Few people in Europe and the USA know that Burkina Faso is a beautiful country in West Africa with a unique culture and deep-rooted traditions. So let’s explore some of the facts about this Country. Did you know that Burkina Faso is the hottest Country in the world? What else makes it special? Read these Facts about Burkina Faso to find out!

Burkina Faso Location

Burkina Faso is a landlocked country located in West Africa. It is bordered by six countries, including Niger to the northeast, Ghana and Mali to the northwest; Benin to the west; Togo and Ivory Coast to the south.

Facts of Burkina Faso History

The area of Burkina Faso from the 12th till the 19h century was called the Country of Mossi and contained five independent Kingdoms, with Ouagadougou being the most powerful. 

At the end of the 19th century, when Mossi lost their power in competition with neighbouring tribes, they accepted French domination as protection from their neighbours, and that’s how the French colonial period began in 1896.  It ended with independence on August 20th 1960.

Thomas Sankara 

Thomas Sankara is the former president of Burkina Faso. He was named the African Che Guevara due to his socio-economic programme for the Country and its people. He had a reputation for being one of the most popular and well-known African leaders in history. Under his rule, the Republic of Upper Volta changed its name to Burkina Faso. He also composed both the music and lyrics of the National Anthem of Burkina Faso. 

Thomas Sankara was assassinated on October 15th, 1987, during a coup that overthrew his government.

The Name of Burkina Faso

The name Burkina Faso is a combination of two words- ‘Burkina from the local language of Mòoré, which means “honest man” and “Faso” in Dioula, which stands for “fatherland”. In direct translation, it would be “Land of honest people” or land of “Land of upright people.”

Burkina Faso Flag

The Burkina Faso flag is composed of three different colors: green, gold and red. The red stripes represent the revolution and the green stripe natural and agricultural resources. hope for a prosperous future while the star represents unity.

Facts about Burkina Faso - Flag

The Capital

The capital of Burkina Faso and the largest city is Ouagadougou, also spelt Wagadugu, in the Mòoré language, it means “You are welcome here at home with us”. The strange and long spelling of Ouagadougou stems from French orthography since Burkina Faso was a French colony.

The population of Ouagadougou in 2019 was 2,5 million people.

The second-largest city is Bobo-Dioulasso, with a population of about 400,000.

The Climate

Burkina Faso is the hottest Country in the world. The average yearly temperature is 28.29 degrees Celsius. 

It has four seasons, including a dry season and an inter-monsoon period with heavy rainfall from July to September.

Flora and Fauna

The Burkina Faso area is mainly a wild bush with lots of trees and grasses. The wildlife includes elephants, hippopotamuses, buffalo, monkeys, crocodiles and giraffes.  In addition, there are many types of birds and insects. 

The Country has 147 species of mammals, including the largest elephant population in West Africa, 138 species of birds, and over 1,100 species of plants located in 4 national parks. 

Burkina Faso has three main rivers: the Black Volta, White Volta and Red Volta. The three rivers in the local language are named Mouhoun, Nakambé, and Nazinon.  they merge in Ghana into the Volta River and drain into Volta Lake.  

The rivers inspired the previous name of the Country – Upper Volta.

Books about Burkina Faso

The People of Burkina Faso

The population of Burkina Faso is about 17 million. The population density of Burkina Faso is 191 per square kilometre.

The main ethnic groups in the Country are Mossi (37%), Fulani (30%) and Gourmantche (14%). There are also smaller populations coming from Tifa or Vizaogo Groups and many other ethnic groups.

The main religions in Burkina Faso are Islam (60%), Christianity (25%) and the traditional African religion of animism.

Burkina Faso has a very young demographic; over 40% of its citizens are below 15 years of age. The life expectancy is about 61 years.

The citizens of Burkina Faso are called Burkinabes, or sometimes Mossi people. They speak French, and the official language is French, but it’s not uncommon to hear Fulani as well.

Education In Burkina Faso

The school system is mandatory and free for children between 6-12 years of age. However, according to UNDP, Africa https://www.africa.undp.org/content/rba/en/home/ourwork/povertyreduction/successstories/burkina-faso-illiteracy.html the school enrolment is only 39% so the illiteracy of 70 per cent among adults is not so surprising. 

In the Country, there are three universities- Ouagadougou University (OUAU), Université Nationale du Bénin and Université de Parakou. Burkina Faso also has a high shortage of doctors with fewer than one doctor for every 20,000 people in rural areas

Burkina Faso Economy

Burkina Faso is one of the poorest countries in the world, with a GDP of  USD 671.76 per capita per annum. (PPP)

Burkina Faso’s exports are cotton, animal products and gold. 

Burkina Faso is the largest producer of cotton in Africa, local farmers refer to it as White Gold. Most of the crops are modified to be resistant to drought and can be grown with a short planting cycle.

It also exports gold, manganese, and uranium and has one of the biggest iron ore reserves in Africa with an estimated 30 billion metric tonnes. So  Burkina Faso is a country rich in resources but poor in development which is why there are many charities working to support the population.

Currency in Burkina Faso

Burkina Faso’s currency is called the CFA Franc and 100 centimes equal to one Frac. It is pegged to the Euro.

Interesting Facts about Burkina Faso

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