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  Burkina Faso  
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This page was last updated on 15 November, 2007


Map of Burkina Faso



Legend: DefinitionDefinition Field ListingField Listing Rank OrderRank Order
   Introduction    Burkina Faso Top of Page
Background:

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.

   Geography    Burkina Faso Top of Page
Location:

Western Africa, north of Ghana
Geographic coordinates:

13 00 N, 2 00 W
Map references:

Africa
Area:

total: 274,200 sq km
land: 273,800 sq km
water: 400 sq km
Area - comparative:

slightly larger than Colorado
Land boundaries:

total: 3,193 km
border countries: Benin 306 km, Cote d'Ivoire 584 km, Ghana 549 km, Mali 1,000 km, Niger 628 km, Togo 126 km
Coastline:

0 km (landlocked)
Maritime claims:

none (landlocked)
Climate:

tropical; warm, dry winters; hot, wet summers
Terrain:

mostly flat to dissected, undulating plains; hills in west and southeast
Elevation extremes:

lowest point: Mouhoun (Black Volta) River 200 m
highest point: Tena Kourou 749 m
Natural resources:

manganese, limestone, marble; small deposits of gold, phosphates, pumice, salt
Land use:

arable land: 17.66%
permanent crops: 0.22%
other: 82.12% (2005)
Irrigated land:

250 sq km (2003)
Natural hazards:

recurring droughts
Environment - current issues:

recent droughts and desertification severely affecting agricultural activities, population distribution, and the economy; overgrazing; soil degradation; deforestation
Environment - international agreements:

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
Geography - note:

landlocked savanna cut by the three principal rivers of the Black, Red, and White Voltas
   People    Burkina Faso Top of Page
Population:

14,326,203
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 and death rates, lower population and growth rates, and changes in the distribution of population by age and sex than would otherwise be expected (July 2007 est.)
Age structure:

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.)
Median age:

total: 16.5 years
male: 16.3 years
female: 16.7 years (2007 est.)
Population growth rate:

2.997% (2007 est.)
Birth rate:

45.28 births/1,000 population (2007 est.)
Death rate:

15.31 deaths/1,000 population (2007 est.)
Net migration rate:

0 migrant(s)/1,000 population (2007 est.)
Sex ratio:

at birth: 1.03 male(s)/female
under 15 years: 1.009 male(s)/female
15-64 years: 0.996 male(s)/female
65 years and over: 0.657 male(s)/female
total population: 0.992 male(s)/female (2007 est.)
Infant mortality rate:

total: 89.79 deaths/1,000 live births
male: 97.55 deaths/1,000 live births
female: 81.8 deaths/1,000 live births (2007 est.)
Life expectancy at birth:

total population: 49.21 years
male: 47.68 years
female: 50.8 years (2007 est.)
Total fertility rate:

6.41 children born/woman (2007 est.)
HIV/AIDS - adult prevalence rate:

4.2% (2003 est.)
HIV/AIDS - people living with HIV/AIDS:

300,000 (2003 est.)
HIV/AIDS - deaths:

29,000 (2003 est.)
Major infectious diseases:

degree of risk: very high
food or waterborne diseases: bacterial and protozoal diarrhea, hepatitis A, and typhoid fever
vectorborne disease: malaria is a high risk in some locations
water contact disease: schistosomiasis
respiratory disease: meningococcal meningitis
note: highly pathogenic H5N1 avian influenza has been identified among birds in this country or surrounding region; it poses a negligible risk with extremely rare cases possible among US citizens who have close contact with birds (2007)
Nationality:

noun: Burkinabe (singular and plural)
adjective: Burkinabe
Ethnic groups:

Mossi over 40%, other approximately 60% (includes Gurunsi, Senufo, Lobi, Bobo, Mande, and Fulani)
Religions:

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
Literacy:

definition: age 15 and over can read and write
total population: 21.8%
male: 29.4%
female: 15.2% (2003 est.)
   Government    Burkina Faso Top of Page
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
Government type:

parliamentary 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)
Administrative divisions:

45 provinces; Bale, Bam, Banwa, Bazega, Bougouriba, Boulgou, Boulkiemde, Comoe, Ganzourgou, Gnagna, Gourma, Houet, Ioba, Kadiogo, Kenedougou, Komondjari, Kompienga, Kossi, Koulpelogo, Kouritenga, Kourweogo, Leraba, Loroum, Mouhoun, Nahouri, Namentenga, Nayala, Noumbiel, Oubritenga, Oudalan, Passore, Poni, Sanguie, Sanmatenga, Seno, Sissili, Soum, Sourou, Tapoa, Tuy, Yagha, Yatenga, Ziro, Zondoma, Zoundweogo
Independence:

5 August 1960 (from France)
National holiday:

Republic Day, 11 December (1958)
Constitution:

2 June 1991 approved by referendum, 11 June 1991 formally adopted; last amended January 2002
Legal system:

based on French civil law system and customary law; has not accepted compulsory ICJ jurisdiction
Suffrage:

universal
Executive branch:

chief of state: President Blaise COMPAORE (since 15 October 1987)
head of government: Prime Minister Tertius ZONGO (since 4 June 2007)
cabinet: Council of Ministers appointed by the president on the recommendation of the prime minister
elections: president elected by popular vote for a five-year term (eligible for a second term); election last held 13 November 2005 (next to be held in 2010); in April 2000, the constitution was amended reducing the presidential term from seven to five years, enforceable as of 2005; prime minister appointed by the president with the consent of the legislature
election results: Blaise COMPAORE reelected president; percent of popular vote - Blaise COMPAORE 80.3%, Benewende Stanislas SANKARA 4.9%
Legislative branch:

unicameral National Assembly or Assemblee Nationale (111 seats; members are elected by popular vote to serve five-year terms)
elections: National Assembly election last held 6 May 2007 (next to be held in May 2012)
election results: percent of vote by party - NA; seats by party - CDP 73, RDA-ADF 14, UPR 5, UNIR-MS 4, CFD-B 3, UPS 2, PDP-PS 2, RDB 2, PDS 2, PAREN 1, PAI 1, RPC 1, UDPS 1
Judicial branch:

Supreme Court; Appeals Court
Political parties and leaders:

African Democratic Rally-Alliance for Democracy and Federation or ADF-RDA [Gilbert OUEDRAOGO]; Citizen's Popular Rally or RPC; Confederation for Federation and Democracy or CFD [Amadou Diemdioda DICKO]; Congress for Democracy and Progress or CDP [Roch Marc-Christian KABORE]; Convention of the Democratic Forces of Burkina or CFD-B; Movement for Tolerance and Progress or MTP [Nayabtigungou Congo KABORE]; Party for African Independence or PAI [Philippe OUEDRAOGO]; Party for Democracy and Progress/Socialist Party or PDP/PS [Ali LANKOANDE]; Party for Democracy and Socialism or PDS; Party for National Rebirth or PAREN; Rally for the Development of Burkina or RDB; Rally of Ecologists of Burkina Faso or RDEB [Ram OUEDRAGO]; Republican Party for Integration and Solidarity or PARIS [Cyril GOUNGOUNGA]; Union for Democracy and Social Progress or UDPS; Union for Rebirth - Sankarist Movement or UNIR-MS; Union for the Republic or UPR [Toussaint Abel COULIBALY]; Union of Sankarist Parties or UPS
Political pressure groups and leaders:

Burkinabe General Confederation of Labor or CGTB; Burkinabe Movement for Human Rights or MBDHP; Group of 14 February; National Confederation of Burkinabe Workers or CNTB; National Organization of Free Unions or ONSL; watchdog/political action groups throughout the country in both organizations and communities
International organization participation:

ACCT, ACP, AfDB, AU, ECOWAS, Entente, FAO, FZ, G-77, IAEA, IBRD, ICAO, ICC, ICCt, ICRM, IDA, IDB, IFAD, IFC, IFRCS, ILO, IMF, Interpol, IOC, IOM, IPU, ISO (correspondent), ITSO, ITU, ITUC, MIGA, MONUC, NAM, OIC, OIF, ONUB, OPCW, PCA, UN, UNCTAD, UNESCO, UNIDO, UNOCI, UNWTO, UPU, WADB (regional), WAEMU, WCL, WCO, WFTU, WHO, WIPO, WMO, WTO
Diplomatic representation in the US:

chief of mission: Ambassador Tertius ZONGO
chancery: 2340 Massachusetts Avenue NW, Washington, DC 20008
telephone: [1] (202) 332-5577
FAX: [1] (202) 667-1882
Diplomatic representation from the US:

chief of mission: Ambassador Jeanine E. JACKSON
embassy: 602 Avenue Raoul Follereau, Koulouba, Secteur 4
mailing address: 01 B. P. 35, Ouagadougou 01; pouch mail - US Department of State, 2440 Ouagadougou Place, Washington, DC 20521-2440
telephone: [226] 50-30-67-23
FAX: [226] 50-30-38-90, 50-31-23-68
Flag description:

two equal horizontal bands of red (top) and green with a yellow five-pointed star in the center; uses the popular pan-African colors of Ethiopia
   Economy    Burkina Faso Top of Page
Economy - overview:

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 for improved access to Western markets. GDP growth has largely been driven by increases in world cotton prices. Industry remains dominated by unprofitable government-controlled corporations. Following the CFA franc currency devaluation in January 1994, the government updated its development program in conjunction with international agencies; exports and economic growth have increased. The government devolved macroeconomic policy and inflation targeting to the West African regional central bank (BCEAO), but maintains control over fiscal and microeconomic policies, including implementing reforms to encourage private investment. The bitter internal crisis in neighboring Cote d'Ivoire continues to hurt trade and industrial prospects and deepens the need for international assistance. Burkina Faso is eligible for a Millennium Challenge Account grant, which would increase investment in the country's human capital.
GDP (purchasing power parity):

$18.94 billion (2006 est.)
GDP (official exchange rate):

$5.886 billion (2006 est.)
GDP - real growth rate:

6.4% (2006 est.)
GDP - per capita (PPP):

$1,400 (2006 est.)
GDP - composition by sector:

agriculture: 30%
industry: 19%
services: 51% (2006 est.)
Labor force:

5 million
note: a large part of the male labor force migrates annually to neighboring countries for seasonal employment (2003)
Labor force - by occupation:

agriculture: 90%
industry and services: 10% (2000 est.)
Unemployment rate:

NA%
Population below poverty line:

46.4% (2003)
Household income or consumption by percentage share:

lowest 10%: 2.8%
highest 10%: 32.2% (2003)
Distribution of family income - Gini index:

39.5 (2003)
Inflation rate (consumer prices):

2.3% (2006 est.)
Investment (gross fixed):

21.5% of GDP (2006 est.)
Budget:

revenues: $1.088 billion
expenditures: $1.36 billion; including capital expenditures of $NA (2006 est.)
Agriculture - products:

cotton, peanuts, shea nuts, sesame, sorghum, millet, corn, rice; livestock
Industries:

cotton lint, beverages, agricultural processing, soap, cigarettes, textiles, gold
Industrial production growth rate:

14% (2001 est.)
Electricity - production:

516.2 million kWh (2005)
Electricity - consumption:

480.1 million kWh (2005)
Electricity - exports:

0 kWh (2005)
Electricity - imports:

0 kWh (2005)
Oil - production:

0 bbl/day (2004)
Oil - consumption:

8,200 bbl/day (2004 est.)
Oil - exports:

NA bbl/day
Oil - imports:

NA bbl/day
Oil - proved reserves:

0 bbl
Natural gas - production:

0 cu m (2005 est.)
Natural gas - consumption:

0 cu m (2005 est.)
Current account balance:

-$629 million (2006 est.)
Exports:

$606 million f.o.b. (2006 est.)
Exports - commodities:

cotton, livestock, gold
Exports - partners:

China 41.9%, Singapore 14.4%, Ghana 5.9%, Thailand 4.9%, Niger 4.4% (2006)
Imports:

$1.188 billion f.o.b. (2006 est.)
Imports - commodities:

capital goods, foodstuffs, petroleum
Imports - partners:

Cote d'Ivoire 22.9%, France 20.1%, Zimbabwe 11.4%, Togo 6.3% (2006)
Economic aid - recipient:

$659.6 million (2005)
Reserves of foreign exchange and gold:

$554.9 million (2006 est.)
Debt - external:

$1.85 billion (2003)
Market value of publicly traded shares:

$NA
Currency (code):

Communaute Financiere Africaine franc (XOF); note - responsible authority is the Central Bank of the West African States
Exchange rates:

Communaute Financiere Africaine francs (XOF) per US dollar - 522.59 (2006), 527.47 (2005), 528.29 (2004), 581.2 (2003), 696.99 (2002)
Fiscal year:

calendar year
   Communications    Burkina Faso Top of Page
Telephones - main lines in use:

94,800 (2006)
Telephones - mobile cellular:

1.017 million (2006)
Telephone system:

general assessment: services only fair; in 2006 the government sold a 51 percent stake in the national telephone company and ultimately plans to retain only a 23 percent stake in the company; fixed-line connections stand at less than 1 per 100 persons; mobile-cellular usage, fostered by multiple providers, is increasing and stands at about 7 per 100 persons
domestic: microwave radio relay, open-wire, and radiotelephone communication stations
international: country code - 226; satellite earth station - 1 Intelsat (Atlantic Ocean) (2007)
Radio broadcast stations:

AM 3, FM 17, shortwave 3 (2001)
Television broadcast stations:

1 (2002)
Internet country code:

.bf
Internet hosts:

193 (2007)
Internet users:

80,000 (2006)
   Transportation    Burkina Faso Top of Page
Airports:

33 (2007)
Airports - with paved runways:

total: 2
over 3,047 m: 1
2,438 to 3,047 m: 1 (2007)
Airports - with unpaved runways:

total: 31
1,524 to 2,437 m: 3
914 to 1,523 m: 11
under 914 m: 17 (2007)
Railways:

total: 622 km
narrow gauge: 622 km 1.000-m gauge
note:: another 660 km of this railway extends into Cote D'Ivoire (2006)
Roadways:

total: 15,272 km
paved: 4,766 km
unpaved: 10,506 km (2004)
   Military    Burkina Faso Top of Page
Military branches:

Army, Air Force of Burkina Faso (Force Aerienne de Burkina Faso, FABF), National Gendarmerie (2006)
Military service age and obligation:

18 years of age for compulsory military service; 20 years of age for voluntary military service (2001)
Manpower available for military service:

males age 18-49: 2,651,687 (2005 est.)
Manpower fit for military service:

males age 18-49: 1,530,324 (2005 est.)
Military expenditures - percent of GDP:

1.2% (2006)
   Transnational Issues    Burkina Faso Top of Page
Disputes - international:

two villages remain in dispute along the border with Benin; Benin accuses Burkina Faso of moving boundary pillars; in recent years citizens and rogue security forces rob and harass local populations on both sides of the poorly-defined Burkina Faso-Niger border; despite the presence of over 9,000 UN forces (UNOCI) in Cote d'Ivoire since 2004, ethnic conflict continues to spread into neighboring states who can no longer send their migrant workers to work in Ivorian cocoa plantations

This page was last updated on 15 November, 2007


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