views updated Jun 27 2018

Porto-Novo Capital of Benin, West Africa, a port on the Gulf of Guinea near the border with Nigeria. Settled by 16th-century Portuguese traders, it later became a shipping point for slaves to America. It was made the country's capital at independence in 1960, but Cotonou is assuming increasing importance. Today it is a market for the surrounding agricultural region. Exports: palm oil, cotton, kapok. Pop. (1992) 179,138.