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Burkina Faso

Ethnic groups

In 2010 the population of Burkina Faso included the following ethnic groups: 52% Mossi, 8.4% Fula, 2.4% Lobi, 4.9% Bobo, 0.8% Dioula, 4.5% Senufo, 4.6% Gurunsi, 7% Gurma and 1.9% Tuareg. 1)

Republic of Upper Volta

The country was formerly called the Republic of Upper Volta, and it was renamed “Burkina Faso” on 4 August 1984 by President Thomas Sankara. The words “Burkina” and “Faso” come from different languages spoken in the country. “Burkina” comes from Mossi and means “upright” and “Faso” comes from the Dioula language and means “fatherland”. 2)

Highest peak

The country's highest peak is Pic de Nakourou, also known as Téna Kourou. It is 749 meters above sea level. 3)

Black Volta

Three important rivers of the region - the Black Volta, the Red Volta, and the White Volta, which merge into one Volta - begin their course in the country. 4)


The natural vegetation cover in Burkina Faso is the savannah. Nevertheless, it is a diverse savannah, as it is lush in the southwest and dry and desert in the north. In both, it is common to see giraffes, elephants, lions, zebras, and vultures. 5)


Burkina Faso has a tropical climate with two seasons - rainy and dry. The rainy season is longer in the south, while the dry season is longer in the north. During the rainy season, the country's average rainfall remains between 600 and 900 mm. The dry rainy season is characterized by a dusty and hot wind called harmattan. 6)

Conquered by France

Between 1896 and 1901, the areas where Burkina Faso is now located were conquered by France. In 1919, the colony of Upper Volta was separated from these areas and became part of French West Africa. In the following years, the territories were divided into Niger, French Sudan, and Côte d'Ivoire, and then reunited once again as a French overseas territory. 7)

Maurice Yaméogo

Maurice Yaméogo became the first president and prime minister of the republic. Unfortunately, his inept policies and the economic crisis that followed led to a military coup in January 1966. The Supreme Military Council, headed by Colonel Sangoulé Lamizana, took power. However, this did not solve the problems, resulting in further coups. 8)

Captain Blaise Compaoré

In 1987, Captain Blaise Compaoré took power in the country. Since 1989, the democratization of the country was taking place. The formation of political parties began. In 1991 a new constitution was promulgated, which was approved by a popular referendum. 9)

Poor country

Burkina Faso is a poor country. This is a result of rapid population growth and depleted soil. With that said, it's worth noting that agriculture makes up 31% of the country's gross domestic output, and 80% of the country's population is employed in this sector. The main crops grown in the country are sorghum, millet, corn, peanuts, rice, and cotton. 10)

Mineral deposits

Burkina Faso has deposits of copper, iron, manganese ore, and small concentrations of gold. 11)

FESPACO Film Festival

Among African countries, Burkina Faso is the most significant in terms of cinema. Ouagadougou hosts the FESPACO film festival every two years, which has earned it the title of Africa's film capital. The most famous films are “Yaaba” and “Delwende.” 12)

African Cup of Nations

Burkina Faso is mostly known for soccer. In 2013, the country's national team won the runner-up spot in the African Cup of Nations, losing the final 0-1 to Nigeria. 13)

Tour du Faso

Cycling is also a popular sport. This is mainly the reason for the Tour du Faso, which is held annually. 14)


French is the official language, a legacy of the colonization period. The languages of the country's peoples - Mòoré, Gourma, Fulfulde, Dioula, Tamasheq - are also in use. 15)

National anthem

Thomas Sankara, the creator of the country's current name, also wrote the national anthem. The anthem was adopted in 1974. 16)

burkina_faso.txt · Last modified: 2022/10/14 03:06 by aga