A national workshop to launch the import of cleaner, more fuel efficient vehicles in Benin was held on 4-5 June, 2013 in Cotonou, Benin. The workshop, coordinated by the Ministry of Environment was opened by the Director General of Environment, Mr. Cesaire Gnangle. Over eighty participants attended the workshop including the participation of UNEP, Cote d'Ivoire and Togo. Cote d'Ivoire has already started to implement this initiative to promote cleaner vehicles. Stakeholders to the workshop were drawn from auto clubs, the civil society, second-hand vehicle importers, taxi driver unions, fuel sector, the academia and government representatives from transport, health, energy and environment ministries.
All participants welcomed the initiative as it would result in reductions of vehicular emission, a growing challenge in most African cities.
It was noted that roughly 10% of vehicles imported into Benin are new, with 88% of vehicles imported being older than 3 years. The age limit for passenger vehicles is 10 years. Participants were informed that the past 10 years has seen a threefold vehicle increase. Catalytic converters are now mandatory for all new petrol cars into Benin.
Participants called for a regional and international approach to the implementation of vehicle fuel efficiency in Benin due to cross- border trading. It was noted that solutions to vehicle emission reduction are multiphase, ensuring the import of cleaner fuels and vehicles, and regular servicing of vehicles as well as encouraging other more sustainable modes of transport such as public transport and non-motorized transport.