The breeding method often practiced is the rambling. Sometimes, some animals are confined. Individual breeders are very numerous and breed in the concessions without care. Generally it’s a traditional rambling farm that is a way of saving for most individual practitioners. Breeding statistics mention the existence of about twenty professional breeders who practice intensive breeding in pens.
Tourism and hotels
The tourism and hotel sectors are important and growing sectors in Porto-Novo.
In terms of hotel infrastructure, the city of Porto-Novo has a few hotels. Among others, we can mention: Dona, the Capital, Ayélawadjè, Beaurivage, Freedom Palace, the Ambassadors, the President, the Palace, etc.
Culture and crafts
The cultural heritage of the city of Porto-Novo is rich and diverse. It’s characterized by:
– Five (5) royal palaces: Honmè Palace, Toffa 1er Palace, King’s Palace of Porto-Novo (King Kpotozounmè), King Onikoi Palace, Initiation Palace of Kings.
– Several temples and places of worship based on traditional values.
– Several places of worship derived from imported beliefs and constituted by a dozen large churches, at least 25 central mosques and four (4) places Idi.
– Three (3) museums or cultural information centers. These are ethnographic museums, Honme and da-Silva.
– Several traditional folk groups such as “Adjogan”, “Bourian”, “Ayinla”, etc.
– A dozen sites and cultural infrastructures such as the Temple of the nine-headed monster, Place Bayol, Place Olory Togbé, the international center for meeting young people of the Francophonie, the International House of Culture, etc.
The major cultural activities are organized around Zangbeto, Ogboni, Egungun, Oro, vodun, folklore, Adjogan, Bourian and the plastic arts.
UNESCO, the World Heritage Conservation Group and the Government of Benin have set themselves the goal of preserving and enhancing the originality of the city of Porto-Novo characterized by a mixture of old cultures.
Porto-Novo is one of the best preserved heritage capitals. The architecture presents an original style with Brazilian and French influences. Sacred trees are also an important part of this heritage.
These listed assets and certainly others make it a historic city.
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