Sunset over Ouagadougou. Image courtesy of NASA / Rebekke Muench.
Country Flag
Country Map
Locator Map



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.



Western Africa, north of Ghana

Geographic coordinates

13 00 N, 2 00 W


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


0 km (landlocked)

Maritime claims

none (landlocked)


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


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


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


Natural hazards

recurring droughts

Geography - note

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

People and Society


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.)


Mossi 52.9%, Fula 7.8%, Gourmantche 6.8%, Dyula 5.7%, Bissa 3.3%, Gurunsi 3.2%, French (official) 2.2%, Bwamu 2%, Dagara 2%, San 1.7%, Marka 1.6%, Bobo 1.5%, Senufo 1.5%, Lobi 1.2%, other 6.6% (2019 est.)


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. Almost 65% of the population is under the age of 25 as of 2020, and the population is growing at 2.5% 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 more than 4 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 33,600 Malian refugees as of October 2022.


Age structure

0-14 years: 42.19% (male 4,813,760/female 4,674,649)

15-64 years: 54.62% (male 5,899,774/female 6,383,134)

65 years and over: 3.19% (2023 est.) (male 305,233/female 412,576)

2023 population pyramid
2023 population pyramid

Dependency ratios

total dependency ratio: 87.4

youth dependency ratio: 82.6

elderly dependency ratio: 4.8

potential support ratio: 20.9 (2021 est.)

Median age

total: 17.9 years

male: 17 years

female: 18.7 years (2020 est.)

country comparison to the world: 216

Birth rate

32.71 births/1,000 population (2023 est.)

country comparison to the world: 22

Death rate

7.5 deaths/1,000 population (2023 est.)

country comparison to the world: 104

Net migration rate

-0.59 migrant(s)/1,000 population (2023 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



urban population: 32.5% of total population (2023)

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

Major urban areas - population

3.204 million OUAGADOUGOU (capital), 1.129 million Bobo-Dioulasso (2023)

Sex ratio

at birth: 1.03 male(s)/female

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

15-64 years: 0.92 male(s)/female

65 years and over: 0.74 male(s)/female

total population: 0.96 male(s)/female (2023 est.)

Mother's mean age at first birth

19.4 years (2010 est.)

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

Maternal mortality ratio

264 deaths/100,000 live births (2020 est.)

country comparison to the world: 33

Infant mortality rate

total: 48.17 deaths/1,000 live births

male: 52.39 deaths/1,000 live births

female: 43.83 deaths/1,000 live births (2023 est.)

country comparison to the world: 20

Life expectancy at birth

total population: 63.82 years

male: 61.99 years

female: 65.72 years (2023 est.)

country comparison to the world: 207

Gross reproduction rate

2.04 (2023 est.)

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.)

Current health expenditure

6.7% of GDP (2020)

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 (2023)

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 22 March 2023, 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


definition: age 15 and over can read and write

total population: 46%

male: 54.5%

female: 37.8% (2021)

School life expectancy (primary to tertiary education)

total: 9 years

male: 9 years

female: 9 years (2020)

Youth unemployment rate (ages 15-24)

total: 7.7%

male: 7.5%

female: 8% (2021 est.)


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


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.)


urban population: 32.5% of total population (2023)

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

Food insecurity

severe localized food insecurity: due to civil insecurity in the north and high food prices - according to the latest analysis, about 3.53 million people are projected to face acute food insecurity during the June to August 2023 lean season period; this would be a slight increase compared to the preceding year; food insecurity is primarily underpinned by worsening insecurity in Centre-Nord and Sahel regions, which, as of December 2022 (the latest data available), had displaced about 1.88 million people; high food prices further aggravate conditions of the most vulnerable households (2023)

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.)

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: 380 million cubic meters (2020 est.)

industrial: 20 million cubic meters (2020 est.)

agricultural: 420 million cubic meters (2020 est.)

Total renewable water resources

13.5 billion cubic meters (2020 est.)


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


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


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


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 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

Executive branch

chief of state: transitional President Capt Ibrahim TRAORE (since 30 September 2022); note - on 30 September 2022, a military junta led by TRAORE, took power and ousted President Lt. Col. Paul-Henri Sandaogo DAMIBA and took over as head of the Patriotic Movement for Safeguard and Restoration.

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 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 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


Diplomatic representation in the US

chief of mission: Ambassador (vacant); Chargé d'Affaires Hermann Yirigouin TOE (since 27 September 2022)

chancery: 2340 Massachusetts Avenue NW, Washington, DC 20008

telephone: [1] (202) 332-5577

FAX: [1] (202) 667-1882

email address and website:

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:

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)


Economic overview

highly agrarian, low-income economy; limited natural resources; widespread poverty; terrorism disrupting potential economic activity; improving trade balance via increases in gold exports; economy inflating after prior deflation; growing public debt but still manageable

Real GDP (purchasing power parity)

$48.175 billion (2021 est.)

$45.063 billion (2020 est.)

$44.209 billion (2019 est.)

note: data are in 2017 dollars

country comparison to the world: 115

Real GDP growth rate

6.91% (2021 est.)

1.93% (2020 est.)

5.69% (2019 est.)

country comparison to the world: 60

Real GDP per capita

$2,200 (2021 est.)

$2,100 (2020 est.)

$2,100 (2019 est.)

note: data are in 2017 dollars

country comparison to the world: 206

GDP (official exchange rate)

$14.271 billion (2018 est.)

Inflation rate (consumer prices)

3.65% (2021 est.)

1.88% (2020 est.)

-3.23% (2019 est.)

country comparison to the world: 123

Credit ratings

Standard & Poors rating: B (2017)

note: The year refers to the year in which the current credit rating was first obtained.

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


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

Labor force

8.016 million (2021 est.)

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

country comparison to the world: 66

Labor force - by occupation

agriculture: 90%

industry and services: 10% (2000 est.)

Unemployment rate

4.76% (2021 est.)

4.89% (2020 est.)

4.69% (2019 est.)

country comparison to the world: 70

Household income or consumption by percentage share

lowest 10%: 2.9%

highest 10%: 32.2% (2009 est.)


revenues: $3.212 billion (2019 est.)

expenditures: $3.757 billion (2019 est.)

Public debt

72.53% of GDP (2020 est.)

46.64% of GDP (2019 est.)

45.57% of GDP (2018 est.)

country comparison to the world: 53

Fiscal year

calendar year

Current account balance

$743.232 million (2020 est.)

-$523.837 million (2019 est.)

-$664.797 million (2018 est.)

country comparison to the world: 55


$5.356 billion (2020 est.)

$4.468 billion (2019 est.)

$4.511 billion (2018 est.)

note: Data are in current year dollars and do not include illicit exports or re-exports.

country comparison to the world: 125

Exports - partners

Switzerland 59%, India 21% (2019)

Exports - commodities

gold, cotton, zinc, cashews, sesame seeds (2021)


$4.779 billion (2020 est.) note: data are in current year dollars

$5.023 billion (2019 est.) note: data are in current year dollars

$5.167 billion (2018 est.)

country comparison to the world: 145

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: 191

Debt - external

$3.056 billion (31 December 2017 est.)

$2.88 billion (31 December 2016 est.)

country comparison to the world: 142

Exchange rates

Communaute Financiere Africaine francs (XOF) per US dollar -

554.531 (2021 est.)

575.586 (2020 est.)

585.911 (2019 est.)

555.446 (2018 est.)

580.657 (2017 est.)


Electricity access

electrification - total population: 22% (2019)

electrification - urban areas: 69% (2019)

electrification - rural areas: 2% (2019)


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.)


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.)


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

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

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

crude oil and lease condensate imports: 0 bbl/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


Telephones - fixed lines

total subscriptions: 81,374 (2021 est.)

subscriptions per 100 inhabitants: (2021 est.) less than 1

country comparison to the world: 142

Telephones - mobile cellular

total subscriptions: 24,678,315 (2021 est.)

subscriptions per 100 inhabitants: 112 (2021 est.)

country comparison to the world: 51

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; 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 112 per 100, with multiple providers there is competition and the hope for growth from a low base; Internet penetration is 16% (2021)

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

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: 4.84 million (2021 est.)

percent of population: 22% (2021 est.)

country comparison to the world: 96

Broadband - fixed subscriptions

total: 13,979 (2020 est.)

subscriptions per 100 inhabitants: 0.1 (2020 est.)

country comparison to the world: 174


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


note: paved runways have a concrete or asphalt surface but not all have facilities for refueling, maintenance, or air traffic control; the length of a runway required for aircraft to safely operate depends on a number of factors including the type of aircraft, the takeoff weight (including passengers, cargo, and fuel), engine types, flap settings, landing speed, elevation of the airport, and average maximum daily air temperature; paved runways can reach a length of 5,000 m (16,000 ft.), but the “typical” length of a commercial airline runway is between 2,500-4,000 m (8,000-13,000 ft.)

Airports - with unpaved runways


note: unpaved runways have a surface composition such as grass or packed earth and are most suited to the operation of light aircraft; unpaved runways are usually short, often less than 1,000 m (3,280 ft.) in length; airports with unpaved runways often lack facilities for refueling, maintenance, or air traffic control


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: 107


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; aka National Armed Forces (FAN), aka Defense and Security Forces (Forces de Défense et de Sécurité or FDS)): Army of Burkina Faso (L’Armee de Terre, LAT), Air Force of Burkina Faso (Force Aerienne de Burkina Faso), National Gendarmerie, National Fire Brigade (Brigade Nationale de Sapeurs-Pompiers or BNSP); Homeland Defense Volunteers (Forcés de Volontaires de Défense pour la Patrie or VDP); Ministry of Territorial Administration, Decentralization and Security (Ministère de l'Administration Territoriale, de la Décentralisation et de la Sécurité): National Police (2023)

note 1: the National Gendarmerie officially reports to the Ministry of Defense, but usually operates in support of the Ministry of Territorial Administration, Decentralization, and Security; Gendarmerie troops are typically integrated with Army forces in anti-terrorism operations; specialized counterterrorism units include the Army's special forces, the Special Legion of the National Gendarmerie, and the Multipurpose Intervention Unit of National Police

note 2: the VDP is a lightly-armed 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, as well as local defense, and were to be based in each of the country's more than 300 municipalities; in 2022, the military government created a "Patriotic Watch and Defense Brigade" (La Brigade de Veille et de Défense Patriotique or BVDP) under the FABF to coordinate the VDP recruits

Military expenditures

2.9% of GDP (2022 est.)

2.4% of GDP (2021 est.)

2.4% of GDP (2020 est.)

2.2% of GDP (2019 est.)

1.9% of GDP (2018 est.)

country comparison to the world: 32

Military and security service personnel strengths

approximately 14,000 personnel (8,500 Army; 500 Air Force; 5,000 National Gendarmerie) (2023)

note: in 2022, the Burkina Faso Government announced a special recruitment for up to 6,000 additional soldiers to assist with its fight against terrorist groups operating in the country; it also put out a recruitment call for up to 50,000 VDF volunteers (the VDF's original recruited strength was 15,000)

Military equipment inventories and acquisitions

the FABF has a mix of mostly older or secondhand equipment from a mix of suppliers, including France, Russia, South Africa, Turkey, the UK, and the US (2023)

Military service age and obligation

18-26 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

the FABF has a history of interference in the country’s politics, having conducted eight coups since its formation in 1960-61, including the most recent in September of 2022; several combat units were disbanded in 2011 following mutinies; while the FABF is responsible for external defense, it has an internal security role and can be called out to assist internal security forces in restoring public order, combating crime, securing the border, and counterterrorism; indeed, for more than a decade, its focus has largely been combatting terrorism, and it is actively engaged in combat operations with terrorist groups linked to al-Qa'ida and the Islamic State of Iraq and ash-Sham (ISIS), particularly in the northern and eastern regions; the FABF is struggling to contain the groups, however, and a large portion of the country—40% by some estimates—is not under government control

in the north, 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; most of the attacks were assessed to be by the Macina Liberation Front (FLM) of the JNIM coalition; the ISIS-Greater Sahara (ISIS-GS) terrorist group operates in the eastern part of the country

the Army’s combat forces include a mix of about 8 small (battalion-sized) infantry and combined arms regiments, plus battalions of artillery and special forces historically deployed in 3 military regions; in November 2022, the military government announced it was creating 6 rapid reaction battalions (bataillon de réaction rapide or BIR), expanding the number of military regions to 6, and establishing 6 Gendarmerie “legions”; currently, the Gendarmerie has approximately 8 mobile squadrons stationed across 3 regions; in addition to its counterterrorism missions, the Gendarmerie’s Special Legion fights organized crime and provides security for high-level officials and government institutions; the Air Force’s primary mission is providing support to the Army; it has small numbers of combat aircraft, combat helicopters, and armed UAVs acquired from Turkey (2023)


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): 35,860 (Mali) (2023)


1,761,915 (2022)

Trafficking in persons

tier rating: Tier 2 Watch List — Burkina Faso does not fully meet the minimum standards for the elimination of trafficking but is making significant efforts to do so; the government has established child protection units throughout the country, identifying potential victims, and continued working with teachers to prevent forced child begging; officials collaborated with international organizations and foreign donors to implement a humanitarian response plan to assist vulnerable people in conflict-affected areas, including potential trafficking victims; however, the government did not demonstrate overall increasing efforts compared to the previous year to improve its anti-trafficking capacity; substantial personnel turnover, related to the January 2022 coup d’état and formation of a transition government, hindered Burkina Faso’s ability to maintain consistent anti-trafficking efforts; officials did not report any prosecutions or convictions for the third consecutive year nor effectively screen vulnerable populations; the national anti-trafficking committee did not meet or coordinate anti-trafficking activities; the government did not adequately address complicity in trafficking crimes, including allegations of local officials exploiting internally displaced persons (IDPs) in sex trafficking; therefore, Burkina Faso remained on Tier 2 Watch List for the second consecutive year (2022)

trafficking profile: human traffickers exploit domestic and foreign victims in Burkina Faso, and traffickers exploit victims from Burkina Faso abroad; traffickers fraudulently recruit Burkinabe children under the pretext of educational opportunities and exploit them as farm hands, laborers in artisanal mines, street vendors, and domestic servants; some parents knowingly allow their children to be exploited in domestic servitude to supplement family income; girls are exploited in sex trafficking in Ouagadougou and mining towns; some Quranic teachers force students to beg, sometimes with their parents’ knowledge; traffickers transport Burkinabe children—including homeless children—to Cote d’Ivoire, Mali, Senegal, and Niger for forced labor in artisanal mining, forced begging, cocoa production, and sex trafficking; traffickers recruit women with fraudulent employment offers to work in Lebanon, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, and—to a lesser extent—Europe then exploit them in sex trafficking or domestic servitude; more than 1.4 million IDPs are vulnerable to forced labor and sex trafficking; violent extremist groups exploit women and children in forced labor and sex trafficking, recruit and use child soldiers, and reportedly coerce victims to carry out attacks or act as accomplices; traffickers exploit children from neighboring countries, including Cote d’Ivoire, Ghana, Guinea, Mali, Niger, and Nigeria, in forced labor and sex trafficking; women from other West African countries are falsely recruited for employment in Burkina Faso and then exploited in forced labor in restaurants or domestic service; Nigerian women and girls are recruited for work in shops and salons and instead exploited in sex trafficking in mining regions; Cubans, including medical professionals, working in Burkina Faso may have been forced to work by the Cuban government; Burkina Faso is a transit country for traffickers moving children from Mali to Cote d’Ivoire and women and girls from Cote d’Ivoire to Saudi Arabia, as well as Ghanaian migrants traveling to Libya and Italy, some of whom are trafficking victims (2022)