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Burkina Faso Country Info

General Burkina Faso Info

Burkina Faso (formerly Upper Volta) achieved independence from France in 1960. Burkina Faso is landlocked and shares borders with Benin, Cote d’Ivoire, Ghana, Mali, Niger and Togo. The country is slightly larger than Colorado at 170,380 square miles in size. The climate is tropical with primarily warm, dry winters and hot, wet summers. Most of the country is flat, or undulating plains with some hills in the west and southeast.

July 2007 population estimates are 14,326,203, with a median age of 16.5 years and life expectancy of just over 49 years. The population is made up of several ethnic groups, Mossi over 40% and the other approximately 60% includes Gurunsi, Senufo, Lobi, Bobo, Mande and Fulani. The primary religions are Islam 50%, indigenous beliefs 40% and Christian (mainly Roman Catholic) 10%.

Burkina Faso’s high population density and limited natural resources have resulted in poor economic prospects for the majority of its citizens. Burkina Faso has a weak industrial base and is one of the poorest countries in the world. Approximately 46% of the population lives below the poverty level. About 90% of the population is engaged in subsistence agriculture, which is vulnerable to drought. Since 1998, Burkina Faso has embarked upon a gradual but successful privatization of state-owned enterprises. Burkina Faso also revised its investment code in 2004, hoping to attract foreign investors. Thanks to this new code and other legislation favoring the mining sector, the country has seen an upswing in gold exploration and production.

Burkina Faso Program info