World Travelling Guide
World Travelling Guide

Accommodation in Southern Africa and South Africa including accommodation in Western Cape, Eastern Cape, Northern Cape, Gauteng, Limpopo Province, North West Province, Free State, Kwazulu-Natal, Mpumalanga

List of Countries
Map of Africa

Burkina Faso Travelling Guide
Burkina Faso Travelling Guide

General 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.

Area comparative: Slightly larger than Colorado

Climate: Tropical; warm, dry winters; hot, wet summers

Terrain: Mostly flat to dissected, undulating plains; hills in west and southeast

Population: 12,603,185

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

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

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

Government type: Parliamentary republic

Capital: Ouagadougou

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

Economic 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.

Communication/Telephone system: All services only fair, microwave radio relay, open wire, and radiotelephone communication stations. Satellite earth station - 1 Intelsat (Atlantic Ocean).

Places of interest: Burkina Faso has become the Utah of West Africa, hosting a biennial film festival that rivals the Sundance Film Festival for cultural clout. When it's not hosting film festivals, it's busy organizing its other biennial cultural festival.

Travel tips: Known for their don't-worry-be-happy philosophy and reputation for hospitality; they have very few natural resources, but have managed to fashion a beautiful and culturally sophisticated country out of the little that they do have.