Burkina Faso

BURKINA FASO: Child brides fig...

BURKINA FASO: Child brides fight child marriage

It was not enough to argue that girls could not legally marry in Burkina Faso before age 17, or even that their lives might be put at risk. Tethered...

BURKINA FASO: Fistula in Sahel region highlighted

OUAGADOUGOU Monday, July 28, 2008 (IRIN) - Doctors in Burkina Faso say fistula is being under-reported, and are launching a new project to offer free...

BURKINA FASO: Six killed and thousands affected by heavy rains

OUAGADOUGOU Monday, September 01, 2008 (IRIN) - Heavy rains and violent winds in Burkina Faso have killed six people, wounded 18, and left 4,200...

BURKINA FASO: European Union pledges more aid to fight malnutrition

OUAGADOUGOU Monday, September 15, 2008 (IRIN) - The European Commission (EC) is ready to increase its aid to fight malnutrition in Burkina Faso if...

BURKINA FASO: Finding new ways to feed HIV-positive people

OUAGADOUGOU Wednesday, November 19, 2008 (IRIN) - High food prices and cuts in food aid to HIV-positive people are forcing relief organisations in...
WEST AFRICA: Cross-border FGM ...

WEST AFRICA: Cross-border FGM on the rise

Cross-border female genital mutilation / cutting (FGM/C) is on the rise in West Africa according to the UN, spurring the need to impose a region-wide...

Capital: Ouagadougou
Major Towns: Ouagadougou, Bobo-Dioulasso, Banfora, Ouahigouya, Kaya, Fada-Ngourma
Location (geographical coordinates/latitude and longitude): 12°20'N, 1°40'W
Time Zone: GMT
Size (Land and Sea): 274,200 sq km
Borders with Benin 306 km, Cote d'Ivoire 584 km, Ghana 549 km, Mali 1,000 km, Niger 628 km, Togo 126 km
Elevation extremes: Lowest point: Mouhoun (Black Volta) River 200 m; highest point: Tena Kourou 749 m
Head of State: President: Blaise Compaoré (1987); Prime Minister: Tertius Zongo (2007)
Form of Government: Parliamentary Republic
Independancy (from France):  August 5, 1960 
Currency: West African CFA franc (XOF)

Main industries: Cotton lint, beverages, agricultural processing, soap, cigarettes, textiles, gold
Agriculture: cotton, peanuts, shea nuts, sesame, sorghum, millet, corn, rice; livestock. Industries: cotton lint, beverages, agricultural processing, soap, cigarettes, textiles, gold.
Natural resources: manganese, limestone, marble; small deposits of gold, phosphates, pumice, salt.

Population and People 

Population: 14,326,203 (2007 est.)
Population density per sq mi: 136 
Growth rate: 3.0%
Birth rate: 45.28 births/1,000 population (2007 est.)
Total fertility rate: 6.41 children born/woman (2007 est.)
Infant mortality rate: 89.8/1000
Religion: Muslim 50%, indigenous beliefs 40%, Christian (mainly Roman Catholic) 10%
Languages: French (official), native African languages belonging to Sudanic family spoken by 90% of the population
Ethnic groups / Tribes: Mossi over 40%, other approximately 60% (includes Gurunsi, Senufo, Lobi, Bobo, Mande, and Fulani)
Average age: 0-14 years: 46.7% (male 3,356,737/female 3,327,058); 15-64 years: 50.9% (male 3,635,152/female 3,650,303); 65 years and over: 2.5% (male 141,554/female 215,399) (2007 est.)
Life expectancy: 49.2
Literacy (definition: age 15 and over can read and write): Total population: 21.8%; male: 29.4%, female: 15.2% (2003 est.)

Did you know...?
  • Sahara
  • Tuaregs
  • Camel ride
  • mud buildings
  • colourful weekly farmers markets
  • Formerly called the Republic of Upper Volta
  • famous and international annual film festival in Ouagadougou
  • landlocked Sahel country
  • game reserves (including Arly, Nazinga, and W National Park) with lions, elephants, hippopotamus, monkeys, warthogs, and antelopes
  • natural resources include manganese, limestone, marble, phosphates, pumice, salt and small deposits of gold
  • Popular Theatre in Ouagadougou
  • major hub of activity for those involved in African cinema, and hosts a Pan-African film festival every year called FESPACO, the Pan-African film and television Festival of Ouagadougou
  • Culture and art are further displayed at Laongo, an area of exposed granites where artists from the entire world are invited to sculpt on the rock
  • some 60 different ethnic groups
  • The Semaine Nationale de la Culture, held every two years since 1983, is a music festival that has helped produce the country's few stars
  • famous Farafina musical group
  • djembes, balafons and koras
  • most advanced production and distribution facilities in West Africa, if not Africa as a whole
  • nomadic populations and traditions
  • Ethnography Museum with collection of Mossi artefacts
  • Moro-Naba ceremony, with traditional costumes and drums, which takes place outside the Moro-Naba Palace every Friday morning
  • International Arts and Crafts Fair in Ouagadougou
  • Grand Marché, of Bobo Dioulasso
  • Karfiguéla Waterfalls
  • Sindou Rock Formations