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Burkina Faso
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Capital City: Ouagadougou


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Introduction

Burkina Faso

Background:  Independence from France came to Burkina Faso (formerly
Upper Volta) in 1960.  Governmental instability during the 1970s and 1980s
was followed by multiparty elections in the early 1990s. Several hundred
thousand farm workers migrate south every year to Cote d'Ivoire and Ghana.

Geography Burkina Faso

Location:  Western Africa, north of Ghana

Geographic coordinates:  13 00 N, 2 00 W

Map references:  Africa

Area:  total: 274,200 sq km water: 400 sq km land: 273,800 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,
antimony, copper, nickel, bauxite, lead, phosphates, zinc, silver

Land use:  arable land: 13% permanent crops: 0% other: 87% (1998 est.)

Irrigated land:  250 sq km (1998 est.)

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, Desertification, Endangered Species, Hazardous Wastes, Marine Life
Conservation, Ozone Layer Protection, Wetlands signed, but not ratified:
Law of the Sea, Nuclear Test Ban

Geography - note:  landlocked savanna cut by the three principal rivers
of the Black, Red, and White Voltas

People Burkina Faso

Population:  12,603,185 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 and death rates, lower
population and growth rates, and changes in the distribution of population
by age and sex than would otherwise be expected (July 2002 est.)

Age structure:  0-14 years: 47.3% (male 3,007,675; female 2,960,697)
15-64 years: 49.8% (male 3,000,411; female 3,271,594) 65 years and over:
2.9% (male 151,976; female 210,832) (2002 est.)

Population growth rate:  2.64% (2002 est.)

Birth rate:  44.34 births/1,000 population (2002 est.)

Death rate:  17.07 deaths/1,000 population (2002 est.)

Net migration rate:  -0.84 migrant(s)/1,000 population (2002 est.)

Sex ratio:  at birth: 1.03 male(s)/female under 15 years: 1.02
male(s)/female 15-64 years: 0.92 male(s)/female 65 years and over:
0.72 male(s)/female total population: 0.96 male(s)/female (2002 est.)

Infant mortality rate:  105.3 deaths/1,000 live births (2002 est.)

Life expectancy at birth:   46.78 years (2002 est.)  male: Total fertility
rate:  6.26 children born/woman (2002 est.)

HIV/AIDS - adult prevalence rate:  6.44% (1999 est.)

HIV/AIDS - people living with HIV/AIDS:  350,000 (1999 est.)

HIV/AIDS - deaths:  43,000 (1999 est.)

Nationality:  noun: Burkinabe (singular and plural) adjective: Burkinabe

Ethnic groups:  Mossi over 40%, Gurunsi, Senufo, Lobi, Bobo, Mande, Fulani

Religions:  indigenous beliefs 40%, Muslim 50%, Christian (mainly Roman
Catholic) 10%

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

Literacy:  definition: age 15 and over can read and write total
population: 36% (2001) male: NA% female: NA%

Government Burkina Faso

Country name:   Burkina Faso former: Government type:  parliamentary
republic

Capital:  Ouagadougou

Administrative divisions:  30 provinces; Bam, Bazega, Bougouriba, Boulgou,
Boulkiemde, Ganzourgou, Gnagna, Gourma, Houe, Kadiogo, Kenedougou, Komoe,
Kossi, Kouritenga, Mouhoun, Namentenga, Naouri, Oubritenga, Oudalan,
Passore, Poni, Sanguie, Sanmatenga, Seno, Sissili, Soum, Sourou, Tapoa,
Yatenga, Zoundweogo note:  1997; the number of administrative provinces
was increased from 30 to 45 (Bale, Bam, Banwa, Bazega, Bougouriba,
Boulgou, Boulkiemde, Comoe, Ganzourgou, Gnagna, Gourma, Houet, Ioba,
Kadiogo, Kenedougou, Komandjari, Kompienga, Kossi, Koupelogo, Kouritenga,
Kourweogo, Leraba, Loroum, Mouhoun, Nahouri, Namentenga, Nayala, Naumbiel,
Oubritenga, Oudalan, Passore, Poni, Samentenga, Sanguie, Seno, Sissili,
Soum, Sourou, Tapoa, Tuy, Yagha, Yatenga, Ziro, Zondomo, Zoundweogo),
however, this change has not yet been confirmed by the US Board on
Geographic Names

Independence:  5 August 1960 (from France)

National holiday:  Republic Day, 11 December (1958)

Constitution:  2 June 1991 approved by referendum; 11 June 1991 formally
adopted

Legal system:  based on French civil law system and customary law

Suffrage:  universal

Executive branch:  chief of state: President Blaise COMPAORE (since 15
October 1987) head of government: Prime Minister Ernest Paramanga YONLI
(since 6 November 2000) cabinet: Council of Ministers appointed by the
president on the recommendation of the prime minister election results:
Blaise COMPAORE reelected president with 87.5% percent of the vote note:
recent charges against a former member of his Presidential Guard in the
1998 assassination of a newspaper editor signify an attempt to defuse
chronic areas of dissatisfaction elections: president elected by popular
vote for a five-year term; election last held 15 November 1998 (next to
be held NA 2005); in April 2000, the constitution was amended reducing
the presidential term from seven to five years, enforceable as of 2005,
and allowing the president to be reelected only once; it is unclear
whether this amendment will be applied retroactively or not; prime
minister appointed by the president with the consent of the legislature

Legislative branch:  unicameral National Assembly or Assemblee Nationale
(111 seats; members are elected by popular vote to serve five-year terms)
election results:  PDP/PS 10, CFD 5, PAI 5, others 17 elections: National
Assembly election last held 5 May 2002 (next to be held NA May 2007)

Judicial branch:  Supreme Court; Appeals Court

Political parties and leaders:  African Democratic Rally-Alliance for
Democracy and Federation or RDA-ADF [Herman YAMEOGO]; Confederation for
Federation and Democracy or CFD [Amadou Diemdioda DICKO]; Congress for
Democracy and Progress or CDP [Roch Marc-Christian KABORE]; Movement
for Tolerance and Progress or MTP [Noyabtigungu Congo KABORE]; Party for
African Independence or PAI [Philippe OUEDRAOGO]; Party for Democracy and
Progress or PDP [Joseph KI-ZERBO]; Union of Greens for the Development
of Burkina Faso or UVDB [Ram OVEDRAGO]

Political pressure groups and leaders:  Burkinabe General Confederation
of Labor or CGTB; Burkinabe Movement for Human Rights or MBDHP; Group
of 14 February; National Confederation of Burkinabe Workers or CNTB;
National Organization of Free Unions or ONSL; watchdog/political action
groups throughout the country in both organizations and communities

International organization participation:  ACCT, ACP, AfDB, CCC, ECA,
ECOWAS, Entente, FAO, FZ, G-77, IAEA, IBRD, ICAO, ICC, ICFTU, ICRM, IDA,
IDB, IFAD, IFC, IFRCS, ILO, IMF, Interpol, IOC, IOM, ISO (subscriber),
ITU, MONUC, NAM, OAU, OIC, OPCW, PCA, UN, UNCTAD, UNESCO, UNIDO, UPU,
WADB (regional), WAEMU, WCL, WFTU, WHO, WIPO, WMO, WToO, WTrO

Diplomatic representation in the US:  chief of mission: Ambassador Tertius
ZONGO chancery: 2340 Massachusetts Avenue NW, Washington, DC 20008 FAX:
[1] (202) 667-1882 telephone: [1] (202) 332-5577

Diplomatic representation from the US:  chief of mission: Ambassador
Jimmy J. KOLKER embassy: 2440 Ouagadougou
 01 B. P. 35, Ouagadougou 01 telephone:
Flag description:  two equal horizontal bands of red (top) and green with
a yellow five-pointed star in the center; uses the popular pan-African
colors of Ethiopia

Economy Burkina Faso

Economy - overview:  One of the poorest countries in the world,
landlocked Burkina Faso has a high population density, few natural
resources, and a fragile soil.  About 90% of the population is engaged
in (mainly subsistence) agriculture, which is highly vulnerable to
variations in rainfall.  Industry remains dominated by unprofitable
government-controlled corporations. Following the African franc currency
devaluation in January 1994 the government updated its development
program in conjunction with international agencies, and exports and
economic growth have increased. Maintenance of macroeconomic progress
depends on continued low inflation, reduction in the trade deficit,
and reforms designed to encourage private investment.

GDP:  purchasing power parity - $12.8 billion (2001 est.)

GDP - real growth rate:  4.7% (2001 est.)

GDP - per capita:  purchasing power parity - $1,040 (2001 est.)

GDP - composition by sector:  agriculture: 31% industry: 28% services:
41% (2000)

Population below poverty line:  45% (2001 est.)

Household income or consumption by percentage share:  lowest 10%: 2.2%
highest 10%: 39.5% (1994)

Distribution of family income - Gini index:  48.2 (1994)

Inflation rate (consumer prices):  3.5% (2001 est.)

Labor force:  5 million (1999) note: a large part of the male labor
force migrates annually to neighboring countries for seasonal employment

Labor force - by occupation:  agriculture 90% (2000 est.)

Unemployment rate:  NA%

Budget:  revenues: $316 million expenditures: $NA, including capital
expenditures of $NA (2001)

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

Industrial production growth rate:  14% (2001 est.)

Electricity - production:  282 million kWh (2000)

Electricity - production by source:  fossil fuel: 70.92% hydro: 29.08%
other: 0% (2000) nuclear: 0%

Electricity - consumption:  262.26 million kWh (2000)

Electricity - exports:  0 kWh (2000)

Electricity - imports:  0 kWh (2000)

Agriculture - products:  peanuts, shea nuts, sesame, cotton, sorghum,
millet, corn, rice; livestock

Exports:  $265 million (f.o.b., 2001 est.)

Exports - commodities:  cotton, animal products, gold

Exports - partners:  Venezuela 14.7%, Benelux 12.2%, Italy 9.6%, France
7.0% (2000)

Imports:  $580 million (f.o.b., 2001 est.)

Imports - commodities:  capital goods, food products, petroleum

Imports - partners:  Cote d'Ivoire 25.1%, Venezuela 23.4%, France 17.0%
(2000)

Debt - external:  $1.5 billion (1999)

Economic aid - recipient:  $484.1 million (1995)

Currency:  Communaute Financiere Africaine franc (XOF); note - responsible
authority is the Central Bank of the West African States

Currency code:  XOF

Exchange rates:  Communaute Financiere Africaine francs (XOF) per US
dollar - 742.79 (January 2002), 733.04 (2001), 711.98 (2000), 615.70
(1999), 589.95 (1998), 583.67 (1997); note - from 1 January 1999, the
XOF is pegged to the euro at a rate of 655.957 XOF per euro

Fiscal year:  calendar year

Communications Burkina Faso

Telephones - main lines in use:  53,200 (2000)

Telephones - mobile cellular:  25,200 (2000)

Telephone system:  general assessment: all services only fair domestic:
microwave radio relay, open wire, and radiotelephone communication
stations international: Radio broadcast stations:  AM 3, FM 17, shortwave
3 (2002)

Radios:  394,020 (2000)

Television broadcast stations:  1 (2001)

Televisions:  131,340 (2002)

Internet country code:  .bf

Internet Service Providers (ISPs):  4 (2001)

Internet users:  10,000 (2001)

Transportation Burkina Faso

Railways:  total: 622 km (517 km from Ouagadougou to the Cote d'Ivoire
border and 105 km from Ouagadougou to Kaya) narrow gauge: 622 km 1.000-m
gauge (1995 est.)

Highways:  total: 12,506 km paved: 2,001 km unpaved: 10,505 km (1996)

Waterways:  none

Ports and harbors:  none

Airports:  33 (2001)

Airports - with paved runways:  total: 2 over 3,047 m: 1 2,438 to 3,047 m:
1 (2001)

Airports - with unpaved runways:  total: 31 1,524 to 2,437 m: 3 914 to
1,523 m: 12 under 914 m: 16 (2001)

Military Burkina Faso

Military branches:  Army, Air Force, National Gendarmerie, National
Police, People's Militia

Military manpower - availability:  males age 15-49: 2,688,072 (2002 est.)

Military manpower - fit for military service:  males age 15-49: 1,379,010
(2002 est.)

Military expenditures - dollar figure:  $40.1 million (FY01)

Military expenditures - percent of GDP:  1.4% (FY01)

Transnational Issues Burkina Faso

Disputes - international:  two villages are in dispute with Benin

This page was last updated on 1 January 2002


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