Information and communication technologies market in Benin
Contribution of the ICT sector to Benin's GDP.
Capital expenditures for cutting-edge ICT projects in 2021.
Jobs in the ICT sector in Benin.
Canadian exploration companies and ICT companies are present in Benin.
Total value of exports in the ICT sector in 2021.
Foreign direct investment, net inflows (% of GDP) for Benin
The Government of Benin aims to use ICT as a catalyst for economic dynamism and modernization to accelerate its economic growth and social inclusion. The government’s goal is to transform Benin in the medium term into a platform of digital services for all of West Africa.
This offers business opportunities in areas such as telemedicine and remote monitoring, high and very high speed Internet, DTT e-governance, intelligent administration (Smart Government), e-commerce and e-education for foreign investors, especially Canadians.
Main opportunities for Canadian ICT companies in Benin
- Development of ICT infrastructure
- Dematerialization and modernization of public services
- Digitization of service delivery in higher education
- Digitization of health services and payment
- Development of mobile financial services
- Promotion of incubators, "accelerator laboratories" and technological start-ups
Main challenges facing Canadian ICT companies in Benin
- the restrictive business environment
- the need for large investments with the possibility of formulating PPP projects which offer some advantages;
- the need to understand the market and the needs of West African consumers
- the need to develop local commercial partnerships in the form of joint ventures with mixed capital or contractual joint ventures
- the relatively large size of the informal sector
- the significant weight of the state in the digitization and unfinished modernization of the public tender process
Business landscape of Benin
Business opportunities exist in Benin given the government's ambition to support the ICT sector. The Beninese market has become a favorable destination for foreign ICT companies to settle permanently in West Africa. In fact, it is an ideal platform for accessing regional markets. It is at the core of a vast market of more than 350 million consumers due to its membership in the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) and the West African Economic and Monetary Union (UEMOA), and its proximity to neighboring giant Nigeria.
In its sectoral policy statement, the government has considered, in addition to six top projects selected and constituting the major levers for the development of the digital economy, six structural reforms including:
- the creation of the National Digital Council
- the establishment of a new governance for the sector
- the adoption of a digital code
- the restructuring of state companies operating in the telecoms sector (Libercom , Benin Telecom Infrastructures and Benin Telecom Service)
- the rationalization of the number of operators intervening in the mobile telephony market in Benin and
- the simplification of the taxation system of the ICT sector
These are the following projects:
- the development of HD and VHD Internet throughout the country through the continued development of telecommunications and ICT infrastructure (PDI2T) and the densification and reinforcement of broadband (PDRHD)
- the transition from analogue broadcasting to DTT via the provision of DTT reception kits
- the implementation of intelligent administration (Smart Gov) through the strengthening of central governance structures (PRSCG), setting up the public key infrastructure (PKI), setting up the national interoperability platform (PNI), setting up the national services platform (eServices), installation of a platform for archiving and digitizing administrative documents
- widespread use of eCommerce
- the generalization of the use of digital technology through education and training
- promotion and development of digital content and implementation of the national digital security strategy.
In addition to the significant and growing investments made by stakeholders in the sector, the International City of Innovation and Knowledge (Ciis), the government's top project in the technical and university education sector, launched in 2018, aims to set up a physical setting and a favourable and attractive ecosystem, both for higher education institutions and for vocational and technical training establishments, research centres and incubators. It also intends to create 190,000 jobs, 40% of which for women, by 2030. Finally, state agencies also offer support.
Although having a varied expertise that can meet the demands of the Beninese ICT market, Canadian companies are still mostly absent from the Beninese market. In order to gain more market share and have success in Benin, Canadian companies not only have to understand the market and the needs of West African consumers, but also need to consider forming business partnerships with local companies in the sector.
For more information on the Benin ICT Sector Market Study, please contact Mr. Mamadou Ouattara, Embassy of Canada to Burkina Faso and Benin, Mamadou.Ouattara@international.gc.ca.
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