The Friends of Burkina Faso

Les Amis du Burkina Faso

From the latest Burkina Connection

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Quick Links:

Kwilga Bridges to Current Burkina PCV's Blogs (Other Burkina Faso Friends Blogs)
Peace Corps in Burkina Faso
Lambs for School video
Noon Meals Improves Girls' Learning Video
T-Shirt Order Form (PDF)
Membership Form (PDF)
Recent Returnee Membership form
Lambs for School Project Certificate
Lambs for School Project Holiday Certificate
FBF Grant Proposal Guidelines (English Manual)
FBF Grant Proposal Guidelines (Francais Manuel)

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About Burkina Faso

Angela Carpenter's Burkina Faso Website -Provides information about select cities in Burkina Faso.

Irene Abdou's Burkina Faso Photography Gallery -see photos of people and places in Burkina Faso.

Note: This information comes directly from the CIA World Factbook. You can also visit the official Burkina Faso website for more information. Map of Burkina Faso
Introduction
Background: Burkina Faso (formerly Upper Volta) achieved independence from France in 1960. Repeated military coups during the 1970s and 1980s were followed by multiparty elections in the early 1990s. Current President Blaise COMPAORE came to power in a 1987 military coup and has won every election since then. Burkina Faso's high population density and limited natural resources result in poor economic prospects for the majority of its citizens. Recent unrest in Cote d'Ivoire and northern Ghana has hindered the ability of several hundred thousand seasonal Burkinabe farm workers to find employment in neighboring countries.


Geography
Location: Western Africa, north of Ghana

Geographic coordinates: 13'00" N, 2'00" W

Map references: Africa

Area:
total: 274,200 km2
land: 273,800 km2
water: 400 km2
comparative: slightly larger than Colorado

Land boundaries:
total: 3,193 km

border countries: Benin: 306 km, Cote d'Ivoire: 584 km, Ghana: 549 km, Mali: 1,000 km, Niger: 628 km, Togo: 126 km

Coastline: 0 km (landlocked)

Maritime claims: none (landlocked)

Climate: tropical; warm, dry winters; hot, wet summers

Terrain: mostly flat to dissected, undulating plains; hills in west and southeast

Elevation extremes:
lowest point: Mouhoun (Black Volta) River 200 m
highest point: Tena Kourou 749 m

Natural resources: manganese, limestone, marble; small deposits of gold, phosphates, pumice and salt

Land use:
arable land: 17.66%
permanent crops: 0.22%
other: 82.12% (2005 est.)

Irrigated land: 250 sq km (2003 est.)

Natural hazards: recurring droughts

Environment - current issues: recent droughts and desertification severely affecting agricultural activities, population distribution, and the economy; overgrazing; soil degradation; deforestation

Environment - international agreements:
party to: Biodiversity, Climate Change, Desertification, Endangered Species, Hazardous Wastes, Marine Life Conservation, Ozone Layer Protection, Wetlands
signed, but not ratified: Law of the Sea, Nuclear Test Ban

Geography - note: landlocked savanna cut by the three principal rivers of the Black, Red, and White Voltas


People
Population: 15,264,735
Note: Estimates for this country explicitly take into account the effects of excess mortality due to AIDS; this can result in lower life expectancy, higher infant mortality, higher death rates, lower population growth rates, and changes in the distribution of population by age and sex than would otherwise be expected (July 2008 est.).)

Age structure:
0-14 years: 46.3% (male 3,549,034/female 3,521,684)
15-64 years: 51.1% (male 3,885,124/female 3,922,198)
65 years and over:2.5% (male 154,476/female 232,219) (2008 est.)

Population growth rate: 3.109% (2008 est.)br />
Birth rate: 44.68 births/1,000 population (2008 est.)

Death rate: 13.59 deaths/1,000 population (2008 est.)

Net migration rate: NA

Sex ratio:
at birth: 1.03 male(s)/female
under 15 years: 1.01 male(s)/female
15-64 years: 0.99 male(s)/female
65 years and over: 0.67 male(s)/female
total population: 0.99 male(s)/female (2008 est.)

Infant mortality rate: 86.02 deaths/1,000 live births (2008 est.)

Life expectancy at birth:
total population: 52.55 years
male: 50.67 years
female: 54.49 years (2008 est.)

Total fertility rate: 6.34 children born/woman (2008 est.)

HIV/AIDS:
adult prevalence rate: 4.2% (2003 est.)
people living with HIV/AIDS: 300,000 (2003 est.)
deaths: 29,000 (2003 est.)

Nationality:
noun: Burkinabe (singular and plural)
adjective: Burkinabe

Ethnic groups: Mossi over 40%, other approximately 60% (includes Gurunsi, Senufo, Lobi, Bobo, Mande, and Fulani)

Religions: indigenous beliefs 40%, Muslim 50%, Christian (mainly Roman Catholic) 10%

Languages: French (official), native African languages belonging to Sudanic family spoken by 90% of the population

Literacy:
definition: age 15 and over can read and write
total population: 21.8%
male: 29.4%
female: 15.2% (2003 est.)

Flag of Burkina Faso
Government
Country name:
conventional long form: none
conventional short form: Burkina Faso
former: Upper Volta, Republic of Upper Volta

Government type: parliamentary republic

Capital: Ouagadougou

Administrative divisions: 45 provinces; Bale, Bam, Banwa, Bazega, Bougouriba, Boulgou, Boulkiemde, Comoe, Ganzourgou, Gnagna, Gourma, Houet, Ioba, Kadiogo, Kenedougou, Komondjari, Kompienga, Kossi, Koulpelogo, Kouritenga, Kourweogo, Leraba, Loroum, Mouhoun, Nahouri, Namentenga, Nayala, Noumbiel, Oubritenga, Oudalan, Passore, Poni, Sanguie, Sanmatenga, Seno, Sissili, Soum, Sourou, Tapoa, Tuy, Yagha, Yatenga, Ziro, Zondoma, Zoundweogo
A new electoral code was approved by the National Assembly in January 1997; the number of administrative provinces was increased from 30 to 45 (Bale, Bam, Banwa, Bazega, Bougouriba, Boulgou, Boulkiemde, Comoe, Ganzourgou, Gnagna, Gourma, Houet, Ioba, Kadiogo, Kenedougou, Komandjari, Kompienga, Kossi, Koupelogo, Kouritenga, Kourweogo, Leraba, Loroum, Mouhoun, Nahouri, Namentenga, Nayala, Naumbiel, Oubritenga, Oudalan, Passore, Poni, Samentenga, Sanguie, Seno, Sissili, Soum, Sourou, Tapoa, Tuy, Yagha, Yatenga, Ziro, Zondomo, Zoundweogo), however, this change has not yet been confirmed by the US Board on Geographic Names

Independence: 5 August 1960 (from France)

National holiday: Republic Day, 11 December (1958)

Constitution: 2 June 1991 approved by referendum; 11 June 1991 formally adopted; last amended January 2002

Legal system: based on French civil law system and customary law; has not accepted compulsory ICJ jurisdiction

Suffrage: universal

Executive branch:
chief of state: President Blaise COMPAORE (since 15 October 1987)
head of government: Prime Minister Tertius ZONGO (since 4 June 2007)
cabinet: Council of Ministers appointed by the president on the recommendation of the prime minister
elections: president elected by popular vote for a five-year term (eligible for a second term); election last held 13 November 2005 (next to be held in 2010); in April 2000, the constitution was amended reducing the presidential term from seven to five years, enforceable as of 2005; prime minister appointed by the president with the consent of the legislature
election results: Blaise COMPAORE reelected president; percent of popular vote - Blaise COMPAORE 80.3%, Benewende Stanislas SANKARA 4.9%
note: President COMPAORE faces an increasingly well-coordinated opposition; recent charges against a former member of his Presidential Guard in the 1998 assassination of a newspaper editor signify an attempt to defuse chronic areas of dissatisfaction

Legislative branch: unicameral National Assembly or Assemblee Nationale (111 seats; members are elected by popular vote to serve five-year terms)
elections: National Assembly election last held 6 May 2007 (next to be held in May 2012)
election results: percent of vote by party - NA; seats by party - CDP 73, ADF-RDA 14, UPR 5, UNIR-MS 4, CFD-B 3, UPS 2, PDP-PS 2, RDB 2, PDS 2, PAREN 1, PAI 1, RPC 1, UDPS 1

Judicial branch: Supreme Court; Appeals Court

Political parties and leaders: African Democratic Rally-Alliance for Democracy and Federation or ADF-RDA [Gilbert OUEDRAOGO]; Citizen's Popular Rally or RPC [Antoine QUARE]; Coalition of Democratic Forces of Burkina or CFD-B [Amadou Diemdioda DICKO]; Congress for Democracy and Progress or CDP [Roch Marc-Christian KABORE]; Movement for Tolerance and Progress or MTP [Nayabtigungou Congo KABORE]; Party for African Independence or PAI [Philippe OUEDRAOGO]; Party for Democracy and Progress/Socialist Party or PDP/PS [Ali LANKOANDE]; Party for Democracy and Socialism or PDS [Felix SOUBEIGA]; Party for National Rebirth or PAREN [Oumar DJIGUIMDE]; Rally for the Development of Burkina or RDB [Antoine KARGOUGOU]; Rally of Ecologists of Burkina Faso or RDEB [Ram OUEDRAGO]; Republican Party for Integration and Solidarity or PARIS [Cyril GOUNGOUNGA]; Union for Democracy and Social Progress or UDPS [Fidele HIEN]; Union for Rebirth - Sankarist Movement or UNIR-MS [Benewende STANISLAS]; Union for the Republic or UPR [Toussaint Abel COULIBALY]; Union of Sankarist Parties or UPS [Ernest Nongma OUEDRAOGO]

Political pressure groups and leaders: Burkinabe General Confederation of Labor or CGTB [Tole SAGNON]; Burkinabe Movement for Human Rights or MBDHP [Chrysigone ZOUGMORE]; Group of 14 February [Benewende STANISLAS]; National Confederation of Burkinabe Workers or CNTB [Laurent OUEDRAOGO]; National Organization of Free Unions or ONSL [Paul KABORE] other: watchdog/political action groups throughout the country in both organizations and communities

International organization participation: ACCT, ACP, AfDB, AU, ECOWAS, Entente, FAO, FZ, G-77, IAEA, IBRD, ICAO, ICC, ICCt, ICRM, IDA, IDB, IFAD, IFC, IFRCS, ILO, IMF, Interpol, IOC, IOM, IPU, ISO (correspondent), ITSO, ITU, ITUC, MIGA, NAM, OIC, OIF, OPCW, PCA, UN, UN Security Council (temporary), UNAMID, UNCTAD, UNESCO, UNIDO, UNITAR, UNMIS, UNOCI, UNWTO, UPU, WADB (regional), WAEMU, WCL, WCO, WFTU, WHO, WIPO, WMO, WTO

Diplomatic representation in the US:
chief of mission: Ambassador Paramanga Ernest YONLI
chancery: 2340 Massachusetts Avenue NW, Washington, DC 20008
telephone: [1] (202) 332-5577
FAX: [1] (202) 667-1882

Diplomatic representation from the US:
chief of mission: Ambassador Jeanine E. JACKSON
embassy: 602 Avenue Raoul Follereau, Koulouba, Secteur 4
mailing address: 01 B. P. 35, Ouagadougou 01; pouch mail - US Department of State, 2440 Ouagadougou Place, Washington, DC 20521-2440
telephone: [226] 50-30-67-23
FAX: [226] 50-30-38-90, 50-31-23-68

Flag description: two equal horizontal bands of red (top) and green with a yellow five-pointed star in the center; uses the popular pan-African colors of Ethiopia

100 F.CFA coin
Economy
Economy - overview: One of the poorest countries in the world, landlocked Burkina Faso has few natural resources and a weak industrial base. About 90% of the population is engaged in subsistence agriculture, which is vulnerable to periodic drought. Cotton is the main cash crop and the government has joined with three other cotton producing countries in the region - Mali, Niger, and Chad - to lobby in the World Trade Organization for fewer subsidies to producers in other competing countries. Since 1998, Burkina Faso has embarked upon a gradual but successful privatization of state-owned enterprises. Having revised its investment code in 2004, Burkina Faso hopes to attract foreign investors. Thanks to this new code and other legislation favoring the mining sector, the country has seen an upswing in gold exploration and production. While the bitter internal crisis in neighboring Cote d'Ivoire is beginning to be resolved, it is still having a negative effect on Burkina Faso's trade and employment. In 2007 higher costs for energy and imported foodstuffs, as well as low cotton prices, dampened a GDP growth rate that had averaged 6% in the last 10 years. Burkina Faso received a Millennium Challenge Account threshold grant to improve girls' education at the primary school level, and appears likely to receive a grant in the areas of infrastructure, agriculture, and land reform.

GDP: purchasing power parity - $17.2 billion (2007 est.)

GDP - real growth rate: $6.977% (2007 est.)

GDP - per capita: purchasing power parity - $1,300 (2007 est.)

GDP - composition by sector:
agriculture: 29.7%
industry: 19.4%
services: 50.9% (2007 est.)

Population below poverty line: 46.4% (2004)

Household income or consumption by percentage share:
lowest 10%: 2.8%
highest 10%: 32.2% (2004)

Inflation rate (consumer prices): -0.2% (2007 est.)

Labor force: 5 million (1999) A large part of the male labor force migrates annually to neighboring countries for seasonal employment

Labor force - by occupation: agriculture 90%, industry and services: 10% (2000 est.)

Unemployment rate: 77% (2004)

Budget:
revenues: $1.49 billion
expenditures: $1.95 million (2007 est.)

Industries: cotton lint, beverages, agricultural processing, soap, cigarettes, textiles, gold

Industrial production growth rate: 5.2% (2007 est.)

Electricity - production: 516.2 million kWh (2005)

Electricity - production by source:
fossil fuel: 71.93%
hydro: 28.07%
nuclear: 0%
other: 0% (1999)

Electricity - consumption: 480.1 million kWh (2005)

Electricity - exports: 0 kWh (2005)

Electricity - imports: 0 kWh (2005)

Agriculture - products: cotton, peanuts, shea nuts, sesame, sorghum, millet, corn, rice; livestock

Exports: $676 million (f.o.b., 2007 est.)

Exports - commodities: cotton, animal products, gold

Exports - partners: China 33.3%, Singapore 15.3%, Thailand 7%, Ghana 6.3%, Niger 4.7% (2006)

Imports: $1.332 billion (f.o.b., 2007 est.)

Imports - commodities: capital goods, foodstuffs, petroleum

Imports - partners: Cote d'Ivoire 25.7%, France 20.5%, Togo 7.1%, Belgium 4% (2006)

Debt - external: $1.33 billion (2007)

Economic aid - recipient: $659.6 million (2005)

Currency: Communaute Financiere Africaine franc (XOF); note - responsible authority is the Central Bank of the West African Statesbr />
Currency code: XOF

Exchange rates: Communaute Financiere Africaine francs (XOF) per US dollar - 493.51 (2007), 522.59 (2006), 527.47 (2005), 528.29 (2004), 581.2 (2003) note: since 1 January 1999, the XOF franc has been pegged to the euro at a rate of 655.957 XOF francs per euro

Fiscal year: calendar year

ON.A.TEL
Communications
Telephones:
main lines in use: 94,800 (2006)
mobile cellular: 1.611 nillion (2007)

Telephone system:
general assessment: services only fair; in 2006 the government sold a 51 percent stake in the national telephone company and ultimately plans to retain only a 23 percent stake in the company; fixed-line connections stand at less than 1 per 100 persons; mobile-cellular usage, fostered by multiple providers, is increasing rapidly from a low base
domestic: microwave radio relay, open-wire, and radiotelephone communication stations
international: country code - 226; satellite earth station - 1 Intelsat (Atlantic Ocean) (2007)br />
Radio broadcast stations: AM 2, FM 26, shortwave 3

Radios: 370,000 (1997)

Television broadcast stations: 3 (1 national, 2 private)br />
Televisions: 100,000 (1997)

Internet country code: .bf

Internet Service Providers (ISPs): 193 (2007)

Internet users: 80,000 (2006)


Transportation
Railways:
total: 622 km (517 km from Ouagadougou to the Cote d'Ivoire border and 105 km from Ouagadougou to Kaya)
narrow gauge: 622 km 1.000-m gauge (1995 est.)
note: another 660 km of this railway extends into Cote D'Ivoire (2006)

Highways:
total: 92,495 km
paved: 3,857 km
unpaved: 88,638 km (2004)

Waterways: none

Ports and harbors: none

Airports: 33 (2007 est.)

Airports - with paved runways:
total: 2
over 3,047 m: 1
2,438 to 3,047 m: 1 (2007 est.)

Airports - with unpaved runways:
total: 31
1,524 to 2,437 m: 3
914 to 1,523 m: 11
under 914 m: 17 (2007 est.)


Military
Military branches: Army, Air Force of Burkina Faso (Force Aerienne de Burkina Faso, FABF), National Gendarmerie (2008)

Military manpower - availability:
males age 16-49: 3,364,288 (2008 est.)

Military manpower - fit for military service:
males age 16-49: 2,115,948 (2008 est.)

Military expenditures - dollar figure: $66 million (FY96)

Military expenditures - percent of GDP: 1.2% (2006)



Transnational Issues
Disputes - international: in September 2007, Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) intervened to attempt to resolve the dispute over two villages along the Benin-Burkina Faso border that remain from 2005 ICJ decision; in recent years citizens and rogue security forces rob and harass local populations on both sides of the poorly-defined Burkina Faso-Niger border; despite the presence of over 9,000 UN forces (UNOCI) in Cote d'Ivoire since 2004, ethnic conflict continues to spread into neighboring states who can no longer send their migrant workers to work in Ivorian cocoa plantations