Presentation of Burkina Faso 


Burkina Faso, literally meaning « Land of the just men » is a country of Western Africa, south of the Sahara desert with an area of 274.400 square kms. Its neighbouring countries are: Mali, Niger, Benin Togo, Ivory Coast and Ghana. Its population, estimated over 17 million inhabitants, is composed of sixty different ethnical groups, all living in good harmony.

Burkina Faso’s economy is mainly based on agriculture where almost 80% of the active population is employed. Even if gold export has greatly increased in recent years, cotton cultivation and export are still the major income of the country. This low diversity of the economy and the precarious conditions of living of the population have allowed various international organisations to rank our country among the poorest in the world.

Religion occupies a place of choice in the lives of the Burkinabe people. There are three principal religions in the country: Islam, Christianity and Animism. Islam is the largest faith with 60.5% of adherents, followed by Catholicism 15.3%, Protestantism 4.2%, others 0.6% and none 0.4%.

In Burkina Faso, for centuries, over 60 different ethnics live together in fraternity and solidarity. As a result, we have over 60 different languages, cultures and usages. Cultural richness is thus large and varied. Each of these different people or ethnic groups promotes its own culture. Many recognised world-wide touristic sites make the pride of our beautiful country, whether they offer natural and cultural interests, or hunting facilities. Large cultural or artistic manifestations place our country in the limelight: the Ouagadougou International Film and Audiovisual festival, the Ouagadougou International Arts and Craft Fair, the National Week of Culture in Bobo Dioulasso

The « Land of the just men » is a country where it is good to live because solidarity, fraternity and tolerance are key words. The love of foreigners and the cult of peace are strongly anchored in the way of living of the Burkina people, ethnical or religious conflicts, xenophobia are rare or inexistent. Social cohesion makes of Burkina Faso a welcoming land, and it has been so for centuries.

Since 2008 the country has known social tensions mainly linked to political aspects. The crisis registered in 2008 was caused by the dearness of life which generated in numerous social agitations. In 2011, another crisis occurred starting in schools and embracing also the army, causing serious threat to the country’s stability. But thanks to dialoguing and to the usual implication of the religious authorities and of all the social components, an issue of the crisis has been found. In October 2014, another severe crisis occurred when popular upheaval removed from office President Blaise Compaoré. The transition that followed this revolution lasted one year and ended with the national elections of 29th September 2015. But the whole population had resisted in block to a push on the 16th of September 2016. The Burkina population has always manifested of its common sense, with always the aim to promote peace and national cohesion.

Repositioned in the democratic frame since the 29th of November 2015 when truly democratic elections took place, the present government of Burkina Faso is trying hard to ensure security for all, to ensure daily food to all, in justice and in equity. Even if a disastrous economic situation is the heritage of the destitute Blaise Compaoré, there is a scope for hope.