With its culturally rich history, the city of Bohicon has enormous potential linked to its tangible and intangible heritage, the most famous of which remains the underground village of Agongointo. The economic crossroads of Benin, Bohicon is famous for its cultural offerings, especially its gastronomy. The city is home to the multicity of the local dishes from Afitin, a condiment made of sumbala seeds, the basis seasoning of local sauces, to well-known Houawélio, a special fermented corn paste, which has been passed on from generation to generation. As a Creative City of Gastronomy, the city’s vision is to set up a genuine cultural industry around its local culinary specialties, and notably Bômiho. In light of this initiative, the city has organized a series of events, Local Tastes of Zou 2017 and 2019, to provide a platform for the exhibition of Bohicon’s traditional gastronomic heritage. Hotels, cafes, restaurants and bars are means for gastronomy to be a source of the city’s income, generating USD 506,024 each month. The establishment of a formal organization responsible for promoting and organizing the sector will further help overseeing the economic flow linked to these activities in the fields of culture and gastronomy. Moreover, the city intends to develop communication action plans around these areas. The city believes that the membership to the UCCN can contribute to the sector’s visibility and growth. The objective is to leverage the local gastronomy to highlight the cultural potential of the city in its future development.
As a Creative City of Gastronomy, the following steps will be important:
- Strengthening international cooperation between member cities to make creativity an essential lever of urban development, in particular through partnerships involving the public sector, private sector and civil society;
- Strengthening the creation, production, distribution and dissemination of cultural activities, goods and services at both local and international level;
- Developing centres of creativity and innovation, and broadening the opportunities for creators and professionals in the cultural sector; and
- Improving access to and participation in cultural life as well as the enjoyment of cultural goods and services, in particular for marginalized or vulnerable groups and people.