Benin's Democratic and Developmental Progress: A Conversation with H.E. Thomas Boni Yayi and the Hon. Dana J. Hyde

Introduction by: 
Hon. Constance Berry Newman
Senior Fellow, Africa Center
Atlantic Council
Former US Assistant Secretary of State for African Affairs 

H.E. Thomas Boni Yayi
Republic of Benin

Hon. Dana J. Hyde
Millennium Challenge Corporation

Moderated by:
Aubrey Hruby
Senior Fellow, Africa Center
Atlantic Council
Coauthor, The Next Africa: An Emerging Continent Becomes a Global Powerhouse

The West African country of Benin has made significant strides in development and democracy since it transitioned to a pluralistic political system twenty-five years ago. His Excellency Thomas Boni Yayi was elected President of the Republic of Benin in 2006 after winning a landslide victory in runoff elections. In 2012, Yayi became the first President since the inception of Benin's democracy to win an election in the first round of voting when he was reelected to office with more than 50 percent of the vote. 

Benin boasts a thriving civil society and a large number of political parties, both of which have contributed to the country's progress in recent years. In 2006, Benin was granted a $307 million Millennium Challenge Corporation (MCC) compact focused on improving the country's investment climate and stimulating private sector growth.

However, Benin's development has not been without challenges, and the country redoubled efforts to curb corruption. These good governance initiatives led to the recent approval, in June 2015, of a new $375 million MCC compact, that will be signed at an event with Vice President Joe Biden and the President of Benin on September 9. This compact will include a contribution of an additional $28 million from the Government of Benin. The latest agreement will focus on Benin's energy sector and includes a significant policy reform component.  

Please join us for a conversation with the President and the Honorable Dana J. Hyde, CEO of MCC, to discuss the progress and prospects for growth in Benin in this next chapter of the country's history. Africa Center Senior Fellow Aubrey Hruby, coauthor of The Next Africa: An Emerging Continent Becomes a Global Powerhouse, will moderate the discussion. 

Thursday, September 10, 2015
10:00 a.m. - 11:30 a.m.  
Atlantic Council

1030 15th Street NW
12th Floor (West Tower)
Washington, DC