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 Western Africa, north of Ghana

Geographic Coordinates:

 13 00 N, 2 00 W


 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


 0 km (landlocked) (Rank: 211)

Maritime Claims:

 None (landlocked)


 Tropical; warm, dry winters; hot, wet summers


 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:

 300 sq km (2008)

Total Renewable Water Resources:

 17.5 cu km (2001)

Freshwater Withdrawal:

 Total: 0.8 cu km/yr (13%/1%/86%)
Per capita: 60 cu m/yr (2000)

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

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 Noun: Burkinabe (singular and plural)
Adjective: Burkinabe

Ethnic Groups:

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


 French (official), native African languages belonging to Sudanic family spoken by 90% of the population


 Muslim 60.5%, Catholic 19%, animist 15.3%, Protestant 4.2%, other 0.6%, none 0.4%


 16,751,455 (July 2011 est.)

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, higher death rates, lower population growth rates, and changes in the distribution of population by age and sex than would otherwise be expected

Age Structure:

 0-14 years: 45.8% (male 3,849,350/female 3,828,483)
15-64 years: 51.7% (male 4,320,779/female 4,334,197)
65 years and over: 2.5% (male 162,157/female 256,489) (2011 est.)

Median Age:

 Total: 16.9 years
Male: 16.7 years
Female: 17.1 years (2011 est.)

Population Growth Rate:

 3.085% (2011 est.)

Birth Rate:

 43.59 births/1,000 population (2011 est.)

Death Rate:

 12.74 deaths/1,000 population (July 2011 est.)

Net Migration Rate:

 0 migrant(s)/1,000 population (2011 est.)


 Urban population: 26% of total population (2010)
Rate of urbanization: 6.2% annual rate of change (2010-15 est.)

Major Cities - Population:

 OUAGADOUGOU (capital) 1.777 million (2009)

Sex Ratio:

 At birth: 1.03 male(s)/female
Under 15 years: 1.01 male(s)/female
15-64 years: 1 male(s)/female
65 years and over: 0.64 male(s)/female
Total population: 0.99 male(s)/female (2011 est.)

Maternal Mortality Rate:

 560 deaths/100,000 live births (2008)

Infant Mortality Rate:

 Total: 81.4 deaths/1,000 live births
Male: 88.88 deaths/1,000 live births
Female: 73.69 deaths/1,000 live births (2011 est.)

Life Expectancy At Birth:

 Total population: 53.7 years
Male: 51.75 years
Female: 55.71 years (2011 est.)

Total Fertility Rate:

 6.14 children born/woman (2011 est.)

Health Expenditures:

 6.4% of GDP (2009)

Physicians Density:

 0.064 physicians/1,000 population (2008)

Hospital Bed Density:

 0.9 beds/1,000 population (2006)

Drinking Water Source:

 Urban: 95% of population
Rural: 72% of population
Total: 76% of population
Urban: 5% of population
Rural: 28% of population
Total: 24% of population (2008)

Sanitation Facility Access:

 Urban: 33% of population
Rural: 6% of population
Total: 11% of population
Urban: 67% of population
Rural: 94% of population
Total: 89% of population (2008)

HIV/AIDS - Adult Prevalence Rate:

 1.2% (2009 est.)

HIV/AIDS - People Living With HIV/AIDS:

 110,000 (2009 est.)

HIV/AIDS - Deaths:

 7,100 (2009 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 and yellow fever
Water contact disease: schistosomiasis
Respiratory disease: meningococcal meningitis
Animal contact disease: rabies

Note: highly pathogenic H5N1 avian influenza has been identified in this country; it poses a negligible risk with extremely rare cases possible among US citizens who have close contact with birds (2009)

Children Under 5 - Underweight:

 37.4% (2006)

Education Expenditures:

 4.6% of GDP (2007)


 Definition: age 15 and over can read and write
Total population: 21.8%
Male: 29.4%
Female: 15.2% (2003 est.)

Average Years of Schooling:

 Total: 6 years
Male: 7 years
Female: 6 years (2009)

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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


 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


 5 August 1960 (from France)

National Holiday:

 Republic Day, 11 December (1958); note - commemorates the day that Upper Volta became an autonomous republic in the French Community


 Approved by referendum 2 June 1991; formally adopted 11 June 1991; last amended January 2002

Legal System:

 Civil law based on the French model and customary law

International Law Organization Participation:

 Has not submitted an ICJ jurisdiction declaration; accepts ICCt jurisdiction


 18 years of age; universal

Executive Branch:

 Chief of state: President Blaise COMPAORE (since 15 October 1987)

Head of government: Prime Minister Luc-Adolphe TIAO (since 18 April 2011)

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 on 21 November 2010 (next to be held in 2015); prime minister appointed by the president with the consent of the legislature

Election results: Blaise COMPAORE reelected president; percent of popular vote - Blaise COMPAORE 80.2%, Hama Arba DIALLO 8.2%, Benewende Stanislas SANKARA 6.3%, other 5.3%

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 on 6 May 2007 (next to be held in May 2012)

Election results: percent of vote by party - NA; seats by party - CDP 73, ADF-RDA 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 of Appeals or Cour de Cassation; Council of State or Conseil d'Etat; Court of Accounts or la Cour des Comptes; Constitutional Council or Conseil Constitutionnel

Political Parties and Leaders:

 African Democratic Rally-Alliance for Democracy and Federation or ADF-RDA [Gilbert OUEDRAOGO]; Citizen's Popular Rally or RPC [Antoine QUARE]; Coalition of Democratic Forces of Burkina or CFD-B [Amadou Diemdioda DICKO]; Congress for Democracy and Progress or CDP [Roch Marc-Christian KABORE]; Democratic and Popular Rally or RDP [Nana THIBAUT]; Movement for Tolerance and Progress or MTP [Nayabtigungou Congo KABORE]; Party for African Independence or PAI [Soumane TOURE]; Party for Democracy and Progress-Socialist Party or PDP-PS [Ali LANKOANDE]; Party for Democracy and Socialism or PDS [Felix SOUBEIGA]; Party for National Rebirth or PAREN [Jeanne TRAORE]; Rally for the Development of Burkina or RDB [Antoine KARGOUGOU]; Rally of Ecologists of Burkina Faso or RDEB [Ram OUEDRAGO]; Republican Party for Integration and Solidarity or PARIS; Union for Democracy and Social Progress or UDPS [Fidele HIEN]; Union for Rebirth - Sankarist Movement or UNIR-MS [Benewende STANISLAS]; Union for the Republic or UPR [Toussaint Abel COULIBALY]; Union of Sankarist Parties or UPS [Ernest Nongma OUEDRAOGO]

Political Pressure Groups and Leaders:

 Burkinabe General Confederation of Labor or CGTB [Tole SAGNON]; Burkinabe Movement for Human Rights or MBDHP [Chrysigone ZOUGMORE]; Group of 14 February [Benewende STANISLAS]; National Confederation of Burkinabe Workers or CNTB [Laurent OUEDRAOGO]; National Organization of Free Unions or ONSL [Paul KABORE]
Other: watchdog/political action groups throughout the country in both organizations and communities

International Organization Participation:


Diplomatic Representation in the US:

 Chief of mission: Ambassador Seydou BOUDA
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 Thomas DOUGHERTY
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

Flag Description:

 Two equal horizontal bands of red (top) and green with a yellow five-pointed star in the center; red recalls the country's struggle for independence, green is for hope and abundance, and yellow represents the country's mineral wealth

Note: uses the popular Pan-African colors of Ethiopia

National Symbols:

 White stallion

National Anthem:

 Name: "Le Ditanye" (Anthem of Victory)
Lyrics/music: Thomas SANKARA

Note: adopted 1974; also known as "Une Seule Nuit" (One Single Night), Burkina Faso's anthem was written by the country's president, an avid guitar player

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Economy - Overview:

 Burkina Faso is a poor, landlocked country that relies heavily on cotton and gold exports for revenue. The country 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. Since 1998, Burkina Faso has embarked upon a gradual privatization of state-owned enterprises and in 2004 revised its investment code to attract foreign investment. As a result of this new code and other legislation favoring the mining sector, the country has seen an upswing in gold exploration and production. By 2010, gold had become the main source of export revenue.

GDP (Purchasing Power Parity):

 $19.99 billion (2010 est.)
$18.9 billion (2009 est.)
$18.3 billion (2008 est.)

Note: data are in 2010 US dollars

GDP (Official Exchange Rate):

 $8.781 billion (2010 est.)

GDP - Real Growth Rate:

 5.8% (2010 est.)
3.2% (2009 est.)
5.2% (2008 est.)

GDP - Per Capita (PPP):

 $1,200 (2010 est.)
$1,200 (2009 est.)
$1,200 (2008 est.)

Note: data are in 2010 US dollars

GDP - Composition By Sector:

 Agriculture: 34.1%
Industry: 23%
Services: 42.9% (2010 est.)

Labor Force:

 6.668 million

Note: a large part of the male labor force migrates annually to neighboring countries for seasonal employment (2007)

Labor Force - By Occupation:

 Agriculture: 90%
Industry and services: 10% (2000 est.)

Unemployment Rate:

 77% (2004)

Population Below Poverty Line:

 46.4% (2004)

Household Income / Consumption By Share:

 Lowest 10%: 2.8%
Highest 10%: 32.2% (2004)

Distribution of Family Income - Gini Index:

 39.5 (2007)
48.2 (1994)

Investment (Gross Fixed):

 20.1% of GDP (2010 est.)


 Revenues: $1.899 billion
Expenditures: $2.413 billion (2010 est.)

Taxes and Other Revenues:

 21.6% of GDP (2010 est.)

Budget Surplus / Deficit:

 -5.9% of GDP (2010 est.)

Inflation Rate (Consumer Prices):

 -0.8% (2010 est.)
2.6% (2009 est.)

Central Bank Discount Rate:

 4.25% (31 December 2010 est.)
4.25% (31 December 2009 est.)

Commercial Bank Prime Lending Rate:


Stock of Money:

 $1.068 billion (31 December 2008)
$1.051 billion (31 December 2007)

Stock of Quasi Money:

 $751.3 million (31 December 2008)
$663 million (31 December 2007)

Stock of Narrow Money:

 $1.343 billion (31 December 2010 est.)
$1.351 billion (31 December 2009 est.)

Stock of Broad Money:

 $2.547 billion (31 December 2010 est.)
$2.302 billion (31 December 2009 est.)

Stock of Domestic Credit:

 $1.463 billion (31 December 2010 est.)
$1.282 billion (31 December 2009 est.)

Agriculture - Products:

 Cotton, peanuts, shea nuts, sesame, sorghum, millet, corn, rice; livestock


 Cotton lint, beverages, agricultural processing, soap, cigarettes, textiles, gold

Industrial Production Growth Rate:

 5.5% (2010 est.)

Electricity - Production:

 664.4 million kWh (2009 est.)

Electricity - Production By Source:

 Fossil fuel: 69.9%
Hydro: 30.1%
Nuclear: 0%
Other: 0% (2001)

Electricity - Consumption:

 683.5 million kWh (2008 est.)

Electricity - Exports:

 0 kWh (2009 est.)

Electricity - Imports:

 144.6 million kWh (2009 est.)

Oil - Production:

 0 bbl/day (2010 est.)

Oil - Consumption:

 9,000 bbl/day (2010 est.)

Oil - Exports:

 0 bbl/day (2009 est.)

Oil - Imports:

 8,560 bbl/day (2009 est.)

Oil - Proven Reserves:

 0 bbl (1 January 2011 est.)

Natural Gas - Production:

 0 cu m (2009 est.)

Natural Gas - Consumption:

 0 cu m (2009 est.)

Natural Gas - Exports:

 0 cu m (2009 est.)

Natural Gas - Imports:

 0 cu m (2009 est.)

Natural Gas - Proven Reserves:

 0 cu m (1 January 2011 est.)

Current Account Balance:

 -$317.2 million (2010 est.)
-$913.5 million (2009 est.)


 $1.336 billion (2010 est.)
$896.5 million (2009 est.)

Exports - Commodities:

 Cotton, livestock, gold

Exports - Partners:

 China 17.3%, Belgium 11.6%, Singapore 9.3%, Indonesia 7.6%, Turkey 6.4%, Thailand 4.8%, Japan 4.2% (2010)


 $1.663 billion (2010 est.)
$1.388 billion (2009 est.)

Imports - Commodities:

 Capital goods, foodstuffs, petroleum

Imports - Partners:

 Cote dIvoire 26.1%, France 16%, Togo 5.3%, Ghana 4.7% (2010)

Reserves of Foreign Exchange and Gold:

 $1.068 billion (31 December 2010 est.)
$1.296 billion (31 December 2009 est.)

Debt - External:

 $2.05 billion (31 December 2010 est.)
$1.835 billion (31 December 2009 est.)

Exchange Rates:

 Convert CFA Franc (BCEAO) to Any Currency

Communaute Financiere Africaine francs (XOF) per US dollar -
495.28 (2010)
472.19 (2009)
447.81 (2008)
493.51 (2007)
522.59 (2006)

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Telephones - Main Lines In Use:

 144,000 (2010)

Telephones - Cellular:

 5.708 million (2010)

Telephone System:

 General assessment: system includes microwave radio relay, open-wire, and radiotelephone communication stations; 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

Domestic: fixed-line connections stand at less than 1 per 100 persons; mobile-cellular usage, fostered by multiple providers, is increasing rapidly from a low base

International: country code - 226; satellite earth station - 1 Intelsat (Atlantic Ocean) (2009)

Broadcast Media:

 2 TV stations - 1 state-owned and 1 privately-owned; state-owned radio runs a national and regional network; substantial number of privately-owned radio broadcast stations; transmissions of several international broadcasters available in Ouagadougou (2007)

Radio Broadcast Stations:

 AM 2, FM 26, shortwave 3 (2007)

Television Broadcast Stations:

 3 (1 national, 2 private)

Internet Country Code:


Internet Hosts:

 1,877 (2010)

Internet Users:

 178,100 (2009)

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 24 (2010)

Airports - With Paved Runways:

 Total: 2
Over 3,047 m: 1
2,438 to 3,047 m: 1 (2010)

Airports - With Unpaved Runways:

 Total: 22
1,524 to 2,437 m: 4
914 to 1,523 m: 12
Under 914 m: 6 (2010)


 Total: 622 km
Narrow gauge: 622 km 1.000-m gauge

Note: another 660 km of this railway extends into Cote d'Ivoire (2010)


 Total: 92,495 km
Paved: 3,857 km
Unpaved: 88,638 km (2004)

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Military Branches:

 Army, Air Force of Burkina Faso (Force Aerienne de Burkina Faso, FABF), National Gendarmerie (2011)

Military Service Age and Obligation:

 18 years of age for voluntary military service; women may serve in supporting roles (2011)

Manpower Available For Military Service:

 Males age 16-49: 3,735,735 (2010 est.)

Manpower Fit For Military Service:

 Males age 16-49: 2,366,168
Females age 16-49: 2,367,673 (2010 est.)

Manpower Reaching Militarily Significant Age Annually:

 Male: 193,905
Female: 191,662 (2010 est.)

Military Expenditures:

 1.2% of GDP (2006)

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Disputes - International:

 Adding to illicit cross-border activities, Burkina Faso has issues concerning unresolved boundary alignments with its neighbors; demarcation is currently underway with Mali, the dispute with Niger was referred to the ICJ in 2010, and a dispute over several villages with Benin persists; Benin retains a border dispute with Burkina Faso around the town of Koualou

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Last Updated: December 2011

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