Burkina Faso

Descriptive text is not available for this image



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. Former President Blaise COMPAORE (1987-2014) resigned in late October 2014 following popular protests against his efforts to amend the constitution's two-term presidential limit. An interim administration organized presidential and legislative elections - held in November 2015 - where Roch Marc Christian KABORE was elected president. The country experienced terrorist attacks in its capital in 2016, 2017, and 2018 and continues to mobilize resources to counter terrorist threats mainly in its northern and eastern regions. It experienced over 100 attacks by violent extremists in the first quarter of 2019. Growing insecurity resulted in nearly 500,000 internally displaced persons and more than 2,000 closed schools. The Government of Burkina Faso has made numerous arrests of terrorist suspects, augmented the size of its special terrorism detachmentGroupement des Forces Anti-Terroristes(GFAT) in the country’s north, and joined the newly-created G5 Sahel Joint Force to fight terrorism and criminal trafficking groups with regional neighbors Chad, Mali, Mauritania, and Niger. In 2017, the Sahara Branch of al-Qa’ida in the Islamic Maghreb, al-Murabitoun, Ansar al-Dine, and the Macina Liberation Front came together to form Jama’at Nusrat al-Islam wal-Muslimin (JNIM). JNIM and other groups like Ansarul Islam and ISIS in the Greater Sahara operate in Burkina Faso. Burkina Faso's high population growth, recurring drought, pervasive and perennial food insecurity, and limited natural resources result in poor economic prospects for the majority of its citizens. (2019)



Western Africa, north of Ghana

Geographic coordinates

13 00 N, 2 00 W

Map references



total: 274,200 sq km
land: 273,800 sq km
water: 400 sq km
country comparison to the world: 76

Area - comparative

slightly larger than Colorado

Land boundaries

total: 3,611 km
border countries (6): Benin 386 km, Cote d'Ivoire 545 km, Ghana 602 km, Mali 1325 km, Niger 622 km, Togo 131 km


0 km(landlocked)

Maritime claims

none (landlocked)


three climate zones including a hot tropical savanna with a short rainy season in the southern half, a tropical hot semi-arid steppe climate typical of the Sahel region in the northern half, and small area of hot desert in the very north of the country bordering the Sahara Desert


Mostly flat to dissected, undulating plains; hills in the west and southeast.  Occupies an extensive plateau with savanna that is grassy in the north and gradually gives way to sparse forests in the south. (2019)


mean elevation: 297 m
lowest point: Mouhoun (Black Volta) River 200 m
highest point: Tena Kourou 749 m

Natural resources

gold (4th largest gold producer in Africa), manganese, zinc, limestone, marble, phosphates, pumice, salt (2018)

Land use

agricultural land: 44.2% (2016 est.)
arable land: 22% (2016 est.)/permanent crops: 37% (2016 est.)/permanent pasture: 21.93% (2016 est.)
forest: 19.3% (2016 est.)
other: 36.5% (2016 est.)

Irrigated land

550 sq km (2016)

Population distribution

Most of the population is located in the center and south. Nearly 31 percent of the population lives in cities. The capital and largest city is Ouagadougou (Ouaga), with a population of 1.8 million.  (2019)

Natural hazards

recurring droughts

Environment - current issues

recent droughts and desertification severely affecting agricultural activities, population distribution, and the economy; overgrazing; soil degradation; deforestation (2019)

Environment - international agreements

party to: Biodiversity, Climate Change, Climate Change-Paris Agreement, Desertification, Endangered Species, Hazardous Wastes, Law of the Sea, Marine Life Conservation, Ozone Layer Protection, Wetlands (2019)
signed, but not ratified: none of the selected agreements (2019)

Geography - note

landlocked savanna cut by the three principal rivers of the Black, Red, and White Voltas

People and Society


19,742,715 (July 2018 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
country comparison to the world: 61


noun: Burkinabe (singular and plural)
adjective: Burkinabe

Ethnic groups

Mossi 52%, Fulani 8.4%, Gurma 7%, Bobo 4.9%, Gurunsi 4.6%, Senufo 4.5%, Bissa 3.7%, Lobi 2.4%, Dagara 2.4%, Tuareg/Bella 1.9%, Dioula 0.8%, unspecified/no answer 0.3%, other 7.2% (2010 est.)


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


Muslim 61.5%, Roman Catholic 23.3%, traditional/animist 7.8%, Protestant 6.5%, other/no answer 0.2%, none 0.7% (2010 est.)

Demographic profile

Burkina Faso has a young age structure – the result of declining mortality combined with steady high fertility – and continues to experience rapid population growth, which is putting increasing pressure on the country’s limited arable land. More than 65% of the population is under the age of 25, and the population is growing at 3% annually. Mortality rates, especially those of infants and children, have decreased because of improved health care, hygiene, and sanitation, but women continue to have an average of almost 6 children. Even if fertility were substantially reduced, today’s large cohort entering their reproductive years would sustain high population growth for the foreseeable future. Only about a third of the population is literate and unemployment is widespread, dampening the economic prospects of Burkina Faso’s large working-age population.Migration has traditionally been a way of life for Burkinabe, with seasonal migration being replaced by stints of up to two years abroad. Cote d’Ivoire remains the top destination, although it has experienced periods of internal conflict. Under French colonization, Burkina Faso became a main labor source for agricultural and factory work in Cote d’Ivoire. Burkinabe also migrated to Ghana, Mali, and Senegal for work between the world wars. Burkina Faso attracts migrants from Cote d’Ivoire, Ghana, and Mali, who often share common ethnic backgrounds with the Burkinabe. Despite its food shortages and high poverty rate, Burkina Faso has become a destination for refugees in recent years and hosts about 33,500 Malians as of May 2017. (2018)

Age structure

0-14 years: 44.28%(male 4,434,908 /female 4,307,438)
15-24 years: 20.19%(male 1,980,755 /female 2,004,763)
25-54 years: 28.82%(male 2,639,235 /female 3,051,333)
55-64 years: 3.55%(male 304,642 /female 396,072)
65 years and over: 3.16%(male 273,031 /female 350,538) (2018 est.)
population pyramid:

Descriptive text is not available for this image

Dependency ratios

total dependency ratio: 92.2 (2015 est.)
youth dependency ratio: 87.6 (2015 est.)
elderly dependency ratio: 4.6 (2015 est.)
potential support ratio: 21.6 (2015 est.)

Median age

total: 17.4 years (2018 est.)
male: 16.6 years
female: 18.2 years
country comparison to the world: 218

Population growth rate

2.76% (2018 est.)
country comparison to the world: 12

Birth rate

36.9 births/1,000 population (2018 est.)
country comparison to the world: 14

Death rate

8.7 deaths/1,000 population (2018 est.)
country comparison to the world: 72

Net migration rate

-0.7 migrant(s)/1,000 population (2018 est.)
country comparison to the world: 132

Population distribution

Most of the population is located in the center and south. Nearly 31 percent of the population lives in cities. The capital and largest city is Ouagadougou (Ouaga), with a population of 1.8 million.  (2019)


urban population: 30% of total population(2019)
rate of urbanization: 4.99% annual rate of change(2015-20 est.)

Major urban areas - population

2.653 million OUAGADOUGOU (capital), 924,000 Bobo-Dioulasso (2019)

Sex ratio

at birth: 1.03 male(s)/female
0-14 years: 1.03 male(s)/female
15-24 years: 0.99 male(s)/female
25-54 years: 0.86 male(s)/female
55-64 years: 0.77 male(s)/female
65 years and over: 0.78 male(s)/female
total population: 0.95 male(s)/female (2018 est.)

Mother's mean age at first birth

19.4 years (2010 est.)
note: median age at first birth among women 25-29

Maternal mortality rate

320 deaths/100,000 live births (2017 est.)
country comparison to the world: 34

Infant mortality rate

total: 54.7 deaths/1,000 live births (2018 est.)
male: 59.2 deaths/1,000 live births
female: 50 deaths/1,000 live births
country comparison to the world: 21

Life expectancy at birth

total population: 61.8 years (2018 est.)
male: 60.1 years
female: 63.6 years
country comparison to the world: 202

Total fertility rate

4.77 children born/woman (2018 est.)
country comparison to the world: 19

Contraceptive prevalence rate

31.7% (2017/18)

Drinking water source

improved: urban: 97.5% of population (2015 est.)
rural: 75.8% of population
total: 82.3% of population
unimproved: urban: 2.5% of population
rural: 24.2% of population
total: 17.7% of population (2015 est.)

Current Health Expenditure

6.8% (2016)

Physicians density

0.06 physicians/1,000 population (2016)

Hospital bed density

0.4 beds/1,000 population (2010)

Sanitation facility access

improved: urban: 50.4% of population (2015 est.)
rural: 6.7% of population (2015 est.)
total: 19.7% of population (2015 est.)
unimproved: urban: 49.6% of population (2015 est.)
rural: 93.3% of population (2015 est.)
total: 80.3% of population (2015 est.)

HIV/AIDS - adult prevalence rate

0.7% (2018 est.)
country comparison to the world: 56

HIV/AIDS - people living with HIV/AIDS

96,000 (2018 est.)
country comparison to the world: 44

HIV/AIDS - deaths

3,300 (2018 est.)
country comparison to the world: 34

Major infectious diseases

degree of risk: very high (2019)
food or waterborne diseases: bacterial and protozoal diarrhea, hepatitis A, and typhoid fever (2019)
vectorborne diseases: dengue fever and malaria (2019)
water contact diseases: schistosomiasis (2019)
animal contact diseases: rabies (2019)
respiratory diseases: meningococcal meningitis (2019)

Obesity - adult prevalence rate

5.6% (2016)
country comparison to the world: 175

Children under the age of 5 years underweight

16.2% (2017)
country comparison to the world: 38

Education expenditures

4.2% of GDP (2015)
country comparison to the world: 92


definition: age 15 and over can read and write
total population: 36%
male: 43%
female: 29.3% (2015)

School life expectancy (primary to tertiary education)

total: 9 years
male: 9 years
female: 9 years (2017)

Unemployment, youth ages 15-24

total: 8.7%
male: 5.3%
female: 12.6%
country comparison to the world: 136


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
etymology: name translates as "Land of the Honest (Incorruptible) Men"

Government type

presidential republic


name: Ouagadougou
geographic coordinates: 12 22 N, 1 31 W
time difference: UTC 0 (5 hours ahead of Washington, DC, during Standard Time)
etymology: Ouagadougou is a Francophone spelling of the native name "Wogodogo," meaning "where people get honor and respect"

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


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


history: several previous; latest approved by referendum 2 June 1991, adopted 11 June 1991, temporarily suspended late October to mid-November 2014; initial draft of a new constitution to usher in the new republic was completed in January 2017 and a final draft was submitted to the government in December 2017; a constitutional referendum originally scheduled for adoption in March 2019 was postponed until 2020
amendments: proposed by the president, by a majority of National Assembly membership, or by petition of at least 30,000 eligible voters submitted to the Assembly; passage requires at least three-fourths majority vote in the Assembly; failure to meet that threshold requires majority voter approval in a referendum; constitutional provisions on the form of government, the multiparty system, and national sovereignty cannot be amended; amended several times, last in 2012 (2019)

Legal system

civil law based on the French model and customary law; in mid-2019, the National Assembly amended the penal code

International law organization participation

has not submitted an ICJ jurisdiction declaration; accepts ICCt jurisdiction


citizenship by birth: no
citizenship by descent only: at least one parent must be a citizen of Burkina Faso
dual citizenship recognized: yes
residency requirement for naturalization: 10 years


18 years of age; universal

Executive branch

chief of state: President Roch Marc Christian KABORE (since 29 December 2015)
head of government: Prime Minister Christophe DABIRE (since 24 January 2019)
cabinet: Council of Ministers appointed by the president on the recommendation of the prime minister
elections/appointments: president elected by absolute majority popular vote in 2 rounds if needed for a 5-year term (eligible for a second); election last held on 29 November 2015 (next to be held November 2020); prime minister appointed by the president with consent of the National Assembly
election results: Roch Marc Christian KABORE elected president in first round; percent of vote - Roch Marc Christian KABORE (MPP) 53.5%, Zephirin DIABRE (UPC) 29.6%, Tahirou BARRY (PAREN) 3.1%, Benewende Stanislas SANKARA (UNIR-MS) 2.8%, other 10.9%

Legislative branch

description: unicameral National Assembly (127 seats; members directly elected in multi-seat constituencies by party-list proportional representation vote to serve 5-year terms)
elections: last held on 29 November 2015 (next to be held in November 2020)
election results: percent of vote by party - NA; seats by party - MPP 55, UPC 33, CDP 18, Union for Rebirth-Sankarist Party 5, ADF/RDA 3, NTD 3, other 10; composition - men 115, women 12, percent of women 9.4%

Judicial branch

highest courts: Supreme Court of Appeals or Cour de Cassation (consists of NA judges); Council of State (consists of NA judges); Constitutional Council or Conseil Constitutionnel (consists of the council president and 9 members)
judge selection and term of office: Supreme Court judge appointments mostly controlled by the president of Burkina Faso; judges have no term limits; Council of State judge appointment and tenure NA; Constitutional Council judges appointed by the president of Burkina Faso upon the proposal of the minister of justice and the president of the National Assembly; judges appointed for 9-year terms with one-third of membership 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 Noel OUEDRAOGO]
African People’s Movement or MAP [Victorien TOUGOUMA]
Congress for Democracy and Progress or CDP [Eddie KOMBOIGO]
Le Faso Autrement [Ablasse OUEDRAOGO]
New Alliance of the Faso or NAFA [Mahamoudou DICKO]
New Time for Democracy or NTD [Vincent DABILGOU]
Organization for Democracy and Work or ODT [Anatole BONKOUNGOU]
Party for Development and Change or PDC [Aziz SEREME]
Party for Democracy and Progress-Socialist Party or PDP-PS [Drabo TORO]
Party for Democracy and Socialism/Metba or PDS/Metba [Philippe OUEDRAOGO]
Party for National Renaissance or PAREN [Michel BERE]
People's Movement for Progress or MPP [Simon COMPAORE]
Rally for Democracy and Socialism or RDS [Francois OUEDRAOGO]
Rally for the Development of Burkina or RDB [Celestin Saidou COMPAORE]
Rally of Ecologists of Burkina Faso or RDEB [Adama SERE]
Soleil d’Avenir [Abdoulaye SOMA]
Union for a New Burkina or UBN [Diemdioda DICKO]
Union for Progress and Change or UPC [Zephirin DIABRE]
Union for Rebirth - Sankarist Party or UNIR-MS [Benewende Stanislas SANKARA]
Union for the Republic or UPR [Toussaint Abel COULIBALY]
Youth Alliance for the Republic and Independence or AJIR [Adama KANAZOE]

International organization participation


Diplomatic representation in the US

Ambassador Seydou KABORE (since 18 January 2017)
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 Andrew YOUNG (since 1 December 2016)
telephone: [226] 25-49-53-00
embassy: Rue 15.873, Avenue Sembene Ousmane, Ouaga 2000, Secteur 15
mailing address: 01 B. P. 35, Ouagadougou 01; pouch mail - US Department of State, 2440 Ouagadougou Place, Washington, DC 20521-2440
FAX: [226] 25-49-56-28

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 symbol(s)

white stallion; national colors: red, yellow, green

National anthem

name: "Le Ditanye" (Anthem of Victory)
lyrics/music: Thomas SANKARA
note: adopted 1974; also known as "Une Seule Nuit" (One Single Night); written by the country's former president, an avid guitar player


Economy - overview

Burkina Faso is a poor, landlocked country that depends on adequate rainfall. Irregular patterns of rainfall, poor soil, and the lack of adequate communications and other infrastructure contribute to the economy’s vulnerability to external shocks. About 80% of the population is engaged in subsistence farming and cotton is the main cash crop. The country has few natural resources and a weak industrial base.Cotton and gold are Burkina Faso’s key exports - gold has accounted for about three-quarters of the country’s total export revenues. Burkina Faso’s economic growth and revenue depends largely on production levels and global prices for the two commodities. The country has seen an upswing in gold exploration, production, and exports.In 2016, the government adopted a new development strategy, set forth in the 2016-2020 National Plan for Economic and Social Development, that aims to reduce poverty, build human capital, and to satisfy basic needs. A new three-year IMF program (2018-2020), approved in 2018, will allow the government to reduce the budget deficit and preserve critical spending on social services and priority public investments.While the end of the political crisis has allowed Burkina Faso’s economy to resume positive growth, the country’s fragile security situation could put these gains at risk. Political insecurity in neighboring Mali, unreliable energy supplies, and poor transportation links pose long-term challenges.

GDP (purchasing power parity)

$35.85 billion (2017 est.)
$33.69 billion (2016 est.)
$31.81 billion (2015 est.)
note: data are in 2017 dollars
country comparison to the world: 126

GDP (official exchange rate)

$12.57 billion (2017 est.)

GDP - real growth rate

6.4% (2017 est.)
5.9% (2016 est.)
3.9% (2015 est.)
country comparison to the world: 31

GDP - per capita (PPP)

$1,900 (2017 est.)
$1,800 (2016 est.)
$1,800 (2015 est.)
note: data are in 2017 dollars
country comparison to the world: 211

Gross national saving

9.3% of GDP (2017 est.)
8.5% of GDP (2016 est.)
5.3% of GDP (2015 est.)
country comparison to the world: 164

GDP - composition, by end use

household consumption: 56.5% (2017 est.)
government consumption: 23.9% (2017 est.)
investment in fixed capital: 24.6% (2017 est.)
investment in inventories: 1% (2017 est.)
exports of goods and services: 28.4% (2017 est.)
imports of goods and services: -34.4% (2017 est.)

GDP - composition, by sector of origin

agriculture: 31% (2017 est.)
industry: 23.9% (2017 est.)
services: 44.9% (2017 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

10.4% (2017 est.)
country comparison to the world: 14

Labor force

8.501 million (2016 est.)
note: a large part of the male labor force migrates annually to neighboring countries for seasonal employment
country comparison to the world: 60

Labor force - by occupation

agriculture: 90%
industry and services: 10% (2000 est.)

Unemployment rate

77% (2004)
country comparison to the world: 218

Population below poverty line

40.1% (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)
48.2 (1994)
country comparison to the world: 70


revenues: 2.666 billion (2017 est.)
expenditures: 3.655 billion (2017 est.)

Taxes and other revenues

21.2% (of GDP) (2017 est.)
country comparison to the world: 143

Budget surplus (+) or deficit (-)

-7.9% (of GDP) (2017 est.)
country comparison to the world: 198

Public debt

38.1% of GDP (2017 est.)
38.3% of GDP (2016 est.)
country comparison to the world: 136

Fiscal year

calendar year

Inflation rate (consumer prices)

0.4% (2017 est.)
-0.2% (2016 est.)
country comparison to the world: 22

Central bank discount rate

4.25% (31 December 2010)
4.25% (31 December 2009)
country comparison to the world: 88

Commercial bank prime lending rate

5.3% (31 December 2017 est.)
5.3% (31 December 2016 est.)
country comparison to the world: 141

Stock of narrow money

$3.357 billion (31 December 2017 est.)
$2.602 billion (31 December 2016 est.)
country comparison to the world: 119

Stock of broad money

$3.357 billion (31 December 2017 est.)
$2.602 billion (31 December 2016 est.)
country comparison to the world: 124

Stock of domestic credit

$4.409 billion (31 December 2017 est.)
$3.301 billion (31 December 2016 est.)
country comparison to the world: 130

Market value of publicly traded shares


Current account balance

-$1.019 billion (2017 est.)
-$820 million (2016 est.)
country comparison to the world: 143


$3.14 billion (2017 est.)
$2.641 billion (2016 est.)
country comparison to the world: 129

Exports - partners

Switzerland 44.9%, India 15.6%, South Africa 11.3%, Cote d'Ivoire 4.9% (2017)

Exports - commodities

gold, cotton, livestock


$3.305 billion (2017 est.)
$2.827 billion (2016 est.)
country comparison to the world: 145

Imports - commodities

capital goods, foodstuffs, petroleum

Imports - partners

China 13.2%, Cote d'Ivoire 9.5%, US 8.2%, Thailand 8.1%, France 6.5%, Ghana 4.4%, Togo 4.4%, India 4.3% (2017)

Reserves of foreign exchange and gold

$49 million (31 December 2017 est.)
$50.9 million (31 December 2016 est.)
country comparison to the world: 186

Debt - external

$3.056 billion (31 December 2017 est.)
$2.88 billion (31 December 2016 est.)
country comparison to the world: 142

Exchange rates

Communaute Financiere Africaine francs (XOF) per US dollar -
605.3 (2017 est.)
593.01 (2016 est.)
593.01 (2015 est.)
591.45 (2014 est.)
494.42 (2013 est.)


Electricity access

electrification - total population: 19.2% (2016)
electrification - urban areas: 60.7% (2016)
electrification - rural areas: 0.8% (2016)

Electricity - production

990 million kWh (2016 est.)
country comparison to the world: 152

Electricity - consumption

1.551 billion kWh (2016 est.)
country comparison to the world: 148

Electricity - exports

0 kWh (2016 est.)
country comparison to the world: 112

Electricity - imports

630 million kWh (2016 est.)
country comparison to the world: 77

Electricity - installed generating capacity

342,400 kW (2016 est.)
country comparison to the world: 153

Electricity - from fossil fuels

80% of total installed capacity (2016 est.)
country comparison to the world: 82

Electricity - from nuclear fuels

0% of total installed capacity (2017 est.)
country comparison to the world: 57

Electricity - from hydroelectric plants

9% of total installed capacity (2017 est.)
country comparison to the world: 117

Electricity - from other renewable sources

12% of total installed capacity (2017 est.)
country comparison to the world: 72

Crude oil - production

0 bbl/day (2018 est.)
country comparison to the world: 116

Crude oil - exports

0 bbl/day (2015 est.)
country comparison to the world: 100

Crude oil - imports

0 bbl/day (2015 est.)
country comparison to the world: 102

Crude oil - proved reserves

0 bbl (1 January 2018 est.)
country comparison to the world: 112

Refined petroleum products - production

0 bbl/day (2015 est.)
country comparison to the world: 124

Refined petroleum products - consumption

23,000 bbl/day (2016 est.)
country comparison to the world: 132

Refined petroleum products - exports

0 bbl/day (2015 est.)
country comparison to the world: 136

Refined petroleum products - imports

23,580 bbl/day (2015 est.)
country comparison to the world: 110

Natural gas - production

0 cu m (2017 est.)
country comparison to the world: 110

Natural gas - consumption

0 cu m (2017 est.)
country comparison to the world: 126

Natural gas - exports

0 cu m (2017 est.)
country comparison to the world: 75

Natural gas - imports

0 cu m (2017 est.)
country comparison to the world: 98

Natural gas - proved reserves

0 cu m (1 January 2014 est.)
country comparison to the world: 116

Carbon dioxide emissions from consumption of energy

3.421 million Mt (2017 est.)
country comparison to the world: 142


Telephones - fixed lines

total subscriptions: 76,000
subscriptions per 100 inhabitants: less than 1 (2017 est.)
country comparison to the world: 145

Telephones - mobile cellular

total subscriptions: 17,946,375
subscriptions per 100 inhabitants: 89 (2017 est.)
country comparison to the world: 62

Telephone system

general assessment: system includes microwave radio relay, open-wire, and radiotelephone communication stations; with slow regulatory procedures, insufficient mobile spectrum, and poor condition of fixed-line networks the development of fixed-line Internet services leave Burkina Faso with some of the most expensive telecommunications globally; mobile telephony has experienced growth, but below the African average; Burkina Faso joins G5 Sahel countries to stop roaming fees by 2019; govt proposes technology-neutral licenses to boost mobile broadband connectivity (2018)
domestic: fixed-line connections stand at less than 1 per 100 persons; mobile-cellular usage 91.4 per 100, with multiple providers there is competition and the hope for growth from a low base; Internet penetration is 11% countrywide, but higher in urban areas (2018)
international: country code - 226; satellite earth station - 1 Intelsat (Atlantic Ocean)

Broadcast media

since the official inauguration of Terrestrial Digital Television (TNT) in December 2017, Burkina Faso now has 14 digital TV channels among which 2 are state-owned; there are more than 140 radio stations (commercial, religious, community) available throughout the country including a national and regional state-owned network; the state-owned Radio Burkina and the private Radio Omega are among the most widespread stations and both include broadcasts in French and local languages (2019)

Internet country code


Internet users

total: 2,723,950
percent of population: 14% (July 2016 est.)
country comparison to the world: 98

Broadband - fixed subscriptions

total: 14,067
subscriptions per 100 inhabitants: less than 1 (2017 est.)
country comparison to the world: 164

Military and Security

Military expenditures

2.06% of GDP (2018)
1.43% of GDP (2017)
1.23% of GDP (2016)
1.33% of GDP (2015)
1.43% of GDP (2014)
country comparison to the world: 48

Military and security forces

Armed Forces of Burkina Faso (FABF): Army, Central Army Group (joint logistics command), Air Force of Burkina Faso (Force Aerienne de Burkina Faso, FABF), National Gendarmerie, National Fire Brigade (Brigade Nationale des Sapeurs-Pompiers, BNSP) (2019)

Military service age and obligation

18 years of age for voluntary military service; no conscription; women may serve in supporting roles (2013)


National air transport system

number of registered air carriers: 1 (2015)
inventory of registered aircraft operated by air carriers: 3 (2015)
annual passenger traffic on registered air carriers: 122,589 (2015)
annual freight traffic on registered air carriers: 55,868mt-km (2015)

Civil aircraft registration country code prefix

XT (2016)


23 (2013)
country comparison to the world: 134

Airports - with paved runways

total: 2 (2019)
over 3,047 m: 1
2,438 to 3,047 m: 1

Airports - with unpaved runways

total: 21 (2013)
1,524 to 2,437 m: 3 (2013)
914 to 1,523 m: 13 (2013)
under 914 m: 5 (2013)


total: 622 km (2014)
narrow gauge: 622 km1.000-m gauge (2014)
note: another 660 km of this railway extends into Cote d'Ivoire
country comparison to the world: 108


total: 15,304 km (2014)
paved: 3,642 km (2014)
unpaved: 11,662 km (2014)
country comparison to the world: 122


Terrorist groups - home based

Ansarul Islam: aim(s): to end government control in parts of the north of the country and enforce sharia in the area of the ancient Fulani Empire of Djeelgodji
area(s) of operation:
targets Burkinabe security forces and civilians primarily in the country's northern Sahel Region (along the border with Mali) (2019)
Islamic State of Iraq and ash-sham networks in the Greater Sahara (ISGS): aim(s): replace regional governments with an Islamic state
area(s) of operation:
mostly concentrated in the Mali-Burkina Faso-Niger tri-border region; targets primarily security forces

Terrorist groups - foreign based

al-Mulathamun Battalion: aim(s): replace several African governments, including Burkina Faso's government, with an Islamic state
area(s) of operation:
engages in kidnappings for ransom and violent activities across the country, including in the capital Ouagadougou

al-Qa'ida-affiliated Jama'at Nusrat al-Islam wal-Muslimin (JNIM): aim(s): establish an Islamic state centered in Mali
area(s) of operation:
primarily based in northern and central Mali; targets Western and local interests in West Africa and Sahel; has claimed responsibility for attacks in Mali, Niger, and Burkina Faso
note: JNIM is an umbrella coalition of al-Qaeda-aligned groups, including Ansar al-Dine, al-Qa'ida in the Islamic Maghreb, al-Mouabitoun, and the Macina Liberation Front; it conducts attacks, assassinations, and improvised explosive device (IED) attacks on UN, French, and local security forces (2019)

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): 25,492 (Mali) (2019)
IDPs: 486,360 (2019)

Trafficking in persons

current situation: Burkina Faso is a source, transit, and destination country for women and children subjected to forced labor and sex trafficking; Burkinabe children are forced to work as farm hands, gold panners and washers, street vendors, domestic servants, and beggars or in the commercial sex trade, with some transported to nearby countries; to a lesser extent, Burkinabe women are recruited for legitimate jobs in the Middle East or Europe and subsequently forced into prostitution; women from other West African countries are also lured to Burkina Faso for work and subjected to forced prostitution, forced labor in restaurants, or domestic servitude
tier rating: Tier 2 Watch List – Burkina Faso does not fully comply with the minimum standards for the elimination of trafficking; however, it is making significant efforts to do so; law enforcement efforts decreased in 2014, with a significant decline in trafficking prosecutions (none for forced begging involving Koranic school teachers – a prevalent form of trafficking) and no convictions, a 2014 law criminalizing the sale of children, child prostitution, and child pornography is undermined by a provision allowing offenders to pay a fine in lieu of serving prison time proportionate to the crime; the government sustained efforts to identify and protect a large number of child victims, relying on support from NGOs and international organizations; nationwide awareness-raising activities were sustained, but little was done to stop forced begging (2015)

Flag of Burkina Faso

Descriptive text is not available for this image