Sunset over Ouagadougou. Image courtesy of NASA / Rebekke Muench.
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Introduction

Background

Many of Burkina Faso’s ethnic groups arrived in the region between the 12th and 15th centuries. The Gurma and Mossi peoples established several of the largest kingdoms in the area and used horse-mounted warriors in military campaigns. Of the various Mossi kingdoms, the most powerful were Ouagadougou and Yatenga. In the late 19th century, European states competed for control of the region. France eventually conquered the area and established it as a French protectorate.

The area achieved independence from France in 1960 and changed its name to Burkina Faso in 1984. Repeated military coups were common in the country’s first few decades. The last successful coup occurred in 1987 when Blaise COMPAORE deposed the former president, established a government, and ruled for 27 years. In October 2014, COMPAORE resigned following protests against his repeated efforts to amend the constitution's two-term presidential limit. An interim administration led a year-long transition period organizing presidential and legislative elections. In November 2015, Roch Marc Christian KABORE was elected president; he was reelected in November 2020.

Terrorist groups - including groups affiliated with Al-Qa’ida and the Islamic State - began attacks in the country in 2016 and conducted attacks in the capital in 2016, 2017, and 2018. By late 2021, insecurity in Burkina Faso had displaced 1.4 million people and led to significant jumps in humanitarian needs and food insecurity. In addition to terrorism, the country faces a myriad of problems including high population growth, recurring drought, pervasive and perennial food insecurity, and limited natural resources. It is one of the world’s poorest countries.

 

Visit the Definitions and Notes page to view a description of each topic.

Geography

Location

Western Africa, north of Ghana

Geographic coordinates

13 00 N, 2 00 W

Area

total: 274,200 sq km

land: 273,800 sq km

water: 400 sq km

country comparison to the world: 76

Area - comparative

slightly larger than Colorado

Land boundaries

total: 3,611 km

border countries (6): Benin 386 km; Cote d'Ivoire 545 km; Ghana 602 km; Mali 1325 km; Niger 622 km; Togo 131 km

Coastline

0 km (landlocked)

Maritime claims

none (landlocked)

Climate

three climate zones including a hot tropical savanna with a short rainy season in the southern half, a tropical hot semi-arid steppe climate typical of the Sahel region in the northern half, and small area of hot desert in the very north of the country bordering the Sahara Desert

Terrain

mostly flat to dissected, undulating plains; hills in the west and southeast; occupies an extensive plateau with savanna that is grassy in the north and gradually gives way to sparse forests in the south

Elevation

highest point: Tena Kourou 749 m

lowest point: Mouhoun (Black Volta) River 200 m

mean elevation: 297 m

Natural resources

gold, manganese, zinc, limestone, marble, phosphates, pumice, salt

Land use

agricultural land: 44.2% (2018 est.)

arable land: 22% (2018 est.)

permanent crops: 37% (2018 est.)

permanent pasture: 21.93% (2018 est.)

forest: 19.3% (2018 est.)

other: 36.5% (2018 est.)

Irrigated land

550 sq km (2016)

Major rivers (by length in km)

Volta river source (shared with Ghana [m]) - 1,600 km
note – [s] after country name indicates river source; [m] after country name indicates river mouth

Major watersheds (area sq km)

Atlantic Ocean drainage: Niger (2,261,741 sq km), Volta (410,991 sq km)

Population distribution

Most of the population is located in the center and south. Nearly one-third of the population lives in cities. The capital and largest city is Ouagadougou (Ouaga), with a population of 1.8 million as shown in this population distribution map

(2019)

Natural hazards

recurring droughts

Geography - note

landlocked savanna cut by the three principal rivers of the Black, Red, and White Voltas

Map description

Burkina Faso map showing major cities as well as parts of surrounding countries.

People and Society

Population

21,935,389 (2022 est.)

note: estimates for this country explicitly taken into account the impact of the HIV/AIDS epidemic

country comparison to the world: 59

Nationality

noun: Burkinabe (singular and plural)

adjective: Burkinabe

Ethnic groups

Mossi 52%, Fulani 8.4%, Gurma 7%, Bobo 4.9%, Gurunsi 4.6%, Senufo 4.5%, Bissa 3.7%, Lobi 2.4%, Dagara 2.4%, Tuareg/Bella 1.9%, Dioula 0.8%, unspecified/no answer 0.3%, other 7.2% (2010 est.)

Languages

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

Religions

Muslim 63.2%, Roman Catholic 24.6%, Protestant 6.9%, traditional/animist 4.2%, none 0.7%, unspecified 0.4% (2017-18 est.)

Demographic profile

Burkina Faso has a young age structure – the result of declining mortality combined with steady high fertility – and continues to experience rapid population growth, which is putting increasing pressure on the country’s limited arable land. More than 65% of the population is under the age of 25, and the population is growing at 3% annually. Mortality rates, especially those of infants and children, have decreased because of improved health care, hygiene, and sanitation, but women continue to have an average of almost 6 children. Even if fertility were substantially reduced, today’s large cohort entering their reproductive years would sustain high population growth for the foreseeable future. Only about a third of the population is literate and unemployment is widespread, dampening the economic prospects of Burkina Faso’s large working-age population.

Migration has traditionally been a way of life for Burkinabe, with seasonal migration being replaced by stints of up to two years abroad. Cote d’Ivoire remains the top destination, although it has experienced periods of internal conflict. Under French colonization, Burkina Faso became a main labor source for agricultural and factory work in Cote d’Ivoire. Burkinabe also migrated to Ghana, Mali, and Senegal for work between the world wars. Burkina Faso attracts migrants from Cote d’Ivoire, Ghana, and Mali, who often share common ethnic backgrounds with the Burkinabe. Despite its food shortages and high poverty rate, Burkina Faso has become a destination for refugees in recent years and hosts about 33,500 Malians as of May 2017.

(2018)

Age structure

0-14 years: 43.58% (male 4,606,350/female 4,473,951)

15-24 years: 20.33% (male 2,121,012/female 2,114,213)

25-54 years: 29.36% (male 2,850,621/female 3,265,926)

55-64 years: 3.57% (male 321,417/female 423,016)

65 years and over: 3.16% (2020 est.) (male 284,838/female 374,057)

2022 population pyramid
2022 population pyramid

Dependency ratios

total dependency ratio: 87.9

youth dependency ratio: 83.4

elderly dependency ratio: 4.5

potential support ratio: 22.1 (2020 est.)

Median age

total: 17.9 years

male: 17 years

female: 18.7 years (2020 est.)

country comparison to the world: 216

Birth rate

33.57 births/1,000 population (2022 est.)

country comparison to the world: 19

Death rate

7.71 deaths/1,000 population (2022 est.)

country comparison to the world: 103

Net migration rate

-0.61 migrant(s)/1,000 population (2022 est.)

country comparison to the world: 127

Population distribution

Most of the population is located in the center and south. Nearly one-third of the population lives in cities. The capital and largest city is Ouagadougou (Ouaga), with a population of 1.8 million as shown in this population distribution map

(2019)

Urbanization

urban population: 31.9% of total population (2022)

rate of urbanization: 4.75% annual rate of change (2020-25 est.)

Major urban areas - population

3.056 million OUAGADOUGOU (capital), 1.074 million Bobo-Dioulasso (2022)

Sex ratio

at birth: 1.03 male(s)/female

0-14 years: 1.03 male(s)/female

15-24 years: 1.01 male(s)/female

25-54 years: 0.86 male(s)/female

55-64 years: 0.75 male(s)/female

65 years and over: 0.66 male(s)/female

total population: 0.96 male(s)/female (2022 est.)

Mother's mean age at first birth

19.4 years (2010 est.)

note: median age at first birth among women 25-29

Maternal mortality ratio

320 deaths/100,000 live births (2017 est.)

country comparison to the world: 34

Infant mortality rate

total: 49.42 deaths/1,000 live births

male: 53.7 deaths/1,000 live births

female: 45.02 deaths/1,000 live births (2022 est.)

country comparison to the world: 20

Life expectancy at birth

total population: 63.44 years

male: 61.63 years

female: 65.31 years (2022 est.)

country comparison to the world: 208

Drinking water source

improved: urban: 94.7% of population

rural: 71.3% of population

total: 78.5% of population

unimproved: urban: 5.3% of population

rural: 28.7% of population

total: 21.5% of population (2020 est.)

Physicians density

0.09 physicians/1,000 population (2019)

Hospital bed density

0.4 beds/1,000 population

Sanitation facility access

improved: urban: 90.8% of population

rural: 37.7% of population

total: 54% of population

unimproved: urban: 9.2% of population

rural: 62.3% of population

total: 46% of population (2020 est.)

Major infectious diseases

degree of risk: very high (2020)

food or waterborne diseases: bacterial and protozoal diarrhea, hepatitis A, and typhoid fever

vectorborne diseases: dengue fever and malaria

water contact diseases: schistosomiasis

animal contact diseases: rabies

respiratory diseases: meningococcal meningitis

note: on 21 March 2022, the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) issued a Travel Alert for polio in Africa; Burkina Faso is currently considered a high risk to travelers for circulating vaccine-derived polioviruses (cVDPV); vaccine-derived poliovirus (VDPV) is a strain of the weakened poliovirus that was initially included in oral polio vaccine (OPV) and that has changed over time and behaves more like the wild or naturally occurring virus; this means it can be spread more easily to people who are unvaccinated against polio and who come in contact with the stool or respiratory secretions, such as from a sneeze, of an “infected” person who received oral polio vaccine; the CDC recommends that before any international travel, anyone unvaccinated, incompletely vaccinated, or with an unknown polio vaccination status should complete the routine polio vaccine series; before travel to any high-risk destination, the CDC recommends that adults who previously completed the full, routine polio vaccine series receive a single, lifetime booster dose of polio vaccine

Alcohol consumption per capita

total: 7.28 liters of pure alcohol (2019 est.)

beer: 1 liters of pure alcohol (2019 est.)

wine: 0.08 liters of pure alcohol (2019 est.)

spirits: 0.31 liters of pure alcohol (2019 est.)

other alcohols: 5.88 liters of pure alcohol (2019 est.)

country comparison to the world: 57

Tobacco use

total: 14.3% (2020 est.)

male: 22.1% (2020 est.)

female: 6.4% (2020 est.)

country comparison to the world: 108

Literacy

definition: age 15 and over can read and write

total population: 39.3%

male: 49.2%

female: 31% (2018)

School life expectancy (primary to tertiary education)

total: 9 years

male: 9 years

female: 9 years (2020)

Unemployment, youth ages 15-24

total: 8.6%

male: 8.9%

female: 8.4% (2019)

Environment

Environment - current issues

recent droughts and desertification severely affecting agricultural activities, population distribution, and the economy; overgrazing; soil degradation; deforestation (2019)

Environment - international agreements

party to: Biodiversity, Climate Change, Climate Change-Kyoto Protocol, Climate Change-Paris Agreement, Comprehensive Nuclear Test Ban, Desertification, Endangered Species, Hazardous Wastes, Law of the Sea, Marine Life Conservation, Ozone Layer Protection, Wetlands

signed, but not ratified: Nuclear Test Ban

Air pollutants

particulate matter emissions: 36.78 micrograms per cubic meter (2016 est.)

carbon dioxide emissions: 3.42 megatons (2016 est.)

methane emissions: 12.85 megatons (2020 est.)

Climate

three climate zones including a hot tropical savanna with a short rainy season in the southern half, a tropical hot semi-arid steppe climate typical of the Sahel region in the northern half, and small area of hot desert in the very north of the country bordering the Sahara Desert

Land use

agricultural land: 44.2% (2018 est.)

arable land: 22% (2018 est.)

permanent crops: 37% (2018 est.)

permanent pasture: 21.93% (2018 est.)

forest: 19.3% (2018 est.)

other: 36.5% (2018 est.)

Urbanization

urban population: 31.9% of total population (2022)

rate of urbanization: 4.75% annual rate of change (2020-25 est.)

Revenue from coal

coal revenues: 0% of GDP (2018 est.)

country comparison to the world: 71

Major infectious diseases

degree of risk: very high (2020)

food or waterborne diseases: bacterial and protozoal diarrhea, hepatitis A, and typhoid fever

vectorborne diseases: dengue fever and malaria

water contact diseases: schistosomiasis

animal contact diseases: rabies

respiratory diseases: meningococcal meningitis

note: on 21 March 2022, the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) issued a Travel Alert for polio in Africa; Burkina Faso is currently considered a high risk to travelers for circulating vaccine-derived polioviruses (cVDPV); vaccine-derived poliovirus (VDPV) is a strain of the weakened poliovirus that was initially included in oral polio vaccine (OPV) and that has changed over time and behaves more like the wild or naturally occurring virus; this means it can be spread more easily to people who are unvaccinated against polio and who come in contact with the stool or respiratory secretions, such as from a sneeze, of an “infected” person who received oral polio vaccine; the CDC recommends that before any international travel, anyone unvaccinated, incompletely vaccinated, or with an unknown polio vaccination status should complete the routine polio vaccine series; before travel to any high-risk destination, the CDC recommends that adults who previously completed the full, routine polio vaccine series receive a single, lifetime booster dose of polio vaccine

Food insecurity

severe localized food insecurity: due to civil insecurity in the north - according to the latest analysis, 3.45 million people are projected to be food insecure and in need of humanitarian assistance between June and August 2022; in Centre-Nord and Sahel regions, insecurity continues to cause population displacements and, as of March 2022, about 1.85 million people had been displaced and required assistance; domestic cereal production in 2021 was estimated at a below-average level due to effects of adverse weather and civil conflict, further aggravating conditions; abnormally high prices of food are also a contributory factor that have constrained access to food; the coup d’état that occurred in January 2022 is an additional factor that could increase civil insecurity and further stress food insecurity conditions (2022)

Waste and recycling

municipal solid waste generated annually: 2,575,251 tons (2015 est.)

municipal solid waste recycled annually: 309,030 tons (2005 est.)

percent of municipal solid waste recycled: 12% (2005 est.)

Major rivers (by length in km)

Volta river source (shared with Ghana [m]) - 1,600 km
note – [s] after country name indicates river source; [m] after country name indicates river mouth

Major watersheds (area sq km)

Atlantic Ocean drainage: Niger (2,261,741 sq km), Volta (410,991 sq km)

Total water withdrawal

municipal: 375.6 million cubic meters (2017 est.)

industrial: 21.7 million cubic meters (2017 est.)

agricultural: 420.7 million cubic meters (2017 est.)

Total renewable water resources

13.5 billion cubic meters (2017 est.)

Government

Country name

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"

Government type

presidential republic

Capital

name: Ouagadougou

geographic coordinates: 12 22 N, 1 31 W

time difference: UTC 0 (5 hours ahead of Washington, DC, during Standard Time)

etymology: Ouagadougou is a Francophone spelling of the native name "Wogodogo," meaning "where people get honor and respect"

Administrative divisions

13 regions; Boucle du Mouhoun, Cascades, Centre, Centre-Est, Centre-Nord, Centre-Ouest, Centre-Sud, Est, Hauts-Bassins, Nord, Plateau-Central, Sahel, Sud-Ouest

Independence

5 August 1960 (from France)

National holiday

Republic Day, 11 December (1958); note - commemorates the day that Upper Volta became an autonomous republic in the French Community

Constitution

history: several previous; latest approved by referendum 2 June 1991, adopted 11 June 1991, temporarily suspended late October to mid-November 2014; initial draft of a new constitution to usher in the new republic was completed in January 2017 and a final draft was submitted to the government in December 2017; a constitutional referendum originally scheduled for adoption in March 2019 was postponed; on 1 March 2022 a transition charter was adopted, allowing military authorities to rule for three years and barring transitional President Lt. Col. Paul-Henri Sandaogo DAMIBA from being an electoral candidate after the transition

amendments: proposed by the president, by a majority of National Assembly membership, or by petition of at least 30,000 eligible voters submitted to the Assembly; passage requires at least three-fourths majority vote in the Assembly; failure to meet that threshold requires majority voter approval in a referendum; constitutional provisions on the form of government, the multiparty system, and national sovereignty cannot be amended; amended several times

Legal system

civil law based on the French model and customary law; in mid-2019, the National Assembly amended the penal code

International law organization participation

has not submitted an ICJ jurisdiction declaration; accepts ICCt jurisdiction

Citizenship

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

Suffrage

18 years of age; universal

Executive branch

chief of state: transitional President Lt. Col. Paul-Henri Sandaogo DAMIBA (since 2 February 2022); note - on 24 January 2022, a military junta led by DAMIBA, leader of the Patriotic Movement for Safeguard and Restoration, took power and ousted President Roch Marc Christian KABORE

head of government: Prime Minister Albert OUEDRAOGO (since 3 March 2022); note - transitional President Lt. Col. DAMIBA appointed OUEDRAOGO Prime Minister on 3 March 2022; the position had been vacant since 24 January 2022 when the military ousted former Prime Minister Lassina ZERBO

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 2 rounds if needed for a 5-year term (eligible for a second); last held on 22 November 2020 (next to be held in November 2025); prime minister appointed by the president with consent of the National Assembly; note - on 1 March 2022 a transition charter was adopted, allowing military authorities to rule for three years and barring transitional President Lt. Col. Paul-Henri Sandaogo DAMIBA from being an electoral candidate after the transition.

election results: 2020: Roch Marc Christian KABORE reelected president in first round; percent of vote - Roch Marc Christian KABORE (MPP) 57.9%, Eddie KOMBOIGO (CDP) 15.5%, Zephirin DIABRE (UPC)12.5%, other 14.1%

2015: Roch Marc Christian KABORE elected president in first round; percent of vote - Roch Marc Christian KABORE (MPP) 53.5%, Zephirin DIABRE (UPC) 29.6%, Tahirou BARRY (PAREN) 3.1%, Benewende Stanislas SANKARA (UNIR-MS) 2.8%, other 10.9%

Legislative branch

description: unicameral National Assembly (127 seats; 111 members directly elected in 13 multi-seat constituencies by party-list proportional representation vote and 26 members elected in a nationwide constituency by proportional representation vote; all member serve 5-year terms)

elections: last held on 22 November 2020 (next to be held in November 2025)

election results: percent of vote by party - MPP 34.6%, CDP 13.3%, UPC 10.2%, NTD 5.6%, other 36.3%; seats by party - MPP 56, CDP 20, NTD 13, UPC 12, other 26; composition as of October 2021 - men 119, women 8, percent of women 6.3%

Judicial branch

highest courts: 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 judge appointments mostly controlled by the president of Burkina Faso; judges have no term limits; Council of State judge appointment and 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 membership 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

Political parties and leaders

Act Together [Kadre OUEDRAOGO]
African Democratic Rally/Alliance for Democracy and Federation or ADF/RDA [Gilbert Noel OUEDRAOGO]
Congress for Democracy and Progress or CDP [Eddie KOMBOIGO]
Convergence for Progress and Solidarity-Generation 3 or CPS-G3
Movement for the Future Burkina Faso or MBF
National Convention for Progress or CNP
New Era for Democracy or NTD [Vincent DABILGOU]
Pan-African Alliance for Refoundation or APR
Party for Democracy and Socialism/Metba or PDS/Metba [Philippe OUEDRAOGO]
Party for Development and Change or PDC [Aziz SEREME]
Patriotic Rally for Integrity or RPI
Peoples Movement for Progress or MPP [Roch Marc Christian KABORE]
Progressives United for Renewal or PUR
Union for Progress and Reform or UPC [Zephirin DIABRE]
Union for Rebirth - Sankarist Party or UNIR-PS [Benewende Stanislas SANKARA]

note: only parties with seats in the National Assembly included

International organization participation

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

Diplomatic representation in the US

chief of mission: Charge d'Affaires Boulmonli Leonard LOMBO (since 15 April 2022)

chancery: 2340 Massachusetts Avenue NW, Washington, DC 20008

telephone: [1] (202) 332-5577

FAX: [1] (202) 667-1882

email address and website:
contact@burkina-usa.org

https://burkina-usa.org/

Diplomatic representation from the US

chief of mission: Ambassador Sandra E. CLARK (since 25 September 2020)

embassy: Secteur 15, Ouaga 2000, Avenue Sembene Ousmane, Rue 15.873, Ouagadougou

mailing address: 2440 Ouagadougou Place, Washington, DC  20521-2440

telephone: (226) 25-49-53-00

FAX: (226) 25-49-56-23

email address and website:
ouagaACS@state.gov

https://bf.usembassy.gov/

Flag description

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

National symbol(s)

white stallion; national colors: red, yellow, green

National anthem

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 former president, an avid guitar player

National heritage

total World Heritage Sites: 3 (2 cultural, 1 natural)

selected World Heritage Site locales: Ruins of Loropéni (c); Ancient Ferrous Metallurgy Sites (c); W-Arly-Pendjari Complex (n)

Economy

Economic overview

Burkina Faso is a poor, landlocked country that depends on adequate rainfall. Irregular patterns of rainfall, poor soil, and the lack of adequate communications and other infrastructure contribute to the economy’s vulnerability to external shocks. 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 largely on production levels and global prices for the two commodities. The country has seen an upswing in gold exploration, production, and exports.

 

In 2016, the government adopted a new development strategy, set forth in the 2016-2020 National Plan for Economic and Social Development, that aims to reduce poverty, build human capital, and to satisfy basic needs. A new three-year IMF program (2018-2020), approved in 2018, will allow the government to reduce the budget deficit and preserve critical spending on social services and priority public investments.

 

While the end of the political crisis has allowed Burkina Faso’s economy to resume positive growth, the country’s fragile security situation could put these gains at risk. Political insecurity in neighboring Mali, unreliable energy supplies, and poor transportation links pose long-term challenges.

Real GDP (purchasing power parity)

$45.16 billion (2020 est.)

$44.27 billion (2019 est.)

$41.88 billion (2018 est.)

note: data are in 2017 dollars

country comparison to the world: 115

Real GDP growth rate

6.4% (2017 est.)

5.9% (2016 est.)

3.9% (2015 est.)

country comparison to the world: 24

Real GDP per capita

$2,200 (2020 est.)

$2,200 (2019 est.)

$2,100 (2018 est.)

note: data are in 2017 dollars

country comparison to the world: 208

GDP (official exchange rate)

$14.271 billion (2018 est.)

Inflation rate (consumer prices)

-3.2% (2019 est.)

1.9% (2018 est.)

1.4% (2017 est.)

country comparison to the world: 1

Credit ratings

Standard & Poors rating: B (2017)

GDP - composition, by sector of origin

agriculture: 31% (2017 est.)

industry: 23.9% (2017 est.)

services: 44.9% (2017 est.)

GDP - composition, by end use

household consumption: 56.5% (2017 est.)

government consumption: 23.9% (2017 est.)

investment in fixed capital: 24.6% (2017 est.)

investment in inventories: 1% (2017 est.)

exports of goods and services: 28.4% (2017 est.)

imports of goods and services: -34.4% (2017 est.)

Agricultural products

sorghum, maize, millet, cotton, cow peas, sugar cane, groundnuts, rice, sesame seed, vegetables

Industries

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

Labor force

8.501 million (2016 est.)

note: a large part of the male labor force migrates annually to neighboring countries for seasonal employment

country comparison to the world: 57

Labor force - by occupation

agriculture: 90%

industry and services: 10% (2000 est.)

Household income or consumption by percentage share

lowest 10%: 2.9%

highest 10%: 32.2% (2009 est.)

Budget

revenues: 2.666 billion (2017 est.)

expenditures: 3.655 billion (2017 est.)

Public debt

38.1% of GDP (2017 est.)

38.3% of GDP (2016 est.)

country comparison to the world: 136

Fiscal year

calendar year

Current account balance

-$1.019 billion (2017 est.)

-$820 million (2016 est.)

country comparison to the world: 146

Exports

$4.47 billion (2019 est.) note: data are in current year dollars

$4.51 billion (2018 est.) note: data are in current year dollars

country comparison to the world: 127

Exports - partners

Switzerland 59%, India 21% (2019)

Exports - commodities

gold, cotton, zinc, cashews, sesame seeds (2019)

Imports

$5.02 billion (2019 est.) note: data are in current year dollars

$5.17 billion (2018 est.) note: data are in current year dollars

$5.3 billion (2017 est.)

country comparison to the world: 136

Imports - partners

Cote d'Ivoire 15%, China 9%, Ghana 8%, France 8%, India 6%, United States 5% (2019)

Imports - commodities

refined petroleum, delivery trucks, packaged medicines, electricity, aircraft (2019)

Reserves of foreign exchange and gold

$49 million (31 December 2017 est.)

$50.9 million (31 December 2016 est.)

country comparison to the world: 186

Debt - external

$3.056 billion (31 December 2017 est.)

$2.88 billion (31 December 2016 est.)

country comparison to the world: 143

Exchange rates

Communaute Financiere Africaine francs (XOF) per US dollar -

605.3 (2017 est.)

593.01 (2016 est.)

593.01 (2015 est.)

591.45 (2014 est.)

494.42 (2013 est.)

Energy

Electricity access

electrification - total population: 22% (2019)

electrification - urban areas: 69% (2019)

electrification - rural areas: 2% (2019)

Electricity

installed generating capacity: 392,000 kW (2020 est.)

consumption: 2,033,520,000 kWh (2019 est.)

exports: 0 kWh (2019 est.)

imports: 600 million kWh (2019 est.)

transmission/distribution losses: 248 million kWh (2019 est.)

Electricity generation sources

fossil fuels: 89.4% of total installed capacity (2020 est.)

nuclear: 0% of total installed capacity (2020 est.)

solar: 3.3% of total installed capacity (2020 est.)

wind: 0% of total installed capacity (2020 est.)

hydroelectricity: 6.9% of total installed capacity (2020 est.)

tide and wave: 0% of total installed capacity (2020 est.)

geothermal: 0% of total installed capacity (2020 est.)

biomass and waste: 0.4% of total installed capacity (2020 est.)

Coal

production: 0 metric tons (2020 est.)

consumption: 0 metric tons (2020 est.)

exports: 0 metric tons (2020 est.)

imports: 0 metric tons (2020 est.)

proven reserves: 0 metric tons (2019 est.)

Petroleum

total petroleum production: 0 bbl/day (2021 est.)

refined petroleum consumption: 30,800 bbl/day (2019 est.)

crude oil and lease condensate exports: 0 barrels/day (2018 est.)

crude oil and lease condensate imports: 0 barrels/day (2018 est.)

crude oil estimated reserves: 0 barrels (2021 est.)

Natural gas

production: 0 cubic meters (2021 est.)

consumption: 0 cubic meters (2021 est.)

exports: 0 cubic meters (2021 est.)

imports: 0 cubic meters (2021 est.)

proven reserves: 0 cubic meters (2021 est.)

Carbon dioxide emissions

4.444 million metric tonnes of CO2 (2019 est.)

from coal and metallurgical coke: 0 metric tonnes of CO2 (2019 est.)

from petroleum and other liquids: 4.444 million metric tonnes of CO2 (2019 est.)

from consumed natural gas: 0 metric tonnes of CO2 (2019 est.)

country comparison to the world: 139

Communications

Telephones - fixed lines

total subscriptions: 75,039 (2020 est.)

subscriptions per 100 inhabitants: (2020 est.) less than 1

country comparison to the world: 144

Telephones - mobile cellular

total subscriptions: 22,117,218 (2020 est.)

subscriptions per 100 inhabitants: 106 (2020 est.)

country comparison to the world: 56

Telecommunication systems

general assessment: Burkina Faso’s telecom sector in recent years has made some gains in providing the necessary infrastructure and bandwidth to support telecom services; an IXP completed in September 2020 increased international bandwidth capacity by a third, while in mid-2021 the government was able to start the second phase of a national fiber backbone project; this will link the capital city to an addition 145 municipalities, and provide additional connectivity to terrestrial cables in neighboring countries; this new infrastructure is also making it possible for the government to trial tele medicine, and so address the very poor availability of medical services in almost all parts of the country; the activities of the militants in side areas of the country jeopardize overall security, and render it difficult for the telcos to safeguard their networks and equipment; Burkina Faso joins G5 Sahel countries to eliminate roaming fees (2022)

domestic: fixed-line connections stand at less than 1 per 100 persons; mobile-cellular usage nearly 106 per 100, with multiple providers there is competition and the hope for growth from a low base; Internet penetration is 16% (2020)

international: country code - 226; satellite earth station - 1 Intelsat (Atlantic Ocean)

note: the COVID-19 pandemic continues to have a significant impact on production and supply chains globally; since 2020, some aspects of the telecom sector have experienced a downturn, particularly in mobile device production; progress towards 5G implementation has resumed, as well as upgrades to infrastructure; consumer spending on telecom services has increased due to the surge in demand for capacity and bandwidth; the crucial nature of telecom services as a tool for work and school from home is still evident, and the spike in this area has seen growth opportunities for development of new tools and increased services

Broadcast media

since the official inauguration of Terrestrial Digital Television (TNT) in December 2017, Burkina Faso now has 14 digital TV channels among which 2 are state-owned; there are more than 140 radio stations (commercial, religious, community) available throughout the country including a national and regional state-owned network; the state-owned Radio Burkina and the private Radio Omega are among the most widespread stations and both include broadcasts in French and local languages (2019)

Internet users

total: 4,598,721 (2020 est.)

percent of population: 22% (2020 est.)

country comparison to the world: 95

Broadband - fixed subscriptions

total: 13,979 (2020 est.)

subscriptions per 100 inhabitants: 0.1 (2020 est.)

country comparison to the world: 174

Transportation

National air transport system

number of registered air carriers: 1 (2020)

inventory of registered aircraft operated by air carriers: 3

annual passenger traffic on registered air carriers: 151,531 (2018)

annual freight traffic on registered air carriers: 100,000 (2018) mt-km

Airports - with paved runways

total: 2

over 3,047 m: 1

2,438 to 3,047 m: 1 (2021)

Airports - with unpaved runways

total: 21

1,524 to 2,437 m: 3

914 to 1,523 m: 13

under 914 m: 5 (2021)

Railways

total: 622 km (2014)

narrow gauge: 622 km (2014) 1.000-m gauge

note: another 660 km of this railway extends into Cote d'Ivoire

country comparison to the world: 108

Roadways

total: 15,304 km (2014)

paved: 3,642 km (2014)

unpaved: 11,662 km (2014)

country comparison to the world: 123

Military and Security

Military and security forces

Armed Forces of Burkina Faso (FABF): Army of Burkina Faso (L’Armee de Terre, LAT), Air Force of Burkina Faso (Force Aerienne de Burkina Faso, FABF), National Gendarmerie; Volunteers for the Defense of the Fatherland (VDP) (2022)

note 1: the National Gendarmerie officially reports to the Ministry of Defense, but usually operates in support of the Ministry of Security and the Ministry of Justice; Gendarmerie troops are typically integrated with Army forces in anti-terrorism operations

note 2: the VDP is a civilian defense force established in 2019 to act as auxiliaries to the Army in the fight against militants; the volunteers receive two weeks of training and typically assist with carrying out surveillance, information-gathering, and escort duties

Military expenditures

2.4% of GDP (2021 est.)

2.4% of GDP (2020 est.)

2.2% of GDP (2019 est.) (approximately $450 million)

1.9% of GDP (2018 est.) (approximately $370 million)

1.4% of GDP (2017 est.) (approximately $260 million)

country comparison to the world: 43

Military and security service personnel strengths

approximately 12,000 personnel (7,000 Army; 500 Air Force; 4,500 National Gendarmerie) (2022)

Military equipment inventories and acquisitions

the FABF has a mix of foreign-supplied weapons; since 2010, it has received limited amounts of mostly donated second-hand equipment from a variety of countries (2022)

Military service age and obligation

18 years of age for voluntary military service; no conscription; women may serve in supporting roles (2022)

Military deployments

650 (plus about 180 police) Mali (MINUSMA) (May 2022)

note: Burkina Faso is part of a four (formerly five)-nation anti-jihadist task force known as the G4 Sahel Group, set up in 2014 with Chad, Mali (withdrew in 2022), Mauritania, and Niger; it has committed 550 troops and 100 gendarmes to the force; as of 2020, defense forces from each of the participating states were allowed to pursue terrorist fighters up to 100 km into neighboring countries; the force is backed by France, the UN, and the US

Military - note

including the most recent in January 2022, the military has conducted seven coups since 1960; as of 2022, the military was also actively engaged in combat operations with terrorist groups linked to al-Qa'ida and ISIS, particularly in the northern and eastern regions; in the north, the terrorist group Jama'at Nusrat al-Islam wal-Muslimin (JNIM), a coalition of al-Qa'ida linked militant groups, has exploited ethnic tensions and perceptions of state neglect, as well as grievances over corruption, patronage politics, social stratification, and land disputes; in 2022, JNIM conducted attacks in 10 of the country's 13 provinces; the east is considered a stronghold of the Islamic State-Greater Sahara (ISIS-GS) terrorist group (2022)

Terrorism

Terrorist group(s)

Ansarul Islam; Islamic State of Iraq and ash-Sham in the Greater Sahara (ISIS-GS); al-Mulathamun Battalion (al-Mourabitoun); Jama'at Nusrat al-Islam wal-Muslimin (JNIM)

note: details about the history, aims, leadership, organization, areas of operation, tactics, targets, weapons, size, and sources of support of the group(s) appear(s) in Appendix-T

Transnational Issues

Disputes - international

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 Koualau/Kourou

Refugees and internally displaced persons

refugees (country of origin): 26,609 (Mali) (2022)

IDPs:

1,902,150 (2022)