Sustainable Development Goals targeted by Benin

Since 2016, Benin has adopted a program of actions anchored to the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) to promote sustainable economic and social development, in line with the 2030 Agenda. As a result of this initiative, the country was chosen by the United Nations in 2018 for the pilot phase of assessing the costs of achieving the SDGs and defining a resource mobilization strategy. Benin is now taking the next step and concretizing this strategy by issuing Africa's first SGD bond, the proceeds of which will be used to finance high impact SGD projects.


Cadre d’émission obligataire ODD

Opinion indépendante de Vigeo Eiris sur le Cadre d’émission ODD (Juillet 2021)

Communiqué de presse – Partenariat avec SDSN


Benin SDG Bond Framework


SPO from Vigeo Eiris on Benin SDG framework (July 2021)


Investor Presentation (July 2021)


Allocation and impact report

Available in 2022

Press release – Partnership with SDSN


Sustainable Development Goals targeted by Benin

« Population » or social

«Prosperity» or economy

« Planet » or environnement

« Peace » or governance


Eligible projects and expenditures


Development of sustainable and productive agriculture

This refers to expenditures for current transfers, subsidies, and investments in support of responsible agriculture, i.e. respectful of soils and aquifers (moderate withdrawals from nature in order to avoid the depletion of natural resources), and not endangering the health of farmers and/or local populations.

Table 10: Criteria defining sustainable agriculture in the Beninese context

Local food securityThe proposed farming system should contribute to the food and/or livelihood security of local communities (food system that contributes to the rural economy).
Minimal ecosystem degradation by agricultural productionThe agricultural production ecosystem must allow for the conservation of a diversity of non harvested species that support production (soil micro-organisms, pollinators) and those of the wider environment that contribute to the diversity of agro-ecosystems (agricultural, pastoral, forestry and aquatic) through limited use of pesticides.64.
Promotion and use of local agricultural knowledgeThe system has the potential to conserve valuable local traditional agricultural knowledge and practices, natural resources, biota, land and water management systems, which have supported agricultural, forestry and/or fisheries activities (aquaponics, locally developed drip irrigation).

This sustainable agriculture is also practised with respect for human rights and agricultural workers (limited working hours, weekly rest, freedom of association, respect for the fundamental ILO conventions to which Benin has adhered since 1960). Expenditure is excluded here if the target (i.e. directly/primarily) is fossil fuel-powered equipment. Specifically, the cultivation of cotton, the Republic of Benin's main export product, may be eligible under the following conditions :

  • Availability of measurable indicators for assessing the sustainability of cotton cultivation systems and certifications
  • Ensure traceability of phytosanitary products used in reasoned quantities (list of pesticides authorised by the National Committee for Pesticide Management in the Republic of Benin)
  • Ensure verification of compliance with these criteria by public authorities or specialised agencies.


Access to drinking water and wastewater processing

This refers to public investment expenditures that promote access to quality drinking water for everyday consumption and basic sanitation for the population concerned.
There are many positive interrelationships between this water theme and SDG 6 and the other SDGs, particularly in terms of health (SDG 3 health and well-being) and the prevention of waterborne diseases, which are partly due to the lack of sanitation.


Improving the health of all

Inclusion in the health sector (notably universal access and free health care) refers not only to the strengthening of health care capacities in order to reach a wider population than a reference base but also to the development of social policies.
Benin is pursuing an upgrade of the health sector contained in the "National Long-Term Outlook Studies Benin 2025". Improving the socio-health conditions of the population is a major focus, as is improving governance and resource management in the health sector.
Many of the challenges facing the beninese health sector could be mitigated by the better provision of basic equipment and infrastructure, and by improving their maintenance.


Decent housing for the poor

A sustainable living environment depends on the non-overcrowding of housing but also on guaranteed access to local facilities and sufficient services.
As population hyperdensity is often correlated with the establishment of informal housing in urban areas whose populations are below the average level of non-monetary poverty, intervention in the living conditions of these populations helps to ensure a level of comfort through the installation of new facilities.
Progressive access, without any discrimination, to adequate urban services for the poor, implies the availability of drinking water, a source of energy for cooking, lighting, sanitation, and health services, and a system for disposing of household waste and wastewater. The challenge of providing decent housing for the poor also lies in locating their homes near employment areas, schools, childcare facilities, and other social amenities, away from polluted areas. Decent housing for the low-income population must include physical security for the occupants and sufficient space. Protection from the elements (rain, moisture, and wind) must also be a quality of such housing.
Selected target populations may be targeted by such schemes and expenditures, notably through the Société Immobilière et d'Aménagement Urbain (SImAU). The target populations could include middle-income civil servants, artisans, etc.


Expanding education services and improving the capacity to take on students

Educational services refer to both the schooling policies directly supported by the beninese government to increase the chances of access to education for all and the infrastructures that allow the beninese to receive a quality education.
Improving the quality of school services and financing new equipment can be seen as a way to keep skills on the beninese soil, and to avoid South/North migration due to the lack of educational infrastructure in the country.
For primary education, only investments and expenditures in public educational institutions with free and universal access are eligible.
Free schooling for girls has been generalized since December 2003 and the government is committed to increasing the gross enrollment rate for girls in order to achieve universal access to basic education. In higher education, since 2008, the registration fees of non-scholarship holders, non-security, and non-salaried Beninese students in Benin's national universities have been covered.


Access to low-carbon, reliable and affordable energy

Access to electricity is an essential or so-called "basic" service with numerous direct and indirect benefits, which notably allows people to have lighting, to use various appliances that can be used for cooking (making it possible to improve the penetration rates of clean cooking energy) or for (tele)communication (radiotelephony, internet). This access is deployed and/or encouraged by the state through various expenditures and investments.
Fossil fuels in all forms are excluded here (solid, liquid or gasified). Access to electricity can be ensured by connection to the conventional electricity network (of the Société béninoise d'énergie électrique) or by so-called off-grid solutions. Indeed, when certain populations are too far from the conventional grid (a distance greater than 10km), they can benefit from "mini-grids" (i.e. connection to a mini power station with a solar grid in the area) or independent electricity production kits (solar energy production devices at home in kits).


Connectivity and digital inclusion throughout the territory

Digital inclusion refers to the process of enabling an individual to have access to digital technology to acquire skills that will leverage their social and economic inclusion.

The government's 2016-2021 action programme includes among its development objectives the use of digital technology and skills in the education sector and in vocational, technical, initial and continuing training through internet connectivity. The strengthening of connectivity - particularly mobile connectivity - allows Beninese populations, wherever they may be, particularly in the countryside, to access basic services such as health services. The mobile phone industry is playing an increasingly important role in accelerating social development in West Africa. Mobile digital platforms optimise digital and financial inclusion and stimulate innovation.


Supporting employment and financial inclusion of the youth, women, and rural entrepreneurs

In Benin, more than 90% of jobs are in the informal sector and unemployment among 15-34 year olds is particularly high. Vocational training is therefore a key issue for Benin's youth, who are exposed to unemployment and insecurity. Ensuring its financing and that of SMEs/ETIs created by young workers, through support mechanisms (subsidised loans, etc.) granted by the Beninese state, makes it possible to strengthen the integration of young Beninese and, ultimately, to stimulate the country's economic fabric and its growth. According to the report of the Integrated Modular Survey on Household Living Conditions (EMICoV) carried out by the National Institute of Statistics and Demography (INSD) in 2011, 90.4% of employed persons aged 15-64 worked in the informal sector, 4.6% in the formal public sector and 4.9% in the formal private sector. Job creation can also be stimulated by optimised access to financial services, particularly for vulnerable populations such as women and 15-34 year olds, whose access to banking and microfinance instruments can stimulate entrepreneurial development.


Developing living environments and sustainable infrastructure for all

A sustainable infrastructure is closely linked to a sustainable living environment which, from a hygienic and socially inclusive perspective, is healthy, airy and open to all populations. These urban living environments are fully in line with the emergence of sustainable or 'smart' cities. Sustainable infrastructure refers here to places :

  • With a reduced carbon footprint compared to traditional infrastructures; 
  • Socially inclusive for all their communities and users (inhabitants and direct users of the space, neighbouring communities, visitors, traders);
  • With planning and implementation criteria aimed at reducing, for example, urban heat islands due to anarchic (largely informal) urbanisation and urban congestion caused by the failure of urban traffic networks
  • Avoiding massive population displacements (less than 100 people, which is a more demanding threshold than that of 200 people, defined by the African Development Bank) and having been the subject of consultation with the populations.


Conservation of lake and coastal areas, reasonable economic exploitation of the coastlines

Benin adopted a coastal law in 2018. The Beninese Agency for the Environment (ABE) is responsible for the RAMSAR administrative authority (a Ramsar site is the designation of a "wetland of international importance"). Benin has 5 RAMSAR sites. The focus here is on costs related to the preservation of the Beninese coastline, which is experiencing a high rate of coastal erosion. The erosion of the coastline can reach 12 to 30 metres per year at the most critical points, while the coastline was already home to 1.8 million inhabitants, i.e. around 18% of the country's total population in 2013 according to INStaD (formerly INSAE) surveys.

In this erosion dynamic, the impact of human activities should be noted, particularly in the damage caused to coastal flora, which can act as a barrier to erosion. The category targeted here therefore particularly concerns the preservation of the mangroves that occupy the central and western sectors of the Beninese coastline, lakes Ahémé and Nokoué, and the lower valleys of the Mono. The coastal zone is also threatened by the rise in sea level.

This shoreline vegetation (mangrove), while it plays a shelter and spawning ground role for fish and bird species, suffers particularly from uncontrolled cutting for the supply of energy needs of the riverside populations and from the development of acadjas practice which is a prohibited practice under the terms of Article 73 of Law No. 2014-19 of 07 August 2014 relating to fishing and aquaculture in the Republic of Benin.

The country has also undertaken to clean up the water areas where prohibited fishing gear and methods are widely used. A brigade for the surveillance of water areas has been created and equipped to ensure the rational and sustainable exploitation of aquatic ecosystems.
Concerning the development of sustainable aquaculture and support for artisanal fishing activities, the exploitation of coastal areas through the development of aquaculture is governed by the law of 7 August 2014 relating to fishing and aquaculture in the Republic of Benin, Title V of which specifies that it is prohibited to use a certain number of elements for both artisanal and industrial fishing, with these prohibitions ensuring a reasoned exploitation of fisheries resources. It is thus prohibited to use explosive materials, firearms or toxic substances or bait in continental or maritime fishing; to place nets, dams, devices or other procedures whose purpose or effect is to block the course of rivers or to obstruct the entrance to lagoons, estuaries or river mouths for fishing purposes; and to use trawl nets in industrial or artisanal maritime fishing.


Conservation of biodiversity, restoration and reasonable exploitation of the forest cover and fighting against desertification

This refers to expenses related to the promotion of sustainable management of all types of forests and the restoration of degraded land and soil. The issue at stake is that outside of classified or endogenously protected areas, the coverage of natural plant formations (dense dry forests, semi-deciduous forests, gallery forests, swamp forests, clear forests, savannahs (shrub, tree, woodland), swamp savannahs, mangroves and sacred cult forests of southern Benin) is reduced by the exponential increase in demand for agricultural land, the search for the most fertile land (covered by forests), wood production, urban expansion, and the sometimes inadequate enforcement of forest legislation.  If the restoration process is to contain the degradation of forests for subsistence use (firewood) by involving the population in programmes to preserve floral biodiversity, the rational use of Benin's forest cover can also help to emphasise the conservation of a diversity of species despite the economic exploitation of the forests.


Promoting heritage sites, educational sites and entertainment infrastructure

In a culturally diverse Benin, the valorisation of different national cultures promotes inter-ethnic and inter-community balance and, consequently, political and social stability. Benin is rich in more than one hundred linguistic and cultural groups that cohabit in a relatively small space, where the balance between these cultures favours the stability of the country.

Therefore, the expenditure included in this category relates to support for a memory economy, which functions around places of commemoration that allow Beninese to be united around commonalities that link them both to their traditional communities and to the country's mixed history. The aim here is to 'promote and develop domestic tourism, a factor in the intermingling of peoples, tolerance and peace (National Tourism Policy, 2013-2025)' and 'the creation of tourism development zones in localities with significant natural and socio-cultural potential'.

Press releases

16 July 2021
Benin carried out its first issue of international bonds dedicated to the financing of projects with a high impact on the achievement of the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals, the first ...
8 July 2021
The Republic of Benin and the United Nations Sustainable Development Solutions Network (SDSN) announce the launch of a partnership for the monitoring and ...