Burkina Faso Population: 19,742,715


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Burkina Faso (formerly Upper Volta) achieved independence from France in 1960. Repeated military coups during the 1970s and 1980s were followed by multiparty elections in the early 1990s. Former President Blaise COMPAORE (1987-2014) resigned in late October 2014 following popular protests against his efforts to amend the constitution's two-term presidential limit. An interim administration organized presidential and legislative elections - held in November 2015 - where Roch Marc Christian KABORE was elected president. The country experienced terrorist attacks in its capital in 2016, 2017, and 2018 and continues to mobilize resources to counter terrorist threats mainly in its northern and eastern regions. It experienced over 100 attacks by violent extremists in the first quarter of 2019. Growing insecurity resulted in more than 100,000 internally displaced persons and 1,300 closed schools. The Government of Burkina Faso has made numerous arrests of terrorist suspects, augmented the size of its special terrorism detachment Groupement des Forces Anti-Terroristes (GFAT) in the country’s north, and joined the newly-created G5 Sahel Joint Force to fight terrorism and criminal trafficking groups with regional neighbors Chad, Mali, Mauritania, and Niger. In 2017, the Sahara Branch of al-Qa’ida in the Islamic Maghreb, al-Murabitoun, Ansar al-Dine, and the Macina Liberation Front came together to form Jama’at Nusrat al-Islam wal-Muslimin (JNIM). JNIM and other groups like Ansarul Islam and ISIS in the Greater Sahara operate in Burkina Faso. Burkina Faso's high population growth, recurring drought, pervasive and perennial food insecurity, and limited natural resources result in poor economic prospects for the majority of its citizens.

    Landlocked savanna cut by the three principal rivers of the Black, Red, and White Voltas
Location: Western Africa, north of Ghana
Geographic coordinates: 13 00 N, 2 00 W
Area: total: 274,200 sq km
land: 273,800 sq km
water: 400 sq km

Size comparison: slightly larger than Colorado
Land Boundaries: total: 3,611 km border countries (6): Benin 386 km, Cote d'Ivoire 545 km, Ghana 602 km, Mali 1325 km, Niger 622 km, Togo 131 km
Coastline: 0 km (landlocked)
Maritime claims: none (landlocked)
Climate: three climate zones including a hot tropical savanna with a short rainy season in the southern half, a tropical hot semi-arid steppe climate typical of the Sahel region in the northern half, and small area of hot desert in the very north of the country bordering the Sahara Desert
Terrain: mostly flat to dissected, undulating plains; hills in west and southeast
Natural resources: manganese, limestone, marble; small deposits of gold, phosphates, pumice, salt
Land use: agricultural land: 43% (2011 est.) arable land: 20.8% (2011 est.)
permanent crops: 0.3% (2011 est.) permanent pasture: 21.9% (2011 est.) forest: 20.4% (2011 est.)
other: 36.6% (2011 est.)
Irrigated land: 550 sq km (2012)
Natural hazards: recurring droughts
Current Environment Issues: recent droughts and desertification severely affecting agricultural activities, population distribution, and the economy; overgrazing; soil degradation; deforestation
International Environment Agreements: party to: Biodiversity, Climate Change, Climate Change-Kyoto Protocol, Desertification, Endangered Species, Hazardous Wastes, Law of the Sea, Marine Life Conservation, Ozone Layer Protection, Wetlands

signed, but not ratified: none of the selected agreements
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Nationality: noun: Burkinabe (singular and plural)
adjective: Burkinabe
Ethnic groups: Mossi 52%, Fulani 8.4%, Gurma 7%, Bobo 4.9%, Gurunsi 4.6%, Senufo 4.5%, Bissa 3.7%, Lobi 2.4%, Dagara 2.4%, Tuareg/Bella 1.9%, Dioula 0.8%, unspecified/no answer 0.3%, other 7.2% (2010 est.)
Languages: French (official), native African languages belonging to Sudanic family spoken by 90% of the population
Religions: Muslim 61.5%, Roman Catholic 23.3%, traditional/animist 7.8%, Protestant 6.5%, other/no answer 0.2%, none 0.7% (2010 est.)
Population: 19,742,715 (July 2018 est.) note: estimates for this country explicitly take into account the effects of excess mortality due to AIDS; this can result in lower life expectancy, higher infant mortality, higher death rates, lower population growth rates, and changes in the distribution of population by age and sex than would otherwise be expected
Age structure: 0-14 years: 44.28% (male 4,434,908 /female 4,307,438)
15-24 years: 20.19% (male 1,980,755 /female 2,004,763)
25-54 years: 28.82% (male 2,639,235 /female 3,051,333)
55-64 years: 3.55% (male 304,642 /female 396,072)
65 years and over: 3.16% (male 273,031 /female 350,538) (2018 est.)
Dependency ratios: total dependency ratio: 92.2 (2015 est.)
youth dependency ratio: 87.6 (2015 est.)
elderly dependency ratio: 4.6 (2015 est.)
potential support ratio: 21.6 (2015 est.)
Median age: total: 17.4 years
male: 16.6 years
female: 18.2 years (2018 est.)
Population growth rate: 2.76% (2018 est.)
Birth rate: 36.9 births/1,000 population (2018 est.)
Death rate: 8.7 deaths/1,000 population (2018 est.)
Net migration rate: -0.7 migrant(s)/1,000 population (2018 est.)
Urbanization: urban population: 29.4% of total population (2018)
rate of urbanization: 4.99% annual rate of change (2015-20 est.)
Major urban areas - population: 2.531 million OUAGADOUGOU (capital)
879,000 Bobo-Dioulasso (2018)
Sex ratio: at birth: 1.03 male(s)/female
0-14 years: 1.03 male(s)/female
15-24 years: 0.99 male(s)/female
25-54 years: 0.86 male(s)/female
55-64 years: 0.77 male(s)/female
65 years and over: 0.78 male(s)/female
total population: 0.95 male(s)/female (2018 est.)

Mother's mean age at first birth: 19.4 years (2010 est.) note: median age at first birth among women 25-29
Maternal mortality rate: 371 deaths/100,000 live births (2015 est.)
Infant mortality rate: total: 54.7 deaths/1,000 live births male: 59.2 deaths/1,000 live births
female: 50 deaths/1,000 live births (2018 est.)
Life expectancy at birth: total population: 61.8 years male: 60.1 years
female: 63.6 years (2018 est.)
Total fertility rate: 4.77 children born/woman (2018 est.)
Contraceptive prevalence rate: 31.7% (2017/18)
Physicians density: 0.06 physicians/1,000 population (2016)
Hospital bed density: 0.4 beds/1,000 population (2010)
Drinking water source: improved:
urban: 97.5% of population
rural: 75.8% of population
total: 82.3% of population

urban: 2.5% of population
rural: 24.2% of population
total: 17.7% of population (2015 est.)
Sanitation facility access: improved:
urban: 50.4% of population (2015 est.)
rural: 6.7% of population (2015 est.)
total: 19.7% of population (2015 est.)

urban: 49.6% of population (2015 est.)
rural: 93.3% of population (2015 est.)
total: 80.3% of population (2015 est.)
HIV/AIDS - adult prevalence rate: 0.8% (2017 est.)
HIV/AIDS - people living with HIV/AIDS: 94,000 (2017 est.)
HIV/AIDS - deaths: 2,900 (2017 est.)
Obesity - adult prevalence rate: 5.6% (2016)
Children under the age of 5 years underweight: 16.2% (2017)
Education expenditures: 4.2% of GDP (2015)
Literacy: definition: age 15 and over can read and write (2015 est.)
total population: 36%
male: 43%
female: 29.3% (2015 est.)
School life expectancy (primary to tertiary education): total: 9 years male: 9 years female: 9 years (2017)
Unemployment, youth ages 15-24: total: 8.7% male: 5.3% female: 12.6%
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Country name: conventional long form: none
conventional short form: Burkina Faso
local long form: none
local short form: Burkina Faso
former: Upper Volta, Republic of Upper Volta
etymology: name translates as "Land of the Honest (Incorruptible) Men"
Government type: presidential republic
Capital: name: Ouagadougou
geographic coordinates: 12 22 N, 1 31 W
time difference: UTC 0 (5 hours ahead of Washington, DC, during Standard Time)
etymology: Ouagadougou is a Francophone spelling of the native name "Wogodogo," meaning "where people get honor and respect"
Administrative divisions: 13 regions; Boucle du Mouhoun, Cascades, Centre, Centre-Est, Centre-Nord, Centre-Ouest, Centre-Sud, Est, Hauts-Bassins, Nord, Plateau-Central, Sahel, Sud-Ouest
Independence: 5 August 1960 (from France)
National holiday: Republic Day, 11 December (1958); note - commemorates the day that Upper Volta became an autonomous republic in the French Community
Constitution: history: several previous; latest approved by referendum 2 June 1991, adopted 11 June 1991, temporarily suspended late October to mid-November 2014; initial draft of a new constitution to usher in the new republic was completed in January 2017 and a final draft was submitted to the government in December 2017; a constitutional referendum scheduled for its adoption in March 2019 has been postponed amendments: proposed by the president, by a majority of National Assembly membership, or by petition of at least 30,000 eligible voters submitted to the Assembly; passage requires at least three-fourths majority vote in the Assembly; failure to meet that threshold requires majority voter approval in a referendum; constitutional provisions on the form of government, the multiparty system, and national sovereignty cannot be amended; amended several times, last in 2012 (2019)
Legal system: civil law based on the French model and customary law
Suffrage: 18 years of age; universal
Executive branch: chief of state: President Roch Marc Christian KABORE (since 29 December 2015)

head of government: Prime Minister Christophe DABIRE (since 24 January 2019)

cabinet: Council of Ministers appointed by the president on the recommendation of the prime minister elections/appointments: president elected by absolute majority popular vote in 2 rounds if needed for a 5-year term (eligible for a second); election last held on 29 November 2015 (next to be held November 2020); prime minister appointed by the president with consent of the National Assembly

election results: Roch Marc Christian KABORE elected president in first round; percent of vote - Roch Marc Christian KABORE (MPP) 53.5%, Zephirin DIABRE (UPC) 29.6%, Tahirou BARRY (PAREN) 3.1%, Benewende Stanislas SANKARA (UNIR-MS) 2.8%, other 10.9%
Legislative branch: description: unicameral National Assembly (127 seats; members directly elected in multi-seat constituencies by party-list proportional representation vote to serve 5-year terms)

elections: last held on 29 November 2015 (next to be held in November 2020)

election results: percent of vote by party - NA; seats by party - MPP 55, UPC 33, CDP 18, Union for Rebirth-Sankarist Party 5, ADF/RDA 3, NTD 3, other 10; composition - men 115, women 12, percent of women 9.4%
Judicial branch: highest courts: Supreme Court of Appeals or Cour de Cassation (consists ofn/ajudges); Council of State (consists ofn/ajudges); Constitutional Council or Conseil Constitutionnel (consists of the council president and 9 members) judge selection and term of office: Supreme Court judge appointments mostly controlled by the president of Burkina Faso; judges have no term limits; Council of State judge appointment and tenure NA; Constitutional Council judges appointed by the president of Burkina Faso upon the proposal of the minister of justice and the president of the National Assembly; judges appointed for 9-year terms with one-third of membership renewed every 3 years

subordinate courts: Appeals Court; High Court; first instance tribunals; district courts; specialized courts relating to issues of labor, children, and juveniles; village (customary) courts
Political parties and leaders: African Democratic Rally/Alliance for Democracy and Federation or ADF/RDA [Gilbert Noel OUEDRAOGO] African People’s Movement or MAP [Victorien TOUGOUMA] Congress for Democracy and Progress or CDP [Eddie KOMBOIGO] Le Faso Autrement [Ablasse OUEDRAOGO] New Alliance of the Faso or NAFA [Mahamoudou DICKO] New Time for Democracy or NTD [Vincent DABILGOU] Organization for Democracy and Work or ODT [Anatole BONKOUNGOU] Party for Development and Change or PDC [Aziz SEREME] Party for Democracy and Progress-Socialist Party or PDP-PS [Drabo TORO] Party for Democracy and Socialism/Metba or PDS/Metba [Philippe OUEDRAOGO] Party for National Renaissance or PAREN [Michel BERE] People's Movement for Progress or MPP [Simon COMPAORE] Rally for Democracy and Socialism or RDS [Francois OUEDRAOGO] Rally for the Development of Burkina or RDB [Celestin Saidou COMPAORE] Rally of Ecologists of Burkina Faso or RDEB [Adama SERE] Soleil d’Avenir [Abdoulaye SOMA] Union for a New Burkina or UBN [Diemdioda DICKO] Union for Progress and Change or UPC [Zephirin DIABRE] Union for Rebirth - Sankarist Party or UNIR-MS [Benewende Stanislas SANKARA] Union for the Republic or UPR [Toussaint Abel COULIBALY] Youth Alliance for the Republic and Independence or AJIR [Adama KANAZOE]
National symbol(s): white stallion;
national colors: red, yellow, green
National anthem: name: "Le Ditanye" (Anthem of Victory)
lyrics/music: Thomas SANKARA

note: adopted 1974; also known as "Une Seule Nuit" (One Single Night); written by the country's former president, an avid guitar player
Diplomatic representation in the US: chief of mission: Ambassador Seydou KABORE (since 18 January 2017)
chancery: 2340 Massachusetts Avenue NW, Washington, DC 20008
telephone: [1] (202) 332-5577
FAX: [1] (202) 667-1882
Diplomatic representation from the US: chief of mission: Ambassador Andrew YOUNG (since 1 December 2016)
embassy: Rue 15.873, Avenue Sembene Ousmane, Ouaga 2000, Secteur 15
mailing address: 01 B. P. 35, Ouagadougou 01; pouch mail - US Department of State, 2440 Ouagadougou Place, Washington, DC 20521-2440
telephone: [226] 25-49-53-00
FAX: [226] 25-49-56-28
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Burkina Faso is a poor, landlocked country that depends on adequate rainfall. Irregular patterns of rainfall, poor soil, and the lack of adequate communications and other infrastructure contribute to the economy’s vulnerability to external shocks. About 80% of the population is engaged in subsistence farming and cotton is the main cash crop. The country has few natural resources and a weak industrial base. Cotton and gold are Burkina Faso’s key exports - gold has accounted for about three-quarters of the country’s total export revenues. Burkina Faso’s economic growth and revenue depends largely on production levels and global prices for the two commodities. The country has seen an upswing in gold exploration, production, and exports. In 2016, the government adopted a new development strategy, set forth in the 2016-2020 National Plan for Economic and Social Development, that aims to reduce poverty, build human capital, and to satisfy basic needs. A new three-year IMF program (2018-2020), approved in 2018, will allow the government to reduce the budget deficit and preserve critical spending on social services and priority public investments. While the end of the political crisis has allowed Burkina Faso’s economy to resume positive growth, the country’s fragile security situation could put these gains at risk. Political insecurity in neighboring Mali, unreliable energy supplies, and poor transportation links pose long-term challenges.
GDP (purchasing power parity): $35.85 billion (2017 est.) $33.69 billion (2016 est.) $31.81 billion (2015 est.)

note: data are in 2017 dollars
GDP (official exchange rate): $12.57 billion (2017 est.)
GDP - real growth rate: 6.4% (2017 est.) 5.9% (2016 est.) 3.9% (2015 est.)
GDP - per capita (PPP): $1,900 (2017 est.) $1,800 (2016 est.) $1,800 (2015 est.)

note: data are in 2017 dollars
Gross national saving: 9.3% of GDP (2017 est.) 8.5% of GDP (2016 est.) 5.3% of GDP (2015 est.) GDP - composition, by end use: household consumption: 56.5% (2017 est.) government consumption: 23.9% (2017 est.) investment in fixed capital: 24.6% (2017 est.) investment in inventories: 1% (2017 est.) exports of goods and services: 28.4% (2017 est.) imports of goods and services: -34.4% (2017 est.) GDP - composition, by sector of origin: agriculture: 31% (2017 est.) industry: 23.9% (2017 est.) services: 44.9% (2017 est.)
Agriculture - products: cotton, peanuts, shea nuts, sesame, sorghum, millet, corn, rice; livestock
Industries: cotton lint, beverages, agricultural processing, soap, cigarettes, textiles, gold
Industrial production growth rate: 10.4% (2017 est.)
Labor force: 8.501 million (2016 est.) note: a large part of the male labor force migrates annually to neighboring countries for seasonal employment
Labor force - by occupation: agriculture: 90% industry and
services: 10% (2000 est.)
Unemployment rate: 77% (2004)
Population below poverty line: 40.1% (2009 est.)
Household income or consumption by percentage share: lowest 10%: 2.9%
highest 10%: 32.2% (2009 est.)
Distribution of family income - Gini index: 39.5 (2007) 48.2 (1994)
Budget: revenues: 2.666 billion (2017 est.)
expenditures: 3.655 billion (2017 est.)
Taxes and other revenues: 21.2% (of GDP) (2017 est.) Budget surplus (+) or deficit (-): -7.9% (of GDP) (2017 est.)
Public debt: 38.1% of GDP (2017 est.) 38.3% of GDP (2016 est.)
Fiscal year: calendar year
Inflation rate (consumer prices): 0.4% (2017 est.) -0.2% (2016 est.)
Current account balance: -$1.019 billion (2017 est.) -$820 million (2016 est.)
Exports: $3.14 billion (2017 est.) $2.641 billion (2016 est.)
Exports - commodities: gold, cotton, livestock
Exports - partners: Switzerland 44.9%, India 15.6%, South Africa 11.3%, Cote dIvoire 4.9% (2017)
Imports: $3.305 billion (2017 est.) $2.827 billion (2016 est.)
Imports - commodities: capital goods, foodstuffs, petroleum
Imports - partners: China 13.2%, Cote dIvoire 9.5%, US 8.2%, Thailand 8.1%, France 6.5%, Ghana 4.4%, Togo 4.4%, India 4.3% (2017)
Reserves of foreign exchange and gold: $49 million (31 December 2017 est.) $50.9 million (31 December 2016 est.)
Debt - external: $3.056 billion (31 December 2017 est.) $2.88 billion (31 December 2016 est.)
Market value of publicly traded shares: n/a
Exchange rates: Communaute Financiere Africaine francs (XOF) per US dollar - 605.3 (2017 est.) 593.01 (2016 est.) 593.01 (2015 est.) 591.45 (2014 est.) 494.42 (2013 est.)
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Electricity - production: 990 million kWh (2016 est.)
Electricity - consumption: 1.551 billion kWh (2016 est.)
Electricity - exports: 0 kWh (2016 est.)
Electricity - imports: 630 million kWh (2016 est.)
Electricity - installed generating capacity: 342,400 kW (2016 est.)
Electricity - from fossil fuels: 80% of total installed capacity (2016 est.)
Electricity - from nuclear fuels: 0% of total installed capacity (2017 est.)
Electricity - from hydroelectric plants: 9% of total installed capacity (2017 est.)
Electricity - from other renewable sources: 12% of total installed capacity (2017 est.)
Crude oil - production: 0 bbl/day (2017 est.)
Crude oil - exports: 0 bbl/day (2015 est.)
Crude oil - imports: 0 bbl/day (2015 est.)
Crude oil - proved reserves: 0 bbl (1 January 2018 est.)
Refined petroleum products - production: 0 bbl/day (2015 est.)
Refined petroleum products - consumption: 23,000 bbl/day (2016 est.)
Refined petroleum products - exports: 0 bbl/day (2015 est.)
Refined petroleum products - imports: 23,580 bbl/day (2015 est.)
Natural gas - production: 0 cu m (2017 est.)
Natural gas - consumption: 0 cu m (2017 est.)
Natural gas - exports: 0 cu m (2017 est.)
Natural gas - imports: 0 cu m (2017 est.)
Natural gas - proved reserves: 0 cu m (1 January 2014 est.)
Carbon dioxide emissions from consumption of energy: 3.421 million Mt (2017 est.)
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Cellular Phones in use: total subscriptions: 17,946,375
subscriptions per 100 inhabitants: 89 (2017 est.)
Telephone system: general assessment: system includes microwave radio relay, open-wire, and radiotelephone communication stations; with slow regulatory procedures, insufficient mobile spectrum, and poor condition of fixed-line networks the development of fixed-line Internet services leave Burkina Faso with some of the most expensive telecommunications globally; mobile telephony has experienced growth, but below the African average; Burkina Faso joins G5 Sahel countries to stop roaming fees by 2019; govt proposes technology-neutral licenses to boost mobile broadband connectivity (2018)

domestic: fixed-line connections stand at less than 1 per 100 persons; mobile-cellular usage 91.4 per 100, with multiple providers there is competition and the hope for growth from a low base; Internet penetration is 11% countrywide, but higher in urban areas (2018)

international: country code - 226; satellite earth station - 1 Intelsat (Atlantic Ocean)
Broadcast media: since the official inauguration of Terrestrial Digital Television (TNT) in December 2017, Burkina Faso now has 14 digital TV channels among which 2 are state-owned; there are more than 140 radio stations (commercial, religious, community) available throughout the country including a national and regional state-owned network; the state-owned Radio Burkina and the private Radio Omega are among the most widespread stations and both include broadcasts in French and local languages (2019)
Internet country code: .bf
Internet users: total: 2,723,950
percent of population: 14% (July 2016 est.)
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Airports: 23 (2013)
Airports (paved runways): total 2
(2017) over 3,047 m: 1 (2017)
2,438 to 3,047 m: 1 (2017)
Airports (unpaved runways): total 21
1,524 to 2,437 m: 3 (2013)
914 to 1,523 m: 13 (2013)
under 914 m: 5 (2013)
Railways: total 622 km
narrow gauge: 622 km 1.000-m gauge (2014)

note: another 660 km of this railway extends into Cote d'Ivoire
Roadways: total 15,304 km
(2014) paved: 3,642 km (2014)
unpaved: 11,662 km (2014)
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Military branches: Army, Central Army Group (joint logistics command), Air Force of Burkina Faso (Force Aerienne de Burkina Faso, FABF), National Gendarmerie, National Fire Brigade (Brigade Nationale des Sapeurs-Pompiers, BNSP) (2018)
Military service age and obligation: 18 years of age for voluntary military service; no conscription; women may serve in supporting roles (2013)
Military expenditures: 1.23% of GDP (2016) 1.33% of GDP (2015) 1.43% of GDP (2014) 1.39% of GDP (2013) 1.32% of GDP (2012)
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 Transnational Issues
Disputes - International: adding to illicit cross-border activities, Burkina Faso has issues concerning unresolved boundary alignments with its neighbors; demarcation is currently underway with Mali; the dispute with Niger was referred to the ICJ in 2010, and a dispute over several villages with Benin persists; Benin retains a border dispute with Burkina Faso around the town of Koualou
Refugees and internally displaced persons: refugees (country of origin): 25,754 (Mali) (2019) IDPs: 226,549 (2019)
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