The Burkina Faso , also called Burkina , in the past the Upper Volta, is a country of West Africa. Burkina Faso is bordering on six countries: the Mali in north, the Niger in the east, the Benign in south-east, the Togo and the Ghana in the south and the Ivory Coast in south-west.
Its inhabitants are the Burkinabe (invariable word). The capital is Ouagadougou, located at the center of the country. Burkina Faso is member of the United Nations (UNO), of the African Union (UA) and of the Economic community of the States of West Africa (CEDEAO).
EtymologyOld French colony, the Upper Volta obtains independence in 1960. The current name of the country (Burkina Faso) date of the August 4th 1984, under the presidency of the revolutionary Thomas Sankara. It means the fatherland of the just men in local languages Mooré ( burkina meaning “just”) and Bamanankan ( faso resulting in “fatherland”). It is a combination in two principal languages of the country (mooré spoken by Mossi, majority ethnos group of Burkina and the bamanankan or “language of Bambara” or Dioula spoken in the West African under-area). Burkinabe which designates the inhabitant (man or woman) is in Foulfouldé, spoken language by the Peuls, people of wandering stockbreeders also present in many countries of West Africa.
See also: History of Burkina Faso
See also: Prehistory
As for all the west of Africa, Burkina Faso knew a very early settlement, with in particular of the hunter-gatherer in the north-western part of the country (12.000 with 5.000 years before the Christian era), and whose tools (scrapers, gravers and points) were discovered in 1973. The sedentarisation appears between 3.600 and 2.600 before the Christian era with farmers, whose traces of constructions let consider a relatively perennial installation. The use of the Iron, the Ceramic and the polished stone develops between 1.500 and 1.000 before the Christian era, as well as the appearance of spiritual concerns, as the remainders of burial discovered testify some.
Vestiges allotted to the Dogons are discovered in the area of center-north, north and the North-West. However those left the sector between 15th and the 16th century to settle in the Falaise of Bandiagara. In addition, of the wall remainders are localized in the south-west of Burkina (like in Ivory Coast), but their manufacturers to date could not be identified with certainty.
One finds few testimonys over the time précoloniale in Burkina Faso. However, a chronology of the Royaume Mossi exists.
Europeans had few contacts with “Mossi”, as this territory was indicated, and they occurred little before colonization. The report of the voyage of Louis-Gustave Binger (1856-1936) ( Of Niger to the Gulf of Guinea ) reports its stay, in June 1888, at Boukary, brother of Mogho Naba of Ouagadougou. Which Boukary was to become Mogho Naba Wobgho which resisted to the French, with the average ones limited well in front of their modern weapons. Binger describes a kingdom organized according to a feudal mode.
In 1896, the kingdom Mossi of Ouagadougou becomes a French protectorate. In 1898, the major part of the area corresponding to current Burkina is conquered. In 1904, these territories are integrated into the French Western Africa within the colony of High-Senegal-Niger.
Participation of the inhabitants in the First World War within the battalions of Senegalese Riflemen. March 1st 1919, Edouard Hesling becomes the first governor of the new colony of the Upper Volta. This one is dismembered the September 5th 1932, the territory is divided between the Ivory Coast, the Mali and the Niger.
The September 4th 1947 the Upper Volta is reconstituted within its limits of 1932. The December 11th 1958, it becomes a republic member of the Franco-African community and reaches independence the August 5th 1960.
Policy and Administration
See also: Political of Burkina Faso
The current president, Blaise Compaoré, is with the capacity since 1987 with the favor of a coup d'etat during which its predecessor and brother in arms, Thomas Sankara, was killed. The period having followed this coup d'etat was called “Correction” by its authors, in reference to the drifts and the authoritarianism whose president Sankara was marked.
- the President of Faso, elected by the people for five years with a poll with two turns. It can be re-elected only once (except for Blaise Campaoré).
- the National Assembly is the only legislative authority of the country. It can be dissolved by the president of Faso.
The territory of Burkina Faso is divided into 45 provinces subdivided in 350 departments, 47 communes of full exercise directed by elected mayors and 8.000 villages approximately.
Since its independence in August 1960, Burkina Faso knew several political regimes: Rule of law and State of exception. As from 1991, the country chose a democratic political system by adopting a constitution by way chief clerk and by organizing presidential and legislative elections.
Today, of the republican institutions are installation:
elections of the first and the second President of the 4th Republic respectively in 1992 and 1998.
- legislative elections in 1992 and 1997 (first and second legislature of the 4th republic).
- the installation of the room of the representatives.
- the installation of the legal apparatus.
- It thus acts of a democratic State with three capacities which are:
- executive power ensured by the Government,
- legislative power composed of an National Assembly and a Room of the Representatives,
- judicial power.
Moreover, other institutions come to consolidate the rule of law. It is in particular:
the Mediator of Faso,
- the Economic and Social Council (THESE),
- the Superior council of Information (CSI),
- and National Commission of Decentralization (NDT).
See also: Provinces of Burkina Faso
Burkina Faso is divided into 45 administrative provinces and 13 areas.
See also: Geography of Burkina Faso
Burkina is a flat country. The difference between extreme altitudes is lower than 600 meters. Average altitude does not exceed 400 meters and about half of the country ranges between 250 and 350 meters. Overall flatness does not exclude a certain local variety. The nature of the rocks and morphology make it possible to distinguish two great topographic fields.
Burkina Faso has two great types of landscapes.
Immense a Peneplain.
The vastest part of the country is covered by a Pénéplaine. It forms a relief very slightly undulating with by places some hills isolated, ultimate vestiges of a solid mass of the Précambrien. Immense a Peneplain, worked in the Precambrian solid mass , extends on the three quarters from the country. The relief, monotonous, is only one succession of soft croups and widened small valleys, locally a hillock isolated or a group from hills to the steep slopes which rise on a few tens of meters above the plate. The low parts and plane correspond to the granites and gneisses of the base, consolidated and used by erosion since the Precambrian one. The isolated rock masses which resisted erosion present in various forms. One finds alignments of hills which are connected with the Appalachian relief. whose sandy or quartzitic hard stone ridge, made up of Birriminien, was saved by differential erosion, or many inselbergs granitic, or of hillocks armoured on tabular surface.
A solid mass sandy which occupies the south-west of the country.
It is the highest area and most broken of Burkina: The Ténakourou culminates there with 749 meters. The sedimentary primary education sandstone cover dominates the surrounding base by impressive escarpments to which one gives “the cliff” name. This zone of contact between the sandy solid mass and the base presents north to the south two aspects very different
Area of Sore Dioulasso with that of Banfora, the plate ends in a 150 meters height cliff, which gives the base. Remarkably rectilinear, it is directed the North-East in South-west. More in the south, the aspect of cliff changes. It takes a East-West orientation or SE-NO of Bérégadougou with, border of Mali, and loses its rectilinear character. Many valleys notch the edge of the plate, insulator of multiple headlands and hillocks. As for the reliefs of South-east, they form a small solid mass of North-eastern South-western direction towards the borders Togolese and Beninese They also ends in a vertical wall of a hundred meters approximately, which dominates the central plate, the solid mass of Sobmangou.
Though not very high and relatively little sprinkled, Burkina has a rather important hydrographic network, especially in its southernmost part. The rivers are attached to three principal basins: basins of the Volta, the Comoé and the Niger
The country owed its old name of the Upper Volta with the three rivers which cross it: the Mouhoun (in the past Black Volta), the Nakambé (White Volta) and the Nazinon (Red Volta) The Mouhoun is the only permanent river of the country with the Comoé which runs in south-west.
The basin of Volta
Most important, it extends in the center and the west from the country on a surface from 178.000 km ². It is consisted three major under-basins: those of Mouhoun, Nakambé and Pendjari. Water of its basins meets in the center of the Ghana, where they form the lake Volta.
Mouhoun (Volta Black)
See also: Volta (river)
Only permanent river with a catchment area of 92.000 km ², takes its source on the northern slope of the sandy solid mass of cliff of Banfora, in an area where precipitations exceed 1.000 mm per annum. It runs initially towards the North-East then inflects abruptly towards the south. To the confluence of Sourou, the catchment area of Mouhoun and its principal affluents (Plandi, Kou, Voun Hou) provide a medium flow of 25 m ³ /s. This flow is (however very irregular. Principal affluent of Mouhoun is Sourou, river with slope not very marked, which drains the old lake plain of Gondo whose catchment area is of 15.200 km ² this basin, almost completely sahélien produces only weak flows. In a natural state, at the time of the falls, Sourou fed Mouhoun. Since 1984, the works of derivation and control installed with the upstream of the junction with Mouhoun allow the storage of 250 million m ³ derived from believed from wintering and to restore the surplus in the Course downstream of Mouhoun during the dry season. Abruptly changing direction after the loop of Sourou, Mouhoun runs towards south-east then full south, formant border with Ghana. He traverses the country on a distance of approximately 860 km.
Nakambé (Volta White)
He takes his source in the east of Ouahigouya, in an area which receives 500 to 600 mm of water per annum. He drains a catchment area of 50.000 km ². He drains all the central part and the north of the central plate and runs only during the rain season. The first intermittent flows can occur in May, but it is only in July /août which the flows become permanent at the station of Wayen and are reinforced towards the downstream to reach in Bagré one, medium flow of 145 m ³ /s in August:
Nazinon (Volta Red)
See also: Nazinon, Red Volta
He and its principal affluent Sissili, drains the south-western part of the central plate with a catchment area of 20.000 km ². Their hydrological mode is very close to that of Nakambé.
It which forms the south-eastern border of Burkina with the Benign one, receives out of Right Bank three affluents (Doudodo, Singou and Konpienga) whose basins slopes add up 21.600 km ². These affluents bring less than 30% of the medium flow of Pendjari which itself completely dries up a year on two in April with Porga with the Benign one.
The basin of Comoé
See also: Comoé
It which drains the south-western end of the country has a catchment area of 18.000 km ². It takes, its source, in cliffs of Banfora. Its course, cut by rapids and falls, communicates with permanent ponds located at the foot of cliff of Banfora, like the Lake Tingrela. The flows are permanent. The relatively abundant pluviometry of these areas confers on the rivers which are a mode there clearly soudanien with an increase in the flows as of June and the flows of raw in August /septembre which can reach 500 m ³ /S.
The basin of Niger
See also: Niger (river)
It drains the North-East and is country and has a catchment area of 72.000 km ². The most septentrional affluents Burkinabe of Niger are mainly endoreic (Béli, Gorouol, Goudébo and Dargol) and can cause important risings. On the other hand, the affluents soudano-sahéliens (Faga, Sirba, Bonsoaga, Diamangou and Tapoa) have modes a little less irregular and contribute to the crisis known as soudanienne of Niger which occurs in September. These rivers of low flow form often only one chain of ponds.
All the rivers of Burkina except Mouhoun and those of south-west (basin of Comoé) are temporary: running only July at October)
Apart from the hydrographic network There exist basins closed which feed many large ponds or natural lakes, without flow permanent or temporary, which occupies the between the dunes hollows or spaces: the Lake Tingrela, Bam and Dem, ponds of Oursi, Béli, Yomboli and Markoye. The observations carried out on the pond of Oursi and the Lake Bam let think that the bottom of these lakes is clogged by argillaceous deposits.
The lack of water is often problematic, especially in the north of the country.
Burkina Faso has a tropical climate of soudano-sahélien types (characterized by considerable pluviometric variations going from an average of 350 mm in North with more than 1000 mm in South-west) with two Saison S very contrasted: the Rain season with the precipitations ranging between 300 mm and 1200 mm and the Saison dries during which breath the Harmattan, a hot and dry wind, originating in the the Sahara. The rain season lasts approximately 4 months, between May-June and September, its duration is shorter in the north of the country.
One can thus distinguish three great climatic zones:
zone sahélienne in the north of the country: less than 600 mm of pluviometry per annum and high thermal amplitudes (15 to 45 degrees).
- zone soudano-sahélienne between 11° 3 ' and 13° 5 ' of Northern latitude. It is an intermediate zone for the temperatures and precipitations.
- soudano-Guinean zone in the south of the country: more than 900 mm of rain per annum and the relatively low average temperatures.
One distinguishes two (2) unequal seasons:
One very short winter season from 3 to 4 months (June at September).
- One season dries from 8 to 9 months (October at June).
The scarcity and the bad distribution of the rains cause increasingly strong migrations of the populations mainly of North and center towards the cities, the South-west of Burkina Faso and the coast.
The temperature varies from 16 to 45 degrees Celsius; evaporation annual average is estimated at 3.000 mm and the annual refill of the underground layer with 40 Misters.
See also: Economy of Burkina Faso
Burkina Faso is a country in the process of development. A situation which is explained partly by the weakness of the natural resources, and of those of the prices of these natural resources on the worldwide market, the aridity of the grounds and the absence of development during the colonial period. The Agriculture accounts for 32% of the Gross domestic product and occupies 80% of the Active population. It is mainly about breeding but also, especially in the south and south-west, of culture of Sorgho, millet, Maïs, Arachide S, Riz.
Dominated by the cotton, whose country is the first producer in Africa with 700.000 tons in 2006 mainly turned towards export, the economy resists the fall of world rates after a fashion.
Unemployment involves a strong rate of emigration: for example, three million Burkinabe lives in Ivory Coast. According to the Central bank of the States of West Africa, these migrants repatriate each year of tens of frank billion CFA in Burkina Faso. Since expulsions of the Ghana in 1967, this situation also causes tensions with the host countries. The last crisis goes up with the events of 2003 in Ivory Coast which involved the specific return of 300.000 migrants. The 1/3 of the population of the country lives in lower part of the Poverty line.
The international assistance also contributes for a great part to the economic activity of the country.
Burkina Faso is member of the economic Union and monetarist West African and of the Autorité of Liptako-Gourma which is charged to prevent the food crises and the drynesses by the co-operation of each Member State.
Some economic situation:
Gross domestic product GDP per capita: $1 600 (2006)
- Rough National product GNP: $16 660.000.000 (2006)
- Gross domestic product (PIB) - Growth rate real: 3,50% (2006)
- Rate of inflation (consumer price index): 6,40% (2006)
- Exports: $395 million (2006)
- Imports: $992 million (2006)
See also: Demography of Burkina Faso
Dialects and national languages
There exists all the same more than 60 languages and dialects whose principal ones are: the Moré spoken language by the ethnos group Mossi, the fulfuldé spoken by the Peuls, the Dagara, the Dyula which is a language common to several countries of Africa of the west (the Ivory Coast, the Mali, the Guinea etc…), the Lobi, the marka, the sore, the Bwanu, the Senoufo, the kassena (spoken language by the people Gourounsi, south-east) and the Darkened which is the spoken language by the ethnos group of Boussancé called usually Bissas.
The official language and administrativeLike the majority of the countries of West Africa, Burkina Faso has as an official language French.
See also: Culture of Burkina Faso
The Panafrican Festival of the cinema and the television of Ouagadougou (FESPACO), one of the greatest African festivals of cinema takes place every two years with Ouagadougou.
Burkina Faso in figures
History and geography
Surface: 274.200 km ²
Density: 44 hab./km²
Land borders: 3.192 km (Mali 1.000 km; Niger 628 km; Ivory Coast 584 km; Ghana 548 km; Benign 306 km; Togo 126 km)
Littoral: 0 km
Ends of altitude: + 200 m > + 749 m
Independence: August 5th 1960 (old French colony)
Population: 13.200.000 inhabitants (in 2005). 0-14 years: 47,5%; 15-64 years: 49,59%; + 65 years: 2,91%
Life expectancy of the men: 47,33 years (in 2006)
Life expectancy of the women: 50,42 years (in 2006)
Growth rate the pop one: 2,68% (in 2001)
Birth rate: 45,62 ‰ (in 2006)
Death rate: 15,60 ‰ (in 2006)
infantile Death rate: 16,92 ‰ (in 2001)
Fertility rate: 6,7 children/woman (in 2004)
Rate of migration: - 0,97 ‰ (in 2001)
Access to technology
Telephone lines: 3.097.400 (in 2006)
- Cellphones: 2.572.200 (in 2006)
- Many suppliers of access Internet: 15 (in 2006)
The technology ADSL (which makes it possible to have high bancs) is available since 2005, but the cost of access remains relatively high compared with the standard of living of the population what limits its access to a certain category of the population known as “easy”.
The inventoried highway network of Burkina Faso has an overall length of 61.367 km of which 15.272 km are classified.
the classified network was the subject of an administrative classification and a technical classification.
- the network not classified consists of rural tracks.
The table below presents linear network by administrative class and standad of installation:
The figures are of 2006
Burkina Faso has only one railway corridor which connects it to the wearing of Abidjan. It is the connection Kaya/Ouagadougou/Bobo Dioulasso/1.252 km Abidjan long and left again almost with equal length in the two countries:
Kaya/Ouagadougou/Dioulasso Sore/Border of Ivory Coast (622 km) for Burkina Faso including/understanding:
Number: 33 (including 2 with tarred tracks) (in 2000)
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