Factual Information on Burkina Faso

General information on Burkina Faso
Formerly called Upper Volta (Haute Volta it gained independence from France in 1960.

A series of military coups in the decades of the 1970s and 1980s were followed by democractic elections in the first part of the 1990s.

The country has a high population density and is not well endowed with natural resources so that poor economic prospects are the reality for most nationals.

Many hundred thousand farm and agricultural workers each year cross the borders to find seasonal work in Cote d'Ivoire and Ghana.

Geographical information on Burkina Faso

Geographical Position: Western Africa, north of Ghana

Map Ref Latitude & Longitude 13 00 North, 2 00 W

Total Land & Sea Area Total: 274,500 square kms Sea Area450 square kms land area: 274,000 square kms Area - comparative: slightly larger than Colorado

Land boundaries: Total: 3,190 kms Border countries: Benin 305 kms, Cote d'Ivoire 590 kms, Ghana 550 kms, Mali 1,100 kms, Niger 630 kms, Togo 125 kms Coastal Length: 0 kms (landlocked)

Climatological Conditions:

Tropical; warm, dry winters; hot, wet summers terrain of country mostly flat to dissected, undulating plains; hills in west and southeast

Highest & Lowest Elevations: Lowest elevation: Mouhoun (Black Volta) River 220 meters highest point: Tena Kourou 750 meters

Natural resources information on Burkina Faso: manganese mining, limestone deposits, marble-rock; some gold, antimony, copper mining, nickel mining, bauxite mining, lead mining, phosphates, zinc mining, silver mines Land use: arable land area: 12.45 percent permanent crops: 0.2 percent other: 87.5 percent (1998 estimate.) Irrigated land area: 280 square kms (1998 estimate.)

Natural hazards: recurring droughts Environment - current issues: subject to drought and desertifying, overgrazing; soil degradation and large areas of deforestation

A landlocked country of savanna dissected by the three principal rivers of the Black Volta, Red Volta, and White Voltas

People information on Burkina Faso

Population: 13,228,500 Age structure: Under 15: 45.5 percent From 15 to 65: 51.5 percent Over 65: 3 percent Median age: Total: 17 years Population growth rate: 3 percent (2003 estimate.) Birth rate: 44.8 births/1,000 population (2003 estimate.) Death rate: 18.8 deaths/1,000 population (2003 estimate.) Net migration rate: 0 migrant /1,000 population (2003 estimate.)

infant mortality rate: Total: 99.8 deaths/1,000 live births female: 91.5 deaths/1,000 live births (2003 estimate.) male: 107.9 deaths/1,000 live births Life expectancy at birth: total population: 44.5 years male: 43 years female: 46 years (2003 estimate.) Total fertility rate: 6.4 children born/woman (2003 estimate.)

Nationality: Burkinabe Ethnic groups: Mossi over 50 percent, Gurunsi, Senufo, Lobi, Bobo, Mande, Fulani

Religions: indigenous beliefs 45 percent, Islam/Muslim faith 55 percent, Christian (predominantly Roman Catholic) 15 percent

Languages: French (official), African Sudanic languages spoken by 90 percent of the population.

Literacy: definition: age 15 and over that can read and write total population: 26.5 percent male: 37 percent female: 16.5 percent (2003 estimate.)

Government information on Burkina Faso

Burkina Faso former names: Upper Volta, Republic of Upper Volta Government type: parliamentary republic Capital city: Ouagadougou

Independence: 5 August 1960 National holiday: Republic Day, 11 December (1958) Constitution: 2 June 1991 Legal system: based on French civil law system and customary law

Suffrage: universal

Executive branch: Head of State: President Head of government: Prime Minister cabinet: Council of Ministers appointed by the president and prime minister Elections: popular vote for a five-year term;

Economy information on Burkina Faso:

Economy - overview: One of the world’s poorest countries, Burkina Faso is landlocked and is low in natural resources, often poor soil, and uneven income distribution.

85+ percent of the population is involved in subsistence agriculture.

Industry remains dominated by unprofitable government-controlled corporations.

GDP - Gross Domestic Product: - $USD14.5 billion (2002 estimate.) GDP - Gross Domestic Product - growth rate: 4.5 percent (2002 estimate.) GDP - Gross Domestic Product - per capita: - $USD1,100 (2002 estimate.) GDP - Gross Domestic Product - composition by sector: agriculture: 33 percent industry: 12 percent services: 55 percent (2001) Population below poverty line: 45 percent (2001 estimate.) Inflation rate (consumer prices): 3 percent (2001 estimate.) Labor force: 5 million hundreds of thousands of males migrate each year to neighboring countries for seasonal agricultural employment (2002) Labor force - by occupation: agriculture 85 percent (2000 estimate.) rate of unemployment: NA percent

Budget: incomes: $USD315 million

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

Agriculture - products:

Cotton, nuts, millet, corn & corn products, rice; grains, sesame, sorghum, livestock farming Exports: $USD260 million (2002 estimate.)

Exports - commodities: cotton, livestock, gold Exports - partners: Singapore 15 percent, Italy 11 percent, Colombia 8.5 percent, France 7.5 percent, India 7 percent, Ghana 6 percent, Japan 4.5 percent, Thailand 4 percent (2002) Imports: $USD525 million (2002 estimate.)

Imports - commodities: capital equipment & goods, machinery, foods and processed foodstuff, petroleum Imports - partners: France 28 percent, Cote d'Ivoire 23 percent, Togo 4 percent (2002) Debt - external: $USD1.5 billion (2000)

Currency: Communaute Financiere Africaine franc (XOF); Currency code: XOF

Communications in Burkina Faso:

Telephones: 53,000 (2000) Radio broadcast stations: Amplitude Modulation 3, Frequency Modulation 17, SW 3 (2002) Television stations: 1 (2002) Internet country code: .bf

Travel to Burkina Faso :

Railroad networks: Total: 600 kms Roading System: Total: 12,500 kms Airports: 33 (2002)

Military information on Burkina Faso

Military branches: Army, Air Force, National Gendarmerie, National Police, People's Militia Military spending: $USD46 million (Fiscal Year 02) Military spending: - percent of GDP - Gross Domestic Product: 1.5 percent (Fiscal Year 02)

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Information sourced and adapted from the CIA Factbook


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