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Africa :: Burkina Faso
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Burkina Faso
  • Introduction :: BURKINA FASO

  • 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. Former President Blaise COMPAORE (1987-2014) resigned on 31 October 2014 following popular protests against his efforts to amend the Constitution's two-term presidential limit. An interim administration, led by President Michel KAFANDO and Prime Minister Yacouba Isaac ZIDA is organizaing presidential and legislative elections to be held in late 2015. Burkina Faso's high population growth and limited natural resources result in poor economic prospects for the majority of its citizens.
  • Geography :: BURKINA FASO

  • Western Africa, north of Ghana
    13 00 N, 2 00 W
    Africa
    total: 274,200 sq km
    land: 273,800 sq km
    water: 400 sq km
    country comparison to the world: 75
    slightly larger than Colorado
    total: 3,611 km
    border countries (6): Benin 386 km, Cote d'Ivoire 545 km, Ghana 602 km, Mali 1,325 km, Niger 622 km, Togo 131 km
    0 km (landlocked)
    none (landlocked)
    tropical; warm, dry winters; hot, wet summers
    mostly flat to dissected, undulating plains; hills in west and southeast
    lowest point: Mouhoun (Black Volta) River 200 m
    highest point: Tena Kourou 749 m
    manganese, limestone, marble; small deposits of gold, phosphates, pumice, salt
    arable land: 21.93%
    permanent crops: 0.26%
    other: 77.81% (2012 est.)
    250 sq km (2003)
    12.5 cu km (2011)
    total: 0.72 cu km/yr (46%/3%/51%)
    per capita: 54.99 cu m/yr (2005)
    recurring droughts
    recent droughts and desertification severely affecting agricultural activities, population distribution, and the economy; overgrazing; soil degradation; deforestation
    party to: Biodiversity, Climate Change, Climate Change-Kyoto Protocol, Desertification, Endangered Species, Hazardous Wastes, Law of the Sea, Marine Life Conservation, Ozone Layer Protection, Wetlands
    signed, but not ratified: none of the selected agreements
    landlocked savanna cut by the three principal rivers of the Black, Red, and White Voltas
  • People and Society :: BURKINA FASO

  • noun: Burkinabe (singular and plural)
    adjective: Burkinabe
    Mossi over 40%, other approximately 60% (includes Gurunsi, Senufo, Lobi, Bobo, Mande, and Fulani)
    French (official), native African languages belonging to Sudanic family spoken by 90% of the population
    Muslim 60.5%, Catholic 19%, animist 15.3%, Protestant 4.2%, other 0.6%, none 0.4% (2006 est.)
    18,365,123
    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 2014 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 60
    0-14 years: 45.4% (male 4,173,236/female 4,156,245)
    15-24 years: 20.1% (male 1,851,801/female 1,833,496)
    25-54 years: 29% (male 2,702,573/female 2,622,603)
    55-64 years: 3.1% (male 240,520/female 332,421)
    65 years and over: 2.5% (male 171,284/female 280,944) (2014 est.)
    population pyramid:
    total dependency ratio: 91.3%
    youth dependency ratio: 86.6%
    elderly dependency ratio: 4.7%
    potential support ratio: 21.5% (2014 est.)
    total: 17 years
    male: 16.9 years
    female: 17.2 years (2014 est.)
    3.05% (2014 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 11
    42.42 births/1,000 population (2014 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 5
    11.96 deaths/1,000 population (2014 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 27
    0 migrant(s)/1,000 population (2014 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 102
    urban population: 29% of total population (2014)
    rate of urbanization: 5.87% annual rate of change (2010-15 est.)
    OUAGADOUGOU (capital) 2.565 million (2014)
    at birth: 1.03 male(s)/female
    0-14 years: 1 male(s)/female
    15-24 years: 1.01 male(s)/female
    25-54 years: 1.03 male(s)/female
    55-64 years: 0.99 male(s)/female
    65 years and over: 0.62 male(s)/female
    total population: 0.99 male(s)/female (2014 est.)
    19.4
    note: median age at first birth among women 25-29 (2010 est.)
    400 deaths/100,000 live births (2013 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 39
    total: 76.8 deaths/1,000 live births
    male: 84.1 deaths/1,000 live births
    female: 69.28 deaths/1,000 live births (2014 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 9
    total population: 54.78 years
    male: 52.77 years
    female: 56.85 years (2014 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 208
    5.93 children born/woman (2014 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 6
    16.2% (2010/11)
    6.4% of GDP (2013)
    country comparison to the world: 107
    0.05 physicians/1,000 population (2010)
    0.4 beds/1,000 population (2010)
    improved:
    urban: 97.5% of population
    rural: 75.8% of population
    total: 81.7% of population
    unimproved:
    urban: 2.5% of population
    rural: 24.2% of population
    total: 18.3% of population (2012 est.)
    improved:
    urban: 50.4% of population
    rural: 6.7% of population
    total: 18.6% of population
    unimproved:
    urban: 49.6% of population
    rural: 93.3% of population
    total: 81.4% of population (2012 est.)
    0.92% (2013 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 44
    112,800 (2013 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 40
    5,800 (2013 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 32
    degree of risk: very high
    food or waterborne diseases: bacterial and protozoal diarrhea, hepatitis A, and typhoid fever
    vectorborne disease: dengue fever, malaria, and yellow fever
    water contact disease: schistosomiasis
    respiratory disease: meningococcal meningitis
    animal contact disease: rabies
    note: highly pathogenic H5N1 avian influenza has been identified in this country; it poses a negligible risk with extremely rare cases possible among US citizens who have close contact with birds (2013)
    5.2% (2014)
    country comparison to the world: 181
    26.2% (2010)
    country comparison to the world: 24
    3.4% of GDP (2011)
    country comparison to the world: 128
    definition: age 15 and over can read and write
    total population: 36%
    male: 43%
    female: 29.3% (2015 est.)
    total: 8 years
    male: 8 years
    female: 7 years (2013)
    total number: 1,521,006
    percentage: 38% (2006 est.)
    total: 3.8%
    male: 4.6%
    female: 2.9% (2006 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 129
  • Government :: BURKINA FASO

  • conventional long form: none
    conventional short form: Burkina Faso
    local long form: none
    local short form: Burkina Faso
    former: Upper Volta, Republic of Upper Volta
    parliamentary republic
    name: Ouagadougou
    geographic coordinates: 12 22 N, 1 31 W
    time difference: UTC 0 (5 hours ahead of Washington, DC, during Standard Time)
    13 regions; Boucle du Mouhoun, Cascades, Centre, Centre-Est, Centre-Nord, Centre-Ouest, Centre-Sud, Est, Hauts-Bassins, Nord, Plateau-Central, Sahel, Sud-Ouest
    5 August 1960 (from France)
    Republic Day, 11 December (1958); note - commemorates the day that Upper Volta became an autonomous republic in the French Community
    several previous; latest approved by referendum 2 June 1991, adopted 11 June 1991; amended several times, last in 2012 (2012)
    civil law based on the French model and customary law
    has not submitted an ICJ jurisdiction declaration; accepts ICCt jurisdiction
    18 years of age; universal
    chief of state: Interim President Michel KAFANDO (since 18 November 2014); note - President Blaise COMPAORE resigned on 31 October 2014 after efforts to amend the constitution to enable him to run for another term led to violent protests; military chief Gen. Honore TRAORE temporarily took power on 31 October 2014, but the army named Lt. Col. Yacouba Isaac ZIDA as the head of a transitional government on 1 November 2014; on 14 November, military and opposition party leaders agreed to a charter returning the government to civilian rule and holding elections in late 2015; Michel Kafando became interim president on 18 November 2014 and ZIDA became prime minister on 19 November 2014
    head of government: Prime Minister Yacouba Issac ZIDA (since 19 November 2014)
    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 on 21 November 2010 (next to be held on 11 October 2015); prime minister appointed by the president with the consent of the National Assembly
    election results: Blaise COMPAORE reelected president; percent of popular vote - Blaise COMPAORE 80.2%, Hama Arba DIALLO 8.2%, Benewende Stanislas SANKARA 6.3%, other 5.3%; note - President COMPAORE resigned on 31 October 2014; Michel KAFANDO took office as interim president on 18 November, after being selected by a special electoral college; Lt. Col. Yacouba Isaac ZIDA was appointed as prime minister on 19 November; a 25-member transitional government will rule until elections on 11 October 2015; a 90-member national transitional council will serve as a legislative body
    description: bicameral National Assembly or Assemblee Nationale consists of the Senate or Senat (99 seats; 39 members indirectly elected by regional councils, 39 appointed by the president, and 21 indirectly elected by interest groups; members serve 5-year terms) and the National Assembly or Assemblee Nationale (127 seats; 111 members directly elected in multi-seat constituencies and 16 directly elected in a single nationwide constituency by proportional representation vote; members serve 5-year terms); note - the Senate was created in 2013
    elections: last held on 2 December 2012 (next to be held in 2015)
    election results: percent of vote by party - NA; seats by party - CDP 70, ADF-RDA 19, Union for Progress and Reform 19, UNIR-MS 4, UPR 4, CFD-B 3, PDS/Metba 2, other 6
    highest court(s): Supreme Court of Appeals or Cour de Cassation (consists of NA judges); Constitutional Council or Conseil Constitutionnel (consists of the council president and 3 judges)
    judge selection and term of office: Supreme Court judge appointments mostly controlled by the president of Burkina Faso; judge tenure NA; Constitutional Council judges appointed by the president of Burkina Faso upon the proposal of the minister of justice and the president of the National Assembly; judges appointed for 9-year terms with one-third of judges renewed every 3 years
    subordinate courts: Appeals Court; High Court; first instance tribunals; district courts; specialized courts relating to issues of labor, children, and juveniles; village (customary) courts
    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 [Zio Eric FRANCOIS]
    Congress for Democracy and Progress or CDP [Assimi KOUANDA]
    Democratic and Popular Rally or RDP [Nana THIBAUT]
    Movement for Tolerance and Progress or MTP [Nayabtigungou Congo KABORE]
    Party for African Independence or PAI [Soumane TOURE]
    Party for Democracy and Progress-Socialist Party or PDP-PS [Francois O. KABORE]
    Party for Democracy and Socialism/Metba or PDS/Metba [Hama Arba DIALLO]
    Party for National Rebirth or PAREN [Barry TAHIROU]
    People's Movement for Progress or MPP [Roch March KABORE]
    Rally for the Development of Burkina or RDB [Celestin Saidou COMPAORE]
    Rally of Ecologists of Burkina Faso or RDEB [Ram OUEDRAGO]
    Republican Party for Integration and Solidarity or PARIS
    Union for Democracy and Social Progress or UDPS [Fidele HIEN]
    Union for Progress and Change or UPC [Zephirin DIABRE]
    Union for Rebirth - Sankarist Movement or UNIR-MS [Benewende Stanislas SANKARA]
    Union for the Republic or UPR [Toussaint Abel COULIBALY]
    Union of Sankarist Parties or UPS [Ernest Nongma OUEDRAOGO]
    Burkinabe General Confederation of Labor or CGTB [Tole SAGNON]
    Burkinabe Movement for Human Rights or MBDHP [Chrysigone ZOUGMORE]
    Citizen's Resistance Front [Luc Marius IBRIGA]
    Group of 14 February [Benewende Stanislas SANKARA]
    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
    ACP, AfDB, AU, CD, ECOWAS, EITI (compliant country), Entente, FAO, FZ, G-77, IAEA, IBRD, ICAO, ICC (NGOs), ICCt, ICRM, IDA, IDB, IFAD, IFC, IFRCS, ILO, IMF, Interpol, IOC, IOM, IPU, ISO, ITSO, ITU, ITUC (NGOs), MIGA, MINUSMA, MONUSCO, NAM, OIC, OIF, OPCW, PCA, UN, UNAMID, UNCTAD, UNESCO, UNIDO, UNISFA, UNITAR, UNWTO, UPU, WADB (regional), WAEMU, WCO, WFTU (NGOs), WHO, WIPO, WMO, WTO
    chief of mission: Ambassador (vacant); Charge d'Affaires Seydou SINKA (since 1 November 2014)
    chancery: 2340 Massachusetts Avenue NW, Washington, DC 20008
    telephone: [1] (202) 332-5577
    FAX: [1] (202) 667-1882
    chief of mission: Ambassador Tulinabo Salama MUSHINGI (since 17 September 2013)
    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] 50-49-53-00
    FAX: [226] 50-49-56-28
    two equal horizontal bands of red (top) and green with a yellow five-pointed star in the center; red recalls the country's struggle for independence, green is for hope and abundance, and yellow represents the country's mineral wealth
    note: uses the popular Pan-African colors of Ethiopia
    white stallion; national colors: red, yellow, green
    name: "Le Ditanye" (Anthem of Victory)
    lyrics/music: Thomas SANKARA
    note: adopted 1974; also known as "Une Seule Nuit" (One Single Night); written by the country's president, an avid guitar player
  • Economy :: BURKINA FASO

  • Burkina Faso is a poor, landlocked country that depends on adequate rainfall. About 80% of the population is engaged in subsistence farming and cotton is the main cash crop. The country has few natural resources and a weak industrial base. Cotton and gold are Burkina Faso’s key exports and Burkina Faso’s economic growth and revenue depends on global prices for the two commodities. The Burkinabe economy experienced high levels of growth over the last few years and gold accounted for about three-quarters of the country’s total export revenues in 2013. The country has seen an upswing in gold exploration, production, and exports. Burkina Faso experienced a number of public protests over the high cost of living, corruption, and other socioeconomic issues in 2013 and the fall of the COMPAORE government in 2014 gave rise to laborers pushing for better pay and working conditions. A new three-year IMF program was approved in 2013 to focus on improving the quality of public investment and ensuring inclusive growth. Political insecurity in neighboring Mali, unreliable energy supplies, and poor transportation links pose long-term challenges.
    $30.08 billion (2014 est.)
    $28.2 billion (2013 est.)
    $26.46 billion (2012 est.)
    note: data are in 2014 US dollars
    country comparison to the world: 124
    $13.38 billion (2014 est.)
    6.7% (2014 est.)
    6.6% (2013 est.)
    9% (2012 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 22
    $1,700 (2014 est.)
    $1,700 (2013 est.)
    $1,600 (2012 est.)
    note: data are in 2013 US dollars
    country comparison to the world: 212
    10.8% of GDP (2014 est.)
    13.6% of GDP (2013 est.)
    16.9% of GDP (2012 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 145
    household consumption: 63.2%
    government consumption: 19.4%
    investment in fixed capital: 23%
    investment in inventories: 1.6%
    exports of goods and services: 28.3%
    imports of goods and services: -35.4%
    (2014 est.)
    agriculture: 38%
    industry: 22%
    services: 40% (2014 est.)
    cotton, peanuts, shea nuts, sesame, sorghum, millet, corn, rice; livestock
    cotton lint, beverages, agricultural processing, soap, cigarettes, textiles, gold
    4.5% (2014 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 60
    7.468 million
    note: a large part of the male labor force migrates annually to neighboring countries for seasonal employment (2012 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 63
    agriculture: 90%
    industry and services: 10% (2000 est.)
    77% (2004)
    country comparison to the world: 201
    46.7% (2009 est.)
    lowest 10%: 2.9%
    highest 10%: 32.2% (2009 est.)
    39.5 (2007)
    48.2 (1994)
    country comparison to the world: 61
    revenues: $3.234 billion
    expenditures: $3.724 billion (2014 est.)
    24.2% of GDP (2014 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 127
    -3.7% of GDP (2014 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 136
    calendar year
    -0.6% (2014 est.)
    0.5% (2013 est.)
    4.25% (31 December 2010)
    4.25% (31 December 2009)
    country comparison to the world: 85
    NA% (31 December 2014 est.)
    $2.013 billion (31 December 2014 est.)
    $2.088 billion (31 December 2013 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 127
    $4.211 billion (31 December 2013 est.)
    $3.343 billion (31 December 2012 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 135
    $3.485 billion (31 December 2014 est.)
    $3.058 billion (31 December 2013 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 128
    $NA
    -$1.05 billion (2014 est.)
    -$495.9 million (2013 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 123
    $2.254 billion (2014 est.)
    $2.499 billion (2013 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 140
    gold, cotton, livestock
    China 25.9%, Indonesia 12%, Japan 5.7%, Thailand 5.6%, Turkey 5.1%, Cote dIvoire 4.9%, Ghana 4.6% (2013)
    $3.117 billion (2014 est.)
    $2.901 billion (2013 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 148
    capital goods, foodstuffs, petroleum
    Cote dIvoire 18.9%, France 18.1%, Ghana 4.5%, India 4.3%, China 4.3%, Togo 4.2% (2013)
    $493.6 million (31 December 2014 est.)
    $628.5 million (31 December 2013 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 149
    $2.974 billion (31 December 2014 est.)
    $2.669 billion (31 December 2013 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 141
    Communaute Financiere Africaine francs (XOF) per US dollar -
    491.2 (2014 est.)
    494.04 (2013 est.)
    510.53 (2012 est.)
    471.87 (2011 est.)
    495.28 (2010 est.)
  • Energy :: BURKINA FASO

  • 579 million kWh (2011 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 160
    1.033 billion kWh (2011 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 151
    0 kWh (2013 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 209
    495 million kWh (2011 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 78
    238,000 kW (2011 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 159
    86.6% of total installed capacity (2011 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 84
    0% of total installed capacity (2011 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 196
    13.4% of total installed capacity (2011 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 106
    0% of total installed capacity (2011 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 134
    0 bbl/day (2013 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 138
    0 bbl (1 January 2014 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 201
    0 bbl/day (2010 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 204
    10,250 bbl/day (2013 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 155
    0 bbl/day (2010 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 140
    11,660 bbl/day (2010 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 127
    0 cu m (2012 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 202
    0 cu m (2012 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 203
    0 cu m (2012 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 199
    0 cu m (2012 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 143
    0 cu m (1 January 2014 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 202
    1.406 million Mt (2012 est.)
  • Communications :: BURKINA FASO

  • 141,400 (2012)
    country comparison to the world: 138
    9.98 million (2012)
    country comparison to the world: 79
    general assessment: system includes microwave radio relay, open-wire, and radiotelephone communication stations; in 2006, the government sold a 51% stake in the national telephone company and ultimately plans to retain only a 23% stake in the company
    domestic: 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
    international: country code - 226; satellite earth station - 1 Intelsat (Atlantic Ocean) (2011)
    2 TV stations - 1 state-owned and 1 privately owned; state-owned radio runs a national and regional network; substantial number of privately owned radio stations; transmissions of several international broadcasters available in Ouagadougou (2007)
    AM 2, FM 26, shortwave 3 (2007)
    3 (1 national, 2 private)
    .bf
    1,795 (2012)
    country comparison to the world: 164
    178,100 (2009)
    country comparison to the world: 140
  • Transportation :: BURKINA FASO

  • 23 (2013)
    country comparison to the world: 133
    total: 2
    over 3,047 m: 1
    2,438 to 3,047 m: 1 (2013)
    total: 21
    1,524 to 2,437 m: 3
    914 to 1,523 m: 13
    under 914 m:
    5 (2013)
    total: 622 km
    narrow gauge: 622 km 1.000-m gauge
    note: another 660 km of this railway extends into Cote d'Ivoire (2008)
    country comparison to the world: 107
    total: 15,272 km
    note: does not include urban roads (2010)
    country comparison to the world: 121
  • Military :: BURKINA FASO

  • Army, Air Force of Burkina Faso (Force Aerienne de Burkina Faso, FABF), National Gendarmerie (2011)
    18 years of age for voluntary military service; no conscription; women may serve in supporting roles (2013)
    males age 16-49: 3,735,735 (2010 est.)
    males age 16-49: 2,366,168
    females age 16-49: 2,367,673 (2010 est.)
    male: 193,905
    female: 191,662 (2010 est.)
    1.39% of GDP (2012)
    1.34% of GDP (2011)
    1.39% of GDP (2010)
    country comparison to the world: 73
  • Transnational Issues :: BURKINA FASO

  • adding to illicit cross-border activities, Burkina Faso has issues concerning unresolved boundary alignments with its neighbors; demarcation is currently underway with Mali; the dispute with Niger was referred to the ICJ in 2010, and a dispute over several villages with Benin persists; Benin retains a border dispute with Burkina Faso around the town of Koualou
    refugees (country of origin): 33,125 (Mali) (2015)
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