On behalf of President Obama and the people of the United States, I congratulate the people of Benin as you celebrate the 54th anniversary of your nation's independence on August 1.
Benin is a beacon of progress for all of West Africa. The United States applauds your commitment to free and fair democracy and your efforts to end corruption. We are proud of our close friendship which is founded on shared democratic values and a common regard for human rights, economic growth, and responsive government.
Benin and the United States have a long history of collaboration, including through PEPFAR and the Millennium Challenge Corporation's Benin Compact. Over a five year span, we invested more than $300 million dollars to support your plans to improve infrastructure at the Port of Cotonou, provide modern financial services to your business community, and extend your judicial system to rural residents.
At this pivotal moment in Benin's history, with six million people under the age of 24, we look forward to building on what we have achieved together and supporting the aspirations of all Benin's citizens.
The United States wishes the people of Benin a joyful celebration as well as peace and prosperity in the year to come