World Factbook

Burkina Faso

Introduction

Africa :: Burkina Faso

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.

Geography

Location:
Western Africa, north of Ghana

Geographic coordinates:
13 00 N, 2 00 W

Map references:
Africa

Area:
Total: 274,200 sq km
Country comparison to the world: 75
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: 20.79%
Permanent crops: 0.24%
Other: 78.98% (2011)

Irrigated land:
250 sq km (2003)

Total renewable water resources:
12.5 cu km (2011)

Freshwater withdrawal (domestic/industrial/agricultural):
Total: 0.72 cu km/yr (46%/3%/51%)
Per capita: 54.99 cu m/yr (2005)

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 and Society

Nationality:
Noun: Burkinabe (singular and plural)
Adjective: Burkinabe

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

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

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

Population:
17,812,961 (July 2013 est.)
Country comparison to the world: 60
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: 45.5% (male 4,062,522/female 4,044,548)
15-24 years: 20% (male 1,794,740/female 1,775,072)
25-54 years: 28.9% (male 2,608,676/female 2,532,406)
55-64 years: 3.1% (male 229,202/female 324,921)
65 years and over: 2.5% (male 168,099/female 272,775) (2013 est.)

Dependency ratios:
Total dependency ratio: 92.3 %
Youth dependency ratio: 87.6 %
Elderly dependency ratio: 4.7 %
Potential support ratio: 21.3 (2013)

Median age:
Total: 17 years
Male: 16.8 years
Female: 17.1 years (2013 est.)

Population growth rate:
3.06% (2013 est.)
Country comparison to the world: 8

Birth rate:
42.81 births/1,000 population (2013 est.)
Country comparison to the world: 4

Death rate:
12.21 deaths/1,000 population (2013 est.)
Country comparison to the world: 27

Net migration rate:
0 migrant(s)/1,000 population (2013 est.)
Country comparison to the world: 105

Urbanization:
Urban population: 26.5% of total population (2011)
Rate of urbanization: 6.02% annual rate of change (2010-15 est.)

Major urban areas - population:
OUAGADOUGOU (capital) 2.053 million (2011)

Sex ratio:
At birth: 1.03 male(s)/female
0-14 years: 1.01 male(s)/female
15-24 years: 1.01 male(s)/female
25-54 years: 1.03 male(s)/female
55-64 years: 0.69 male(s)/female
65 years and over: 0.62 male(s)/female
Total population: 0.99 male(s)/female (2013 est.)

Mother's mean age at first birth:
19.4
note: Median age at first birth among women 25-29 (2010 est.)

Maternal mortality rate:
300 deaths/100,000 live births (2010)
Country comparison to the world: 38

Infant mortality rate:
Total: 78.3 deaths/1,000 live births
Country comparison to the world: 9
Male: 85.67 deaths/1,000 live births
Female: 70.72 deaths/1,000 live births (2013 est.)

Life expectancy at birth:
Total population: 54.43 years
Country comparison to the world: 206
Male: 52.43 years
Female: 56.48 years (2013 est.)

Total fertility rate:
6 children born/woman (2013 est.)
Country comparison to the world: 5

Contraceptive prevalence rate:
16.2% (2010/11)

Health expenditures:
6.7% of GDP (2010)
Country comparison to the world: 91

Physicians density:
0.06 physicians/1,000 population (2008)

Hospital bed density:
0.4 beds/1,000 population (2010)

Drinking water source:
Improved:
urban: 95% of population
rural: 73% of population
total: 79% of population
Unimproved:
urban: 5% of population
rural: 27% of population
total: 21% of population (2010 est.)

Sanitation facility access:
Improved:
urban: 50% of population
rural: 6% of population
total: 17% of population
Unimproved:
urban: 50% of population
rural: 94% of population
total: 83% of population (2010 est.)

HIV/AIDS - adult prevalence rate:
1.2% (2009 est.)
Country comparison to the world: 42

HIV/AIDS - people living with HIV/AIDS:
110,000 (2009 est.)
Country comparison to the world: 39

HIV/AIDS - deaths:
7,100 (2009 est.)
Country comparison to the world: 29

Major infectious diseases:
Degree of risk: very high
Food or waterborne diseases: bacterial and protozoal diarrhea, hepatitis A, and typhoid fever
Vectorborne disease: dengue fever, 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 (2013)

Obesity - adult prevalence rate:
2.3% (2008)
Country comparison to the world: 181

Children under the age of 5 years underweight:
26% (2009)
Country comparison to the world: 24

Education expenditures:
4% of GDP (2010)
Country comparison to the world: 111

Literacy:
Definition: age 15 and over can read and write
Total population: 28.7%
Male: 36.7%
Female: 21.6% (2007 est.)

School life expectancy (primary to tertiary education):
Total: 7 years
Male: 7 years
Female: 6 years (2011)

Child labor - children ages 5-14:
Total number: 1,521,006
Percentage: 38 % (2006 est.)

Unemployment, youth ages 15-24:
Total: 3.8%
Country comparison to the world: 136
Male: 4.6%
Female: 2.9% (2006)

Government

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:
13 regions; Boucle du Mouhoun, Cascades, Centre, Centre-Est, Centre-Nord, Centre-Ouest, Centre-Sud, Est, Hauts-Bassins, Nord, Plateau-Central, Sahel, Sud-Ouest

Independence:
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

Constitution:
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

Suffrage:
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 (127 seats; members are elected by proportional representation in one national constituency of 16 seats, and 45 multi-member constituencies having between 2 and 9 seats with members serving five-year terms)
Elections: National Assembly election last held on 2 December 2012 (next to be held in 2017)
Election results: percent of vote by party - NA; seats by party - CDP 70, ADF-RDA 19, Union for Progress and Reform 19, UPR 4, UNIR-MS 4, CFD-B 3, PDS/Metba 2, other 6

Judicial branch:
Highest court(s): Supreme Court of Appeals or Cour de Cassation (consists of NA judges); Constitutional Council or Conseil Constitutionnel (consists of the council president and 3 judges)
Judge selection and term of office: Supreme Court judge appointments mostly controlled by the president of Burkina Faso; judge tenure NA; Constitutional Council judges appointed by the president of Burkina Faso upon the proposal of the minister of justice; judges appointed for 9-year terms with one-third of judges renewed every 3 years
Subordinate courts: Appeals Court; High Court; first instance tribunals; district courts; specialized courts relating to issues of labor, children, and juveniles; village (customary) courts

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 [Zio Eric FRANCOIS]
Congress for Democracy and Progress or CDP [Assimi KOUANDA]
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 [Francois O. KABORE]
Party for Democracy and Socialism/Metba or PDS/Metba [Hama Arba DIALLO]
Party for National Rebirth or PAREN [Barry TAHIROU]
Rally for the Development of Burkina or RDB [Celestin Saidou COMPAORE]
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 Progress and Reform or UPC [Zephiron DIABRE]
Union for Rebirth - Sankarist Movement or UNIR-MS [Benewende Stanislas SANKARA]
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:
ACP, AfDB, AU, CD, ECOWAS, EITI (candidate country), Entente, FAO, FZ, G-77, IAEA, IBRD, ICAO, ICC (NGOs), ICRM, IDA, IDB, IFAD, IFC, IFRCS, ILO, IMF, Interpol, IOC, IOM, IPU, ISO (correspondent), ITSO, ITU, ITUC (NGOs), MIGA, MONUSCO, NAM, OIC, OIF, OPCW, PCA, UN, UNAMID, UNCTAD, UNESCO, UNIDO, UNISFA, UNITAR, UNWTO, UPU, WADB (regional), WAEMU, WCO, WFTU (NGOs), WHO, WIPO, WMO, WTO

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] 50-49-53-00
FAX: [226] 50-49-56-28

National symbol(s):
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

Economy

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. Gold mining production doubled between 2009 and 2010. Two new mining projects were launched in the third quarter of 2011. Local community conflict persists in the mining and cotton sectors, but the Prime Minister has made efforts to defuse some of the economic cause of public discontent, including announcing income tax reductions, reparations for looting victims, and subsidies for basic food items and fertilizer. An IMF mission to Burkina Faso in October 2011 expressed general satisfaction with the measures. The risk of a mass exodus of the 3 to 4 million Burinabe who live and work in Cote d'Ivoire has dissipated, and trade, power, and transport links are being restored. Burkina Faso experienced a severe drought in 2011, which decimated grazing land and decreased harvests, creating food insecurity and damaging the country's agricultural base.

GDP (purchasing power parity):
$24.69 billion (2012 est.)
Country comparison to the world: 123
$22.86 billion (2011 est.)
$21.95 billion (2010 est.)
note: data are in 2012 US dollars

GDP (official exchange rate):
$10.46 billion (2012 est.)

GDP - real growth rate:
8% (2012 est.)
Country comparison to the world: 19
4.2% (2011 est.)
7.9% (2010 est.)

GDP - per capita (PPP):
$1,400 (2012 est.)
Country comparison to the world: 205
$1,300 (2011 est.)
$1,300 (2010 est.)
note: data are in 2012 US dollars

Gross national saving:
8.8% of GDP (2012 est.)
Country comparison to the world: 130
16.7% of GDP (2011 est.)
17.4% of GDP (2010 est.)

GDP - composition, by end use:
Household consumption: 62.8%
Government consumption: 13.9%
Investment in fixed capital: 20.9%
Investment in inventories: -0.1%
Exports of goods and services: 29.7%
Imports of goods and services: -27.2%
(2012 est.)

GDP - composition, by sector of origin:
Agriculture: 33%
Industry: 22.2%
Services: 44.9% (2012 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:
6.5% (2012 est.)
Country comparison to the world: 38

Labor force:
6.668 million
Country comparison to the world: 65
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)
Country comparison to the world: 199

Population below poverty line:
46.7% (2009 est.)

Household income or consumption by percentage share:
Lowest 10%: 2.9%
Highest 10%: 32.2% (2009 est.)

Distribution of family income - Gini index:
39.5 (2007)
Country comparison to the world: 63
48.2 (1994)

Budget:
Revenues: $2.26 billion
Expenditures: $2.311 billion (2012 est.)

Taxes and other revenues:
21.6% of GDP (2012 est.)
Country comparison to the world: 153

Budget surplus (+) or deficit (-):
-0.5% of GDP (2012 est.)
Country comparison to the world: 57

Fiscal year:
calendar year

Inflation rate (consumer prices):
3.8% (2012 est.)
Country comparison to the world: 116
2.8% (2011 est.)

Central bank discount rate:
4.25% (31 December 2010 est.)
Country comparison to the world: 86
4.25% (31 December 2009 est.)

Commercial bank prime lending rate:
NA%

Stock of narrow money:
$1.845 billion (31 December 2012 est.)
Country comparison to the world: 127
$1.56 billion (31 December 2011 est.)

Stock of broad money:
$3.91 billion (31 December 2012 est.)
Country comparison to the world: 134
$2.805 billion (31 December 2011 est.)

Stock of domestic credit:
$2.123 billion (31 December 2012 est.)
Country comparison to the world: 135
$1.705 billion (31 December 2011 est.)

Market value of publicly traded shares:
$NA

Current account balance:
-$481.1 million (2012 est.)
Country comparison to the world: 94
-$125.8 million (2011 est.)

Exports:
$2.177 billion (2012 est.)
Country comparison to the world: 140
$2.207 billion (2011 est.)

Exports - commodities:
gold, cotton, livestock

Exports - partners:
China 26%, Turkey 24.9%, Belgium 5.2% (2012)

Imports:
$2.694 billion (2012 est.)
Country comparison to the world: 152
$2.242 billion (2011 est.)

Imports - commodities:
capital goods, foodstuffs, petroleum

Imports - partners:
Cote dIvoire 17.8%, France 14.8%, Ghana 5.1%, Togo 4.8% (2012)

Reserves of foreign exchange and gold:
$1.025 billion (31 December 2012 est.)
Country comparison to the world: 133
$957 million (31 December 2011 est.)

Debt - external:
$2.586 billion (31 December 2012 est.)
Country comparison to the world: 141
$2.42 billion (31 December 2011 est.)

Exchange rates:
Communaute Financiere Africaine francs (XOF) per US dollar -
510.53 (2012 est.)
471.87 (2011 est.)
495.28 (2010 est.)
472.19 (2009)
447.81 (2008)

Energy

Electricity - production:
664.4 million kWh (2009 est.)
Country comparison to the world: 156

Electricity - consumption:
762.5 million kWh (2009 est.)
Country comparison to the world: 156

Electricity - exports:
0 kWh (2010 est.)
Country comparison to the world: 142

Electricity - imports:
144.6 million kWh (2009 est.)
Country comparison to the world: 89

Electricity - installed generating capacity:
252,000 kW (2009 est.)
Country comparison to the world: 152

Electricity - from fossil fuels:
87.3% of total installed capacity (2009 est.)
Country comparison to the world: 82

Electricity - from nuclear fuels:
0% of total installed capacity (2009 est.)
Country comparison to the world: 193

Electricity - from hydroelectric plants:
12.7% of total installed capacity (2009 est.)
Country comparison to the world: 108

Electricity - from other renewable sources:
0% of total installed capacity (2009 est.)
Country comparison to the world: 196

Crude oil - production:
0 bbl/day (2011 est.)
Country comparison to the world: 198

Crude oil - exports:
0 bbl/day (2009 est.)
Country comparison to the world: 197

Crude oil - imports:
0 bbl/day (2009 est.)
Country comparison to the world: 134

Crude oil - proved reserves:
0 bbl (1 January 2012 est.)
Country comparison to the world: 197

Refined petroleum products - production:
0 bbl/day (2008 est.)
Country comparison to the world: 139

Refined petroleum products - consumption:
9,960 bbl/day (2011 est.)
Country comparison to the world: 154

Refined petroleum products - exports:
0 bbl/day (2008 est.)
Country comparison to the world: 139

Refined petroleum products - imports:
12,540 bbl/day (2008 est.)
Country comparison to the world: 127

Natural gas - production:
0 cu m (2010 est.)
Country comparison to the world: 201

Natural gas - consumption:
0 cu m (2010 est.)
Country comparison to the world: 202

Natural gas - exports:
0 cu m (2010 est.)
Country comparison to the world: 197

Natural gas - imports:
0 cu m (2010 est.)
Country comparison to the world: 141

Natural gas - proved reserves:
0 cu m (1 January 2012 est.)
Country comparison to the world: 199

Carbon dioxide emissions from consumption of energy:
1.441 million Mt (2010 est.)
Country comparison to the world: 156

Communications

Telephones - main lines in use:
141,500 (2011)
Country comparison to the world: 136

Telephones - mobile cellular:
7.682 million (2011)
Country comparison to the world: 92

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) (2011)

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 stations; transmissions of several international broadcasters available in Ouagadougou (2007)

Internet country code:
.bf

Internet hosts:
1,795 (2012)
Country comparison to the world: 164

Internet users:
178,100 (2009)
Country comparison to the world: 144

Transportation

Airports:
23 (2013)
Country comparison to the world: 133

Airports - with paved runways:
Total: 2
Over 3,047 m: 1
2,438 to 3,047 m: 1 (2013)

Airports - with unpaved runways:
Total: 21
1,524 to 2,437 m: 3
914 to 1,523 m: 13
Under 914 m:
5 (2013)

Railways:
Total: 622 km
Country comparison to the world: 106
Narrow gauge: 622 km 1.000-m gauge
note: another 660 km of this railway extends into Cote d'Ivoire (2008)

Roadways:
Total: 15,272 km
Country comparison to the world: 122
note: does not include urban roads (2010)

Military

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; no conscription; women may serve in supporting roles (2012)

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:
1.1% of GDP (2011)
Country comparison to the world: 121

Transnational Issues

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

Refugees and internally displaced persons:
Refugees (country of origin): 49,975 (Mali) (2013)

Flag of Burkina Faso



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