Facts about Burkina-Faso
|Time zone||UTC 0 (5 hours ahead of Washington, DC during Standard Time)|
Western Africa, north of Ghana
General info about 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. Current President Blaise COMPAORE came to power in a 1987 military coup and has won every election since then. Burkina Faso's high population density and limited natural resources result in poor economic prospects for the majority of its citizens. Recent unrest in Cote d'Ivoire and northern Ghana has hindered the ability of several hundred thousand seasonal Burkinabe farm workers to find employment in neighboring countries.
degree of risk: very high
food or waterborne diseases: bacterial and protozoal diarrhea, hepat
French (official), native African languages belonging to Sudanic family spoken by 90% of the population
Mossi over 40%, other approximately 60% (includes Gurunsi, Senufo, Lobi, Bobo, Mande, and Fulani)
HIV/AIDS prevalence rate
4.2% (2003 est.)
tropical; warm, dry winters; hot, wet summers
manganese, limestone, marble; small deposits of gold, phosphates, pumice, salt
One of the poorest countries in the world, landlocked Burkina Faso has few natural resources and a weak industrial base. About 90% of the population is engaged in subsistence agriculture, which is vulnerable to periodic drought. Cotton is the main cash crop and the government has joined with three other cotton producing countries in the region - Mali, Niger, and Chad - to lobby in the World Trade Organization for fewer subsidies to producers in other competing countries. Since 1998, Burkina Faso has embarked upon a gradual but successful privatization of state-owned enterprises. Having revised its investment code in 2004, Burkina Faso hopes to attract foreign investors. Thanks to this new code and other legislation favoring the mining sector, the country has seen an upswing in gold exploration and production. While the bitter internal crisis in neighboring Cote d'Ivoire is beginning to be resolved, it is still having a negative effect on Burkina Faso's trade and employment. Burkina Faso received a Millennium Challenge Account threshold grant to improve girls' education at the primary school level, and appears likely to receive a grant in the areas of infrastructure, agriculture, and land reform.
recent droughts and desertification severely affecting agricultural activities, population distribution, and the economy; overgrazing; soil degradation; deforestation
Cities in Burkina-Faso