[su_quote cite=”Ambassador Omar Arouna”]People need to watch Benin — the future of Africa will go through Benin.[/su_quote]

benin_mapThis episode originally aired in May 2016. Join us on our first installment of Conversations with Ambassadors as we sit down for a chat with Omar Arouna, the then Ambassador of the Republic of Benin to the United States, Mexico, and the Organization of American States (OAS).

Ambassador Arouna described his journey from the IT industry and various NGO and public advocacy projects  to his current role as Benin’s top diplomat. We then learned more about Benin’s journey to democracy, and how proud the country is to have achieved sustained political stability.

Ambassador Arouna also discussed some of the challenges and opportunities that lie ahead for Benin, such as its goal of developing self-sufficient electricity production capabilities instead of relying on Nigeria for its supply. The Ambassador spoke excitedly about Benin’s future, particularly because of its strategic location as a major port of access for supply lines extending into the inland of sub-Saharan Africa.

Toward the end of this episode’s fascinating conversation, Ambassador Arouna gave us a vivid virtual tour of the sights, sounds, and tastes of Benin’s capital city, Cotonou. Listen with us to understand a little bit more about what’s going on in Benin from its top diplomat to the United States, Omar Arouna

More reading!

Find out more about Benin, Ambassador Arouna’s background, and read some of his writing below:

About the Author
Drew Casey received his M.A. in International Affairs from the George Washington University’s Elliott School. He is the Director of Development for Matters of State and a regular episode contributor. He previously graduated from Oklahoma State University with a degree in International Business. Drew has lived in multiple major cities in the U.S. and spent a year and a half teaching English in China.