Key Facts about Burkina Faso

March 4, 2024

Around 170 people were "executed" in attacks on three villages in northern Burkina Faso recently.

About Burkina Faso:

  • It is a landlocked country in western Africa and has territories in both the Eastern and Western Hemispheres.
  • Borders:  It shares its borders with six other nations: Mali to the north and west, Niger to the east, and Benin to the southeast, while to the south it touches TogoGhana, and Ivory Coast.
  • Capital: Ouagadougou
  • Geography:
    • It is predominantly characterized by savannahs, plateaus, and low mountains in the southwest.
    • The northern region, known as the Sahel, is arid and desert-like.
  • History: Burkina Faso, previously known as Upper Volta, was once part of French West Africa since 1896. It gained independence from France in 1960 and changed its name to Burkina Faso in 1984. 
  • Languages:
    • The official language of Burkina Faso is French, which is used in government and education.
    • There are many indigenous languages spoken throughout the country, with Moore (Mossi) being one of the most widely spoken.
  • Economy: The economy is largely based on agriculture, which employs over 80% of the workforce. It is one of the world’s poorest countries.
  • Government: It is a republic with a presidential system of government.
  • By early 2023, insecurity in Burkina Faso had displaced more than 2 million people and led to significant jumps in humanitarian needs and food insecurity.