Hubert Maga

First President of Benin
Born Aug 19, 1916

Coutoucou Hubert Maga was a politician from Dahomey (now known as Benin). He arose on a political scene where one's power was dictated by what region in Dahomey they lived. Born a peasant in 1916, Maga served as a schoolmaster from 1936 to 1945, during which time he gradually gained considerable influence among the uneducated.… Read More

related links

News + Updates

Browse recent news and stories about Hubert Maga.


Learn about the memorable moments in the evolution of Hubert Maga.


Born a peasant in 1916, Maga served as a schoolmaster from 1936 to 1945, during which time he gradually gained considerable influence among the uneducated.


1935 19 Years Old In his twenties Maga converted to Roman Catholicism which, according to journalist Ronald Matthews, "was not so common for a northerner". He became a teacher at Natitingou in 1935.


1939 23 Years Old In 1939, he married a fellow Christian, a nurse by profession, and the daughter of a prominent Brazilian of Fon origins from Ouidah. … Read More
1945 29 Years Old 1 More Event
Maga was appointed director of the school in 1945. … Read More


1947 31 Years Old 1 More Event
He was elected to Dahomey's territorial assembly in 1947 and founded the Northern Ethnical Group, later renamed the Dahomey Democratic Rally (Rassemblement Démocratique du Dahomé).
1949 33 Years Old Roger Peperty, the French chef de cercle of Natitingou and a close acquaintance, encouraged Maga to form an alliance among northerners in early 1949. … Read More
1951 35 Years Old 1 More Event
In 1951, Maga was elected to the French National Assembly, where he served in various positions, including premier from 1959 to 1960.
1954 38 Years Old …  During his first term in the Assembly, he accomplished little apart from proposing a bill on May 13, 1954 that concerned the election of counselors of the Republic from its overseas territories and Trust Territories.


1956 40 Years Old 1 More Event
With the support of his new party, Maga ran for the renewal of his mandate at the legislative elections held on January 2, 1956. … Read More
1957 41 Years Old 1 More Event
He subsequently became vice president of the assembly until his resignation in 1957.
Before the territorial elections of 1959, Maga agreed that the R.D.D. would field candidates only in the north of the country if in return Apithy's Republican Party of Dahomey (P.R.D.) ran only in the south. … Read More
In response, the premier added more U.D.D. deputies to his government in a January 1960 cabinet reshuffle. … Read More
Maga also faced a national crisis of unity, culminating in a failed assassination plot against him in May 1961 led by the main opposition leader, Justin Ahomadegbé-Tomêtin. … Read More
With the threat from his enemies thus removed, Maga could focus on developing the national economy. He designed a four-year growth plan, to begin on January 1, 1962, that contained many ambitious acts, though this was frequently revised to be more realistic. … Read More
1964 48 Years Old In May 1964, Chabi Mama and a devoted group of Maga supporters tried to remove him from house arrest and reinstate the overthrown president back into power. … Read More
At least one of their goals was accomplished in March 1965 when, following a retrial, Maga was released from house arrest. … Read More


1968 - 1969 2 More Events
1970 54 Years Old In 1970, he returned to Dahomey to serve as head of a rotating three-man presidential council, which included Ahomadegbé-Tomêtin and Apithy. … Read More
1971 55 Years Old 1 More Event
The Council lost popularity with the Kutuklui Affair. By decree of Maga and the rest of the council, Togolese opposition leader Noe Kutuklui was officially expelled from Dahomey on October 27, 1971, where he had been practicing law since the late 1960s. … Read More
1972 56 Years Old 1 More Event
Maga transferred power to Ahomadégbé-Tomêtin on May 7, 1972. … Read More


1981 65 Years Old Maga, Ahomadégbé-Tomêtin, and Apithy spent more than nine years in prison before being freed by Kérékou in 1981.
1989 73 Years Old Maga established the National Party for Democracy and Development in 1989 and participated in the National Conference of 1990, which gave amnesty to all Beninese political refugees. … Read More
1998 82 Years Old He did make some public appearances, such as at independence day celebrations in 1998. … Read More
2000 84 Years Old 1 More Event
He died on May 8, 2000.
Original Authors of this text are noted on
Text is made available under the Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike License.