Burkina Faso Profile

Formerly the Republic of Upper Volta, Burkina Faso is a land locked country with a population of nearly 16 million in north western Africa. It achieved independence from France in 1960 and today has one of the lowest GDP per capita in the world at just $1200, with much of its economy dependant on international aid. As with many newly independent African nations, Burkina Faso was subject to repeated military coups throughout the 1970s and 1980s with the former president, Blaise Compaore coming to power in such a coup in 1987. Whilst there are now multi party elections, Compaore won each and every one since then until his forced resignation in 2014. The country's democratic future now appears uncertain.

Burkina Faso is in 183rd place out of 186 countries and territories in 2013 when ranked in terms of life expectancy, literacy, access to knowledge and the living standards of a country with a life expectancy for males of just 52 years rising to 54 years for women.

Child poverty stands at 47% and a quarter of all children in the country are underweight. Whilst having significant gold reserves, its economy is underdeveloped with cotton production being the main form of income for most Burkinabes, as they are called. The economic downturn of 2009 hit the Burkina Faso economy hard as its exports of gold and cotton plummeted and it has yet to recover.

As with many poorer African nations illiteracy rates are high with just under 30% of males over the age of 15 being able to read or write, however this figure drops alarmingly to just 15% for females, reflecting poorer enrolment and engagement for girls who are required to provide care and for chores around the family home. Only 35% of all eligible primary school age children are enrolled at school and just 8% actually attended secondary school (although figures are far higher in urban areas.)

Over 100,000 children there orphaned by AIDS and, in one year alone, it was estimated that 18% of the country's entire population were orphans or abandoned children.


Burkina Faso Profile

Burkina Faso Profile

Burkina Faso Profile

Burkina Faso Profile


Burkina History

Burkina Faso History

A brief history and timeline about Burkina Faso from ancient to modern times.

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HIV in Burkina Faso

HIV in Burkina Faso

A video documentary together with facts and figures about HIV in Burkina Faso.
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Volunteer Work Burkina Faso

Check out all the latest African volunteer work placements and openings in Burkina Faso.
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Burkina Faso Profile: This file is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 2.0 Generic license

Burkina Faso Profile

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Find out all about life in Burkina Faso today including Burkina Faso pictures, news and information about children in Burkina Faso. Burkina Faso has a high population density, which together with scant natural resources, means most of the population live in poverty with poor prospects for the future.

The picture collection above shows typical images about Burkina Faso whilst the video explores more about how Burkina Faso sees itself and its future.


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