Burkina Faso is a landlocked country in West Africa. It’s meaning is ‘Land of the Honorable People’. Its population by 2019 is estimated to be 20.90 million.
The capital is Ouagadougou and the currency is West African CFA franc.
A Kassena woman preparing a meal in Tiébélé.
The Burkina Faso kingdoms became a French protectorate in 1896. It was later established as Republic of Upper Volta, a self-governing colony on 11th December 1958. In 1960, Upper Volta received their independence with Maurice Yameogo as the first president, who was later overthrown by Sangoule Lamizana in 1966.
The leader of the leftist faction of Ouédraogo’s government, Thomas Sankara, was made Prime Minister but was later imprisoned. Efforts to free him led to the popularly-supported 1983 coup d’état, in which he became President. Sankara renamed the country Burkina Faso and launched an ambitious socioeconomic programme which included a nationwide literacy campaign, land redistribution to peasants, railway and road construction and the outlawing of female genital mutilation, forced marriages and polygamy. Sankara was overthrown and killed in the 1987 coup d’état led by Blaise Compaoré – deteriorating relations with former coloniser France and its ally the Ivory Coast were the reason given for the coup.
He became president and, after an alleged 1989 coup attempt, was later elected in 1991 and 1998, elections which were boycotted by the opposition and received a considerably low turnout, as well as in 2005. He remained head of state until he was ousted from power by the popular youth upheaval of 31 October 2014, after which he was exiled to the Ivory Coast. Michel Kafando subsequently became the transitional president of the country. On 16 September 2015, a military coup d’état against the Kafando government was carried out by the Regiment of Presidential Security, the former presidential guard of Compaoré. On 24 September 2015, after pressure from the African Union, ECOWAS and the armed forces, the military junta agreed to step down, and Michel Kafando was reinstated as acting president. In the general election held on 29 November 2015, Roch Marc Christian Kaboré won in the first round with 53.5% of the vote and was sworn in as President on 29 December 2015.
Burkina Faso is bounded by Mali to the north and west, Niger to the northeast, Benin to the southeast, and Côte d’Ivoire, Ghana, and Togo to the south.