COUNTRIES BRIEFS Newsletter ISSN 1563-4108

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Burkina-Faso's embassy in the States THE REPUBLIC OF BURKINA-FASO - BRIEFS

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Burkina Faso, which means "The Homeland of the Proud People",
used to be known as Upper Volta until 1984. The country is
landlocked and expands over an area of 274,200 sq km. It has a population of: 11,946,065 (July 2000); 13,228,460 (July 2003 est.) with a growth rate of: 2.71%

Its bordering neighbors are Niger in the North-East over 628 km; Benin in the South-East over 306 km; Togo in the South-East over 126 km; Ghana in the South over 548 km; Ivory Coast in the South-West over 584 km; and Mali alongside the western and northern borders over 1,000km.

Independence from France:August 5, 1960
National holiday:Anniversary of the Revolution:August 4, (1983)

Burkina Faso has a hard working peasantry; many of whom emigrated as early as the 30-40's to surrounding countries - Ivory Coast in particular - for lack of arable land - only 13% of the territory; they played a prominent role in the development of cash agriculture in said countries.

About 85% of the population is engaged in subsistence agriculture, which is highly vulnerable to variations in rainfall. The main productions are:peanuts, shea nuts, sesame, cotton, sorghum, millet, corn, rice; livestock.

Industrial production rate is very low - in the range of 4% per year - and deals with cotton lint, beverages, agricultural processing, soap, cigarettes, textiles, gold.

Burkina's government has some hope with the development of the zinc mine of Perkoa which deposit was discovered in the early 1980's and has been drilled extensively.

In terms of metal content, this is one of the larger volcanogenic massive sulphide bodies known, with drill-indicated resources totaling 7 million tons grading 17.6% zinc
(1.2 million tons of zinc metal) at a 10% Zn cutoff. The lower orebody contains the bulk of the ore resource at a grade in excess of 19% Zn.

The country is endowed with other natural resources: manganese, limestone, marble; small deposits of gold, antimony, copper, nickel, bauxite, lead, phosphates, silver.

Compaore's party - Congress For Democracy And Progress - lost his overwhelming majority in the national parliament during the ballot of May 5, 2002. The party seats dwindled from 104 (out of 111) to 57. The balance of seats is now spread amongst 12 other parties. The "victory" of the opposition will doubtless makes it more difficult for the ruling party to quell down the persisting political crisis due to the mishandling of the investigation into the assassination on December 13, 1998 of a newspaper editor/ investigator - Norbert ZONGO.

On April 20, 2004, the national assembly votes for the change to the electoral code by 63 out of 111 members of parliament. Most of the opposition parties boycotted the vote fearing that it will clear the way for another term in office for President Blaise Compaore in elections scheduled for November 2005.

The new electoral code will see the electoral unit of Burkina Faso changed from the region of which there are 15, to the province, which number 45. The opposition says that this gives the government an unfair advantage as it will be impossible for them to field candidates and polling observers in all of the 45 electoral units.

The next presidential November 2005 polls will be Blaise Compaore's third successive presidential election. Compaore secured resounding victories in 1991 when he stood unopposed and again in 1998 when he secured 87% of the vote.

The political crisis in Ivory Coast is exercising a heavy negative impact on Burkina Faso's economy. The direct railway link from city of Bobo Dioulasso to the port of Abidjan (Cote d'Ivoire) is idle since the beginning of the crisis in Ivory Coast on September 19, 2002; and Burkina Faso is obliged to reorganize its export import route through the ports of Tema (Ghana), Lome (Togo) and even further to Cotonou (Benin). Year 2003's national budget showed a deficit nearing FCFA 58 billion due to the Ivorian crisis. The same gap is estimated for year 2004. Click here for Currency equivalence.


1- D&B Export Guide To Burkina Faso
Digital Delivery by D&B
2- The Mossi
Chiefs, Politicians And Soldiers
by Eliott P. Skinner
3- Endangering Development
Politics, Projects And Environment
by Lars Engberg-Pedersen
4- On The Move
Mobility, Land Use And Livlihood Practices
In The Central Plateau of Burkina Faso
by Mark Breusers
6- Bonds And Boundaries
In Northern Ghana And Southern Burkina Faso
by Universitatis Upsaliensis
6- More News On Burkina Faso
by Yahoo!

Click to contact Dr. Bienvenu-Magloire Quenum



GNP: :
US$ 2.440 billion (2001); 2.544 billion (2002 est.)
GNP-growth rate: 5 % (2000); 5.7 % (2001); 4.7 %(2003 est.)
GNP-per capita: US$ 335 (1999); 338 (2000); 340 (2003)

Click here for the difference between GNP and Parity Purchasing Power

GNP-composition by sector

  1. agriculture: 31%

  2. industry: 228%
  3. services: 41% (2000)

Exports: US$ 225 million (f.o.b., 2001); 250 million f.o.b. (2002 est.)
Commodities: cotton, animal products, gold
Imports: US$ 620 million (f.o.b., 2001); 525 million f.o.b. (2002 est.)
Commodities: machinery, food products, petroleum

Burkina Faso is rated amongst one of the poorest country in the world; but has the potential for a sustained growth as there is a hard working, perseverant core of people ready to perform to the utmost if good guidance is provided. In addition to the natural resources above mentioned, there are opportunities for for investment in tourism and agribusiness.



A passport - valid for at least 6 months after intended period of stay - and a visa are required for most nationalities. To get more information contact

Direction du Tourisme et de l'Hôtellerie
01 BP 624, Ouagadougou 01, Burkina Faso
Tel: +(226) 306399
Fax: +(226) 306399

Honorary Consulate of Burkina Faso
5 Cinnamon Row, Plantation Wharf, London, SW11 3TW
Tel: +(44) 171 7381800
Fax: +(44) 171 7382820

Embassy of Burkina Faso
48 Range Road, Ottawa, Ontario K1N 8J4
Tel: +(1) 613 2384796
Fax: +(1) 613 2383812

Embassy of Burkina Faso
2340 Massachusetts Avenue, NW, Washington, DC 20008
Tel: +(1) 202 332.5577/6895
Fax: +(1) 202 6671882

Website: Click here


The national airport of Ouagadougou is serviced by many international airlines:

From Europe: Air-France,

From Africa: Air-Burkina, Air-Ivoire.

Transshipping of imported and exported goods are done through the ports of Cotonou (Benin); Abidjan (Ivory Coast) and Lomé (Togo)


Ministry of Commerce and Industry
Immeuble 15 Octobre
Rue de l'Indépendance
01 B.P. 514
Ouagadougou 01
Tel: +(226) 32-47-86
+(226) 32-47-99
Fax: +(226) 31-45-86

External Trade Office
Office National du Commerce Extérieur - ONAC

Avenue Léo Frobénus
01 B.P. 386
Ouagadougou 01
Tel: +(226) 30-62-23
+(226) 31-13-00
Fax: +(226) 31-14-69

Chamber of Commerce and Industry - CCIAB
Immeuble CCIAB
Avenue Nelson Mandela
01 B.P. 502
Ouagadougou 01
Tel: +(226) 30-61-14 / 15
Fax: +(226) 30-61-16

Website: Click here

Permanent Secretary of the Decommissioning Office
Commission de Privatisation

Avenue K. N'Krumah
01 B.P. 6451
Ouagadougou 01
Tel: +(226) 33-58-93
Fax: +(226) 30-77-41

Website: Click here

National Office of Tourism

01 B.P. 1311
Ouagadougou 01
Tel: +(226) 31-19-59
+(226) 31-19-60
Fax: +(226) 31-44-34

Click here to review funding available to rebuild power generation system

There are some hotels in Ouagadougou and Bobo Dioulasso equipped and serviced to international standard. Click here for more on hotels.

Hotel Sofitel
Tel: +(226) 30-01-76
+(226) 36-79-42
Tel: +(226) 35-60-05
Fax: +(226) 36-79-43

Website: Click here

Hotel Independence
Tel: +(226) 30-60-60
Fax: +(226) 30-67-67

Website: Click here

Le Relax Hotel
Tel: +(226) 31-32-31 / 33
Fax: +(226) 30-89-08

Website: Click here

Hotel les manguiers
Tel: +(226) 30-03-70
Fax: +(226) 30-03-75

Website: Click here

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