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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 in late October 2014 following popular protests against his efforts to amend the Constitution's two-term presidential limit. By mid-November, a framework for an interim government was adopted under the terms of the National Transition Charter. An interim administration, led by President Michel KAFANDO and Prime Minister Yacouba Isaac ZIDA, began organizing presidential and legislative elections planned for October 2015, but these were postponed during a weeklong failed coup in September. The rescheduled elections were held on 29 November, and Roch Marc Christian KABORE was elected president in the first round. 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
    mean elevation: 297 m
    elevation extremes: lowest point: Mouhoun (Black Volta) River 200 m
    highest point: Tena Kourou 749 m
    manganese, limestone, marble; small deposits of gold, phosphates, pumice, salt
    agricultural land: 43%
    arable land 20.8%; permanent crops 0.3%; permanent pasture 21.9%
    forest: 20.4%
    other: 36.6% (2011 est.)
    550 sq km (2012)
    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 52.5%, Fulani 8.4%, Gurma 6.8%, Bobo 4.8%, Gurunsi 4.5%, Senufo 4.4%, Bissa 3.9%, Lobi 2.5%, Dagara 2.4%, Tuareg/Bella 1.9%, Dioula 0.8%, unspecified/no answer 0.1%, other 7% (2010 est.)
    French (official), native African languages belonging to Sudanic family spoken by 90% of the population
    Muslim 61.6%, Catholic 23.2%, traditional/animist 7.3%, Protestant 6.7%, other/no answer 0.2%, none 0.9% (2010 est.)
    18,931,686
    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 2015 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 60
    0-14 years: 45.2% (male 4,286,569/female 4,270,357)
    15-24 years: 20.08% (male 1,909,090/female 1,892,273)
    25-54 years: 29.13% (male 2,799,042/female 2,716,439)
    55-64 years: 3.14% (male 253,423/female 340,599)
    65 years and over: 2.45% (male 174,647/female 289,247) (2015 est.)
    population pyramid:
    total dependency ratio: 92.2%
    youth dependency ratio: 87.6%
    elderly dependency ratio: 4.6%
    potential support ratio: 21.7% (2015 est.)
    total: 17.1 years
    male: 17 years
    female: 17.3 years (2015 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 221
    3.03% (2015 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 7
    42.03 births/1,000 population (2015 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 5
    11.72 deaths/1,000 population (2015 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 28
    0 migrant(s)/1,000 population (2015 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 104
    urban population: 29.9% of total population (2015)
    rate of urbanization: 5.87% annual rate of change (2010-15 est.)
    OUAGADOUGOU (capital) 2.741 million (2015)
    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: 0.74 male(s)/female
    65 years and over: 0.6 male(s)/female
    total population: 0.99 male(s)/female (2015 est.)
    19.4
    note: median age at first birth among women 25-29 (2010 est.)
    371 deaths/100,000 live births (2015 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 39
    total: 75.32 deaths/1,000 live births
    male: 82.56 deaths/1,000 live births
    female: 67.87 deaths/1,000 live births (2015 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 9
    total population: 55.12 years
    male: 53.1 years
    female: 57.21 years (2015 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 210
    5.86 children born/woman (2015 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: 82.3% of population
    unimproved:
    urban: 2.5% of population
    rural: 24.2% of population
    total: 17.7% of population (2015 est.)
    improved:
    urban: 50.4% of population
    rural: 6.7% of population
    total: 19.7% of population
    unimproved:
    urban: 49.6% of population
    rural: 93.3% of population
    total: 80.3% of population (2015 est.)
    0.94% (2014 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 48
    107,700 (2014 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 42
    3,800 (2014 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 38
    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
    4.5% of GDP (2014)
    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
    etymology: name translates as "Land of the honest (incorruptible) men"
    presidential 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 2015 for setting a two-term limit for presidents; note - constitution temporarily suspended between late October and mid-November 2014 (2016)
    civil law based on the French model and customary law
    has not submitted an ICJ jurisdiction declaration; accepts ICCt jurisdiction
    citizenship by birth: no
    citizenship by descent only: at least one parent must be a citizen of Burkina Faso
    dual citizenship recognized: yes
    residency requirement for naturalization: 10 years
    18 years of age; universal
    chief of state: President Roch Marc Christian KABORE (since 29 December 2015)
    head of government: Prime Minister Paul Kaba THIEBA (since 6 January 2016)
    cabinet: Council of Ministers appointed by the president on the recommendation of the prime minister
    elections/appointments: president elected by absolute majority popular vote in two rounds, if needed, for a 5-year term (eligible for a second); election last held on 29 November 2015 (next scheduled for November 2020); prime minister appointed by the president with consent of the National Assembly
    election results: Roch Marc Christian KABORE elected president in one round; percent of vote - Roch Marc Christian KABORE 53.5%, Zephirin DIABRE 29.6%, Tahirou BARRY 3.1%. Benewende Stanislas SANKARA 2.8%, other 10.9%
    description: unicameral National Assembly (127 seats; members directly elected in multi-seat constituencies by proportional representation vote to serve 5-year terms)
    elections: last held on 29 November 2015 (next to be held in 2020)
    election results: percent of vote by party - NA; seats by party - MPP 55, UPC 33, CDP 18, Union for Rebirth/Sankarist Party 5, ADF/RDA 3, other 13
    highest court(s): Supreme Court of Appeals or Cour de Cassation (consists of NA judges); Council of State (consists of NA judges); Constitutional Council or Conseil Constitutionnel (consists of the council president and 9 members)
    judge selection and term of office: Supreme Court of Appeals judges recommended by the Higher Magistrary Council (also called the Superior Court of Magistrates) and appointed by the president of Burkina Faso; judge tenure NA; Constitutional Council members 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 membership renewed every 3 years
    subordinate courts: Courts of Appeal (2); 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 Noel OUEDRAOGO]
    African People’s Movement or MAP [Victorien TOUGOUMA]
    Congress for Democracy and Progress or CDP [Achille TAPSOBA]
    Le Faso Autrement [Ablasse OUEDRAOGO]
    New Alliance of the Faso or NAFA [Rasmane OUEDRAOGO]
    New Time for Democracy or NTD [Vincent DABILGOU]
    Organization for Democracy and Work or ODT [Mahamoudou SAWADOGO]
    Party for Development and Change or PDC [Saran SEREME]
    Party for Democracy and Progress-Socialist Party or PDP-PS [Francois O. KABORE]
    Party for Democracy and Socialism/Metba or PDS/Metba [Philippe OUEDRAOGO]
    Party for National Renaissance or PAREN [Tahirou BARRY]
    People's Movement for Progress or MPP [Roch March Christian KABORE]
    Rally for Democracy and Socialism or RDS [Francois OUEDRAOGO]
    Rally for the Development of Burkina or RDB [Celestin Saidou COMPAORE]
    Rally of Ecologists of Burkina Faso or RDEB [Adama SERE]
    Union for a New Burkina or UBN [Yacouba OUEDRAOGO]
    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]
    Youth Alliance for the Republic and Independence or AJIR [Adama KANAZOE]
    Balai Citoyen [Herve KAM]
    Burkinabe General Confederation of Labor or CGTB [Bassolma BAZIE]
    Burkinabe Movement for Human Rights or MBDHP [Chrysigone ZOUGMORE]
    Burkinabe Society for Constitutional Law or SBDC [Abdoulaye SOMA]
    Center for Democratic Governance or CGD [Thomas OUEDRAOGO]
    Coalition for African Renaissance or CAR [Herve OUATTARA]
    National Independent Union of Burkinabe Magistrates or SAMAB
    National Union for Health Workers or SYNTSHA
    National Union for Primary Education Teachers or SYNATEB
    other: watchdog/political action groups throughout the country
    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 5 August 2013)
    embassy: Rue 15.873, Avenue Sembene Ousmane, Ouaga 2000, Secteur 15
    mailing address: 01 B. P. 35, Ouagadougou 01; pouch mail - US Department of State, 2440 Ouagadougou Place, Washington, DC 20521-2440
    telephone: [226] 25-49-53-00
    FAX: [226] 25-49-56-28
    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 - gold has accounted for about three-quarters of the country’s total export revenues. 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 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, while the fall of the COMPAORE government in 2014 and failed coup in September 2015 disrupted economic activity and strained government finances. 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.
    $30.88 billion (2015 est.)
    $29.69 billion (2014 est.)
    $28.55 billion (2013 est.)
    note: data are in 2015 US dollars
    country comparison to the world: 128
    $11.01 billion (2015 est.)
    4% (2015 est.)
    4% (2014 est.)
    6.6% (2013 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 69
    $1,700 (2015 est.)
    $1,700 (2014 est.)
    $1,700 (2013 est.)
    note: data are in 2015 US dollars
    country comparison to the world: 212
    8.5% of GDP (2015 est.)
    11.7% of GDP (2014 est.)
    9.8% of GDP (2013 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 157
    household consumption: 50.5%
    government consumption: 20.1%
    investment in fixed capital: 29.9%
    investment in inventories: 0.6%
    exports of goods and services: 28.5%
    imports of goods and services: -29.6% (2015 est.)
    agriculture: 22.9%
    industry: 25.7%
    services: 51.5% (2015 est.)
    cotton, peanuts, shea nuts, sesame, sorghum, millet, corn, rice; livestock
    cotton lint, beverages, agricultural processing, soap, cigarettes, textiles, gold
    3% (2015 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 86
    7.692 million
    note: a large part of the male labor force migrates annually to neighboring countries for seasonal employment (2013 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 63
    agriculture: 90%
    industry and services: 10% (2000 est.)
    77% (2004)
    country comparison to the world: 205
    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: 66
    revenues: $2.182 billion
    expenditures: $2.475 billion (2015 est.)
    19.3% of GDP (2015 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 163
    -2.6% of GDP (2015 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 94
    calendar year
    0.9% (2015 est.)
    -0.3% (2014 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 76
    4.25% (31 December 2010)
    4.25% (31 December 2009)
    country comparison to the world: 92
    NA% (31 December 2014 est.)
    $1.768 billion (31 December 2015 est.)
    $1.969 billion (31 December 2014 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 133
    $4.211 billion (31 December 2013 est.)
    $3.343 billion (31 December 2012 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 138
    $3.293 billion (31 December 2015 est.)
    $3.302 billion (31 December 2014 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 128
    $NA
    -$622 million (2015 est.)
    -$1.004 billion (2014 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 109
    $2.194 billion (2015 est.)
    $2.388 billion (2014 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 135
    gold, cotton, livestock
    China 13.5%, India 8.7%, Indonesia 7.1%, Bangladesh 6.4%, France 5.7%, Canada 5.2%, Japan 4.4% (2014)
    $2.518 billion (2015 est.)
    $2.631 billion (2014 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 155
    capital goods, foodstuffs, petroleum
    Cote d'Ivoire 19.6%, France 14.1%, Togo 7.7%, China 4.8%, India 4.7%, Ghana 4.7% (2014)
    $362.5 million (31 December 2015 est.)
    $297.1 million (31 December 2014 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 156
    $2.852 billion (31 December 2014 est.)
    $2.564 billion (31 December 2013 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 144
    Communaute Financiere Africaine francs (XOF) per US dollar -
    580.5 (2015 est.)
    494.42 (2014 est.)
    494.42 (2013 est.)
    510.53 (2012 est.)
    471.87 (2011 est.)
  • Energy :: BURKINA FASO

  • 522 million kWh (2012 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 161
    985.5 million kWh (2012 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 150
    0 kWh (2013 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 210
    500 million kWh (2012 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 75
    238,000 kW (2012 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 157
    86.6% of total installed capacity (2012 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 85
    0% of total installed capacity (2012 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 199
    13.4% of total installed capacity (2012 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 105
    0% of total installed capacity (2012 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 137
    0 bbl/day (2014 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 203
    0 bbl/day (2012 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 203
    0 bbl/day (2012 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 141
    0 bbl (1 January 2015 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 204
    0 bbl/day (2012 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 142
    12,000 bbl/day (2013 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 150
    0 bbl/day (2012 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 143
    11,610 bbl/day (2012 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 134
    0 cu m (2013 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 141
    0 cu m (2013 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 205
    0 cu m (2013 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 202
    0 cu m (2013 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 148
    0 cu m (1 January 2014 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 202
    1.406 million Mt (2012 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 160
  • Communications :: BURKINA FASO

  • total subscriptions: 120,000
    subscriptions per 100 inhabitants: 1 (2014 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 141
    total: 12.5 million
    subscriptions per 100 inhabitants: 68 (2014 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 74
    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
    total: 782,400
    percent of population: 4.3% (2014 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 125
  • 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 (2014)
    country comparison to the world: 109
    total: 15,272 km
    note: does not include urban roads (2010)
    country comparison to the world: 121
  • Military and Security :: 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)
    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): 33,069 (Mali) (2016)
    current situation: Burkina Faso is a source, transit, and destination country for women and children subjected to forced labor and sex trafficking; Burkinabe children are forced to work as farm hands, gold panners and washers, street vendors, domestic servants, and beggars or in the commercial sex trade, with some transported to nearby countries; to a lesser extent, Burkinabe women are recruited for legitimate jobs in the Middle East or Europe and subsequently forced into prostitution; women from other West African countries are also lured to Burkina Faso for work and subjected to forced prostitution, forced labor in restaurants, or domestic servitude
    tier rating: Tier 2 Watch List – Burkina Faso does not fully comply with the minimum standards for the elimination of trafficking; however, it is making significant efforts to do so; law enforcement efforts decreased in 2014, with a significant decline in trafficking prosecutions (none for forced begging involving Koranic school teachers – a prevalent form of trafficking) and no convictions, a 2014 law criminalizing the sale of children, child prostitution, and child pornography is undermined by a provision allowing offenders to pay a fine in lieu of serving prison time proportionate to the crime; the government sustained efforts to identify and protect a large number of child victims, relying on support from NGOs and international organizations; nationwide awareness-raising activities were sustained, but little was done to stop forced begging (2015)
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