Burkina Faso

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Introduction - Burkina Faso:
CountryBurkina Faso
BackgroundBurkina 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 Fasos high population density and limited natural resources result in poor economic prospects for the majority of its citizens. Recent unrest in Cote dIvoire and northern Ghana has hindered the ability of several hundred thousand seasonal Burkinabe farm workers to find employment in neighboring countries.
Location - Burkina Faso:
LocationWestern Africa, north of Ghana
Geographic coordinates13 00 N, 2 00 W
Map referencesAfrica
Areatotal: 274,200 sq km
land: 273,800 sq km
water: 400 sq km
Area comparativeslightly larger than Colorado
Land boundariestotal: 3,193 km
border countries: Benin 306 km, Cote dIvoire 584 km, Ghana 549 km, Mali 1,000 km, Niger 628 km, Togo 126 km
Coastline0 km (landlocked)
Maritime claimsnone (landlocked)
Climatetropical; warm, dry winters; hot, wet summers
Terrainmostly flat to dissected, undulating plains; hills in west and southeast
Elevation extremeslowest point: Mouhoun (Black Volta) River 200 m
highest point: Tena Kourou 749 m
Natural resourcesmanganese, limestone, marble; small deposits of gold, phosphates, pumice, salt
Land usearable land: 17.66%
permanent crops: 0.22%
other: 82.12% (2005)
Irrigated land250 sq km (2003)
Natural hazardsrecurring droughts
Environment current issuesrecent droughts and desertification severely affecting agricultural activities, population distribution, and the economy; overgrazing; soil degradation; deforestation
Environment international agreementsparty 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 notelandlocked savanna cut by the three principal rivers of the Black, Red, and White Voltas
People - Burkina Faso:
Population14,326,203
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 structure0-14 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 agetotal: 16.5 years
male: 16.3 years
female: 16.7 years (2007 est.)
Population growth rate2.997% (2007 est.)
Birth rate45.28 births/1,000 population (2007 est.)
Death rate15.31 deaths/1,000 population (2007 est.)
Net migration rate0 migrant(s)/1,000 population (2007 est.)
Sex ratioat 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 ratetotal: 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 birthtotal population: 49.21 years
male: 47.68 years
female: 50.8 years (2007 est.)
Total fertility rate6.41 children born/woman (2007 est.)
Hiv aids adult prevalence rate4.2% (2003 est.)
Hiv aids people living with hiv aids300,000 (2003 est.)
Hiv aids deaths29,000 (2003 est.)
Nationalitynoun: Burkinabe (singular and plural)
adjective: Burkinabe
Major infectious diseasesdegree 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)
Ethnic groupsMossi over 40%, other approximately 60% (includes Gurunsi, Senufo, Lobi, Bobo, Mande, and Fulani)
ReligionsMuslim 50%, indigenous beliefs 40%, Christian (mainly Roman Catholic) 10%
LanguagesFrench (official), native African languages belonging to Sudanic family spoken by 90% of the population
Literacydefinition: age 15 and over can read and write
total population: 21.8%
male: 29.4%
female: 15.2% (2003 est.)
Government - Burkina Faso:
Country nameconventional 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 typeparliamentary republic
Capitalname: Ouagadougou
geographic coordinates: 12 22 N, 1 31 W
time difference: UTC 0 (5 hours ahead of Washington, DC during Standard Time)
Administrative divisions45 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
Independence5 August 1960 (from France)
National holidayRepublic Day, 11 December (1958)
Constitution2 June 1991 approved by referendum, 11 June 1991 formally adopted; last amended January 2002
Legal systembased on French civil law system and customary law; has not accepted compulsory ICJ jurisdiction
Suffrageuniversal
Executive branchchief 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 branchunicameral 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 branchSupreme Court; Appeals Court
Political parties and leadersAfrican Democratic Rally-Alliance for Democracy and Federation or ADF-RDA [Gilbert OUEDRAOGO]; Citizens 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 leadersBurkinabe 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 participationACCT, 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 uschief 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 uschief 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 descriptiontwo 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:
Economy overviewOne 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 dIvoire 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 countrys human capital.
Gdp purchasing power parity $18.76 billion (2006 est.)
Gdp official exchange rate $5.832 billion (2006 est.)
Gdp real growth rate6.5% (2006 est.)
Gdp per capita ppp $1,300 (2006 est.)
Gdp composition by sectoragriculture: 32.6%
industry: 19.7%
services: 47.7% (2006 est.)
Labor force5 million
note: a large part of the male labor force migrates annually to neighboring countries for seasonal employment (2003)
Labor force by occupationagriculture: 90%
industry and services: 10% (2000 est.)
Unemployment rateNA%
Population below poverty line45% (2003 est.)
Household income or consumption by percentage sharelowest 10%: 2%
highest 10%: 46.8% (1994)
Distribution of family income gini index48.2 (1998)
Inflation rate consumer prices 4% (2006 est.)
Investment gross fixed 20.5% of GDP (2006 est.)
Budgetrevenues: $1.158 billion
expenditures: $1.714 billion; including capital expenditures of $NA (2006 est.)
Agriculture productscotton, peanuts, shea nuts, sesame, sorghum, millet, corn, rice; livestock
Industriescotton lint, beverages, agricultural processing, soap, cigarettes, textiles, gold
Industrial production growth rate14% (2001 est.)
Electricity production400 million kWh (2004)
Electricity consumption372 million kWh (2004)
Electricity exports0 kWh (2004)
Electricity imports0 kWh (2004)
Oil production0 bbl/day (2004)
Oil consumption8,200 bbl/day (2004 est.)
Oil exportsNA bbl/day
Oil importsNA bbl/day
Oil proved reserves0 bbl
Natural gas production0 cu m (2004 est.)
Natural gas consumption0 cu m (2004 est.)
Current account balance-$604.6 million (2006 est.)
Exports$543.5 million f.o.b. (2006 est.)
Exports commoditiescotton, livestock, gold
Exports partnersChina 40.4%, Singapore 13.9%, Ghana 5.7%, Taiwan 4.9%, Thailand 4.7%, Niger 4.2% (2006)
Imports$1.016 billion f.o.b. (2006 est.)
Imports commoditiescapital goods, foodstuffs, petroleum
Imports partnersCote dIvoire 25.4%, France 22.3%, Togo 7% (2006)
Reserves of foreign exchange and gold$1.328 billion (2006 est.)
Debt external$1.85 billion (2003)
Economic aid recipient$468.4 million (2003)
Currency code Communaute Financiere Africaine franc (XOF); note - responsible authority is the Central Bank of the West African States
Exchange ratesCommunaute Financiere Africaine francs (XOF) per US dollar - 522.59 (2006), 527.47 (2005), 528.29 (2004), 581.2 (2003), 696.99 (2002)
Communications - Burkina Faso:
Fiscal yearcalendar year
Telephones main lines in use94,800 (2006)
Telephones mobile cellular1.017 million (2006)
Telephone systemgeneral assessment: all services only fair
domestic: microwave radio relay, open-wire, and radiotelephone communication stations
international: country code - 226; satellite earth station - 1 Intelsat (Atlantic Ocean)
Radio broadcast stationsAM 3, FM 17, shortwave 3 (2001)
Television broadcast stations1 (2002)
Internet country code.bf
Internet hosts399 (2006)
Internet users80,000 (2006)
Transportation - Burkina Faso:
Airports34 (2006)
Airports with paved runwaystotal: 2
over 3,047 m: 1
2,438 to 3,047 m: 1 (2006)
Airports with unpaved runwaystotal: 32
1,524 to 2,437 m: 3
914 to 1,523 m: 11
under 914 m: 18 (2006)
Railwaystotal: 622 km
narrow gauge: 622 km 1.000-m gauge
note:: another 660 km of this railway extends into Cote DIvoire (2006)
Roadwaystotal: 15,272 km
paved: 4,766 km
unpaved: 10,506 km (2004)
Military - Burkina Faso:
Military branchesArmy, Air Force of Burkina Faso (Force Aerienne de Burkina Faso, FABF), National Gendarmerie (2006)
Military service age and obligation18 years of age for compulsory military service; 20 years of age for voluntary military service (2001)
Manpower available for military servicemales age 18-49: 2,651,687 (2005 est.)
Manpower fit for military servicemales age 18-49: 1,530,324 (2005 est.)
Military expenditures percent of gdp1.2% (2006)
This page was last updated on 16 September, 2007
Source: CIA >>>


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