Benin, officially Republic of Benin, in western Africa, on the Gulf of Guinea. Known in full as the Republic of Benin, it is bordered on the north by Burkina Faso (formerly Upper Volta) and Niger, on the east by Nigeria, on the west by Togo, and on the south by the Gulf of Guinea.
Formerly part of French West Africa, Benin gained full independence in 1960 as the Republic of Dahomey; it was renamed Benin in 1975. Benin has an area of 112,622 sq km (43,484 sq mi) and extends inland to the River Niger about 670 km (415 mi) from its 121 km (75 mi) gulf coast. The official capital of Benin is Porto-Novo; Cotonou is the political capital and largest town.