Ouagadougou

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Ouagadougou
City
Place des cineastes
Place des cineastes
Nickname(s): Ouaga
Ouagadougou is located in Burkina Faso
Ouagadougou
Ouagadougou
Location within Burkina Faso
Coordinates: 12°21′26″N 1°32′7″W / 12.35722°N 1.53528°W / 12.35722; -1.53528Coordinates: 12°21′26″N 1°32′7″W / 12.35722°N 1.53528°W / 12.35722; -1.53528
Country  Burkina Faso
Region Centre Region
Province Kadiogo
Government
 • Mayor Casimir Marin Ilboudo (since 2013)
Area
 • City 219.3 km2 (84.7 sq mi)
 • Metro 2,805 km2 (1,083 sq mi)
Elevation 305 m (1,001 ft)
Population (2012)[1]
 • City 1,626,950
 • Density 6,727/km2 (17,420/sq mi)
 • Metro 1,727,390
Area code(s) +226 50
Website Official website

Ouagadougou (/ˌwɑːɡəˈdɡ/; Mossi: [ˈwaɡᵊdᵊɡᵊ]) is the capital of Burkina Faso and the administrative, communications, cultural and economic centre of the nation. It is also the country's largest city, with a population of 1,475,223 (as of 2006).[2] The city's name is often shortened to Ouaga. The inhabitants are called ouagalais. The spelling of the name Ouagadougou is derived from the French orthography common in former French African colonies. If English orthography were used (as in Ghana or Nigeria), the spelling would be Wagadugu.[3][not in citation given]

Ouagadougou's primary industries are food processing and textiles. It is served by an international airport, rail links to Abidjan in the Ivory Coast. There is no rail service to Kaya. There is a paved highway to Niamey, Niger, south to Ghana, and Southwest to Ivory Coast. Ouagadougou was the site of Ouagadougou grand market, one of the largest markets in West Africa, which burned in 2003 and has since been reopened. Other attractions include the National Museum of Burkina Faso, the Moro-Naba Palace (site of the Moro-Naba Ceremony), the National Museum of Music, and several craft markets.

History[edit]

Europe, Africa and the Near East in 1200 AD, showing the Kingdom of Wagadugu (in West Africa, just to the right of the area labeled '25') and its neighbors.

The name Ouagadougou dates back to the 15th century when the Ninsi tribes inhabited the area. They were in constant conflict until 1441 when Wubri, a Yonyonse hero and an important figure in Burkina Faso's history, led his tribe to victory. He then renamed the area from "Kumbee-Tenga", as the Ninsi had called it, to "Wage sabre soba koumbem tenga", meaning "head war chief's village". Ouagadougou is a Francophone spelling of the name.

The city became the capital of the Mossi Empire in 1441 and was the permanent residence of the Mossi emperors (Moro-Naba) from 1681.[4] The Moro-Naba Ceremony is still performed every Friday by the Moro-Naba and his court. The French made Ouagadougou the capital of the Upper Volta territory (basically the same area as contemporary independent Burkina Faso) in 1919. In 1954 the railroad line from Ivory Coast reached the city. The population of Ouagadougou doubled from 1954 to 1960 and has been doubling since about every ten years.[4]

Geography[edit]

Ouagadougou, situated on the central plateau (12.4° N 1.5° W), grew around the imperial palace of the Mogho Naaba. Being an administrative center of colonial rule, it became an important urban center in the post-colonial era. First the capital of the Mossi Kingdoms and later of Upper Volta and Burkina Faso, Ouagadougou became a veritable communal center in 1995.

Government[edit]

Town Hall of Ouagadougou

The first municipal elections were held in 1956.

Ouagadougou is governed by a mayor, who is elected for a five-year term, two senior councillors, and 90 councillors.

The city is divided into five arrondissements, consisting of 30 sectors, which are subdivided into districts. Districts of Ouagadougou include Gounghin, Kamsaoghin, Koulouba, Moemmin, Niogsin, Paspanga, Peuloghin, Bilbalogho, and Tiendpalogo. Seventeen villages comprise the Ouagadougou metropolitan area, which is about 219.3 square kilometres (84.7 sq mi).

The city is clean, pleasant, well-organized and relatively safe. There are good restaurants and hotels, clean water, and dependable electricity. Streets are paved, there are stoplights, which most drivers respect. Traffic is congested in some neighborhoods in the mornings and late afternoons.

The population of this area is estimated to be 1,475,000 inhabitants, 48% of which are men and 52% women. The rural population is about 5% and the urban population about 95% of the total, and the density is 6,727 inhabitants per square kilometer, according to 2006 census.

Concerning city management, the communes of Ouagadougou have made the decision to invest in huge projects. This is largely because Ouagadougou constitutes a 'cultural centre' by merit of holding the SIAO (International Arts and Crafts fair) and the FESPACO (Panafrican Film and Television Festival of Ouagadougou). Moreover, the growing affluence of the villages allow for such investment, and the population's rapid growth necessitates it.[3]

The Arrondissements of Ouagadougou
Arrondissement Population (Census 2006)[2]
Baskuy 180,512
Bogodogo 374,473
Boulmiougou 366,182
Nongremassom 188,329
Sig-Noghin 163,859

Climate[edit]

The climate of Ouagadougou is hot semi-arid (BSh) under Köppen-Geiger classification, that closely borders with tropical wet and dry (Aw). The city is part of the Soudano-Sahelian area, with a rainfall of about 800 mm (31 in) per year. The rainy season stretches from May to October, its height from June to September, with a mean average temperature of 28 °C (82 °F). The cold season runs from December to January, with a minimum average temperature of 16 °C (61 °F). The maximum temperature during the hot season, which runs from March to May, can reach 43 °C (109 °F). The harmattan (a dry wind) and the monsoon are the two main factors that determine Ouagadougou's climate. Even though Ouagadougou is farther from the equator, its hottest months' temperatures are slightly hotter than those of Bobo-Dioulasso, the second most populous city.

Climate data for Ouagadougou
Month Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec Year
Record high °C (°F) 45
(113)
45
(113)
45
(113)
47
(117)
48
(118)
44
(111)
41
(106)
38
(100)
39
(102)
41
(106)
42
(108)
45
(113)
48
(118)
Average high °C (°F) 32.2
(90)
36.3
(97.3)
38.4
(101.1)
39.1
(102.4)
37.3
(99.1)
34.3
(93.7)
31.8
(89.2)
30.9
(87.6)
32
(90)
35.4
(95.7)
35.9
(96.6)
33.6
(92.5)
34.77
(94.6)
Daily mean °C (°F) 24.6
(76.3)
27.7
(81.9)
30.7
(87.3)
32.4
(90.3)
31.4
(88.5)
29.1
(84.4)
27.1
(80.8)
26.4
(79.5)
26.9
(80.4)
28.9
(84)
27.5
(81.5)
25.1
(77.2)
28.15
(82.68)
Average low °C (°F) 16.1
(61)
19.1
(66.4)
23
(73)
25.7
(78.3)
25.5
(77.9)
23.9
(75)
22.4
(72.3)
21.9
(71.4)
21.9
(71.4)
22.5
(72.5)
19.2
(66.6)
16.7
(62.1)
21.49
(70.66)
Record low °C (°F) 9
(48)
12
(54)
15
(59)
15
(59)
19
(66)
17
(63)
18
(64)
14
(57)
19
(66)
18
(64)
16
(61)
11
(52)
9
(48)
Precipitation mm (inches) 0
(0)
2
(0.08)
5
(0.2)
23
(0.91)
71
(2.8)
110
(4.33)
176
(6.93)
227
(8.94)
139
(5.47)
33
(1.3)
1
(0.04)
1
(0.04)
788
(31.04)
Avg. precipitation days (≥ 0.1 mm) 0 0.1 0.5 0.6 3.3 4.8 8 10.9 5.7 1.3 0 0 35.2
 % humidity 30.5 28.5 29.5 39.5 52.5 61 70 74 69.5 58 44 34.5 49.29
Mean daily sunshine hours 9 9 9 8 9 8 7 6 7 9 9 8 8.2
Source #1: Climate-Data.org, altitude: 298m[5]
Source #2: BBC Weather for humididty, sunshine, precipitation days and records[6]

Social life and education[edit]

Education[edit]

Though literacy in Ouagadougou is not high, there are three universities in the city. The largest college is the state University of Ouagadougou which was founded in 1974 and the UUPN, University of United Popular Nations based on international learning system. The official language in the city is French and the principal local languages are More, Dyula and Fulfulde. The bilingual program in schools (French plus one of the local languages) was established in 1994.[3] But this so-called bilingual program has never been effective. The local authorities have failed to implement it.

Sport, culture, and leisure[edit]

The Maison du Peuple

A wide array of sports, including association football, basketball, and volleyball, is played by Ouagadougou inhabitants. There are sports tournaments and activities organized by the local authorities. Ouagadougou FC's all time top goalscorer was English striker Chris Marriott who scored 69 goals in 75 games.

There are a number of cultural and art venues, such as the Maison du Peuple and Salle des Banquets, in addition to performances of many genres of music, including traditional folk music, modern music, and rap.[3]

Art and crafts[edit]

Several international festivals and activities are organized within the municipality, such as FESPACO (Panafrican Film and Television Festival of Ouagadougou), which is Africa's largest festival of this type, SIAO (International Art and Craft Fair), FESPAM (Pan-African Music Festival), FITMO (International Theatre and Marionnette Festival) and FESTIVO.[3][7]

Health[edit]

Ouagadougou has both state and private hospitals. The two state hospitals in the city are the Centre hospitalier national Yalgado Ouedraogo (CHNYO) and the Centre hospitalier national pédiatrique Charles de Gaulle (CHNP-CDG), but there are also private hospitals. Despite that, the local population still largely trusts traditional local medicine and the "pharmacopée".[3]

Transport[edit]

Ouagadougou train station

Many residents travel on motorcycles and mopeds. The large private vendor of motorcycles JC Megamonde sells 50,000 motorbikes and mopeds every year.[4]

Ouagadougou's citizens also travel in green cabs, which take their passengers anywhere in town for 200 to 400 CFA, but the price is higher after 10:00 pm and can then reach 1000 CFA.[citation needed]

Air transport[edit]

Ouagadougou Airport (code OUA) serves the area with flights to West Africa and Europe. Air Burkina has its head office in the Air Burkina Storey Building (French: Immeuble Air Burkina) in Ouagadougou.[8][9]

Rail[edit]

Further information: Rail transport in Burkina Faso

Ouagadougou is connected by passenger rail service to Bobo-Dioulasso, Koudougou and Ivory Coast. As of June 2014 Sitarail operates a passenger train three times a week along the route from Ouagadougou to Abidjan.[10] There are freight services to Kaya in the north of Burkina Faso and in 2014 plans were announced to revive freight services to the Manganese mine at Tambao starting in 2016.[11]

Economy[edit]

The Copromof workshop in Ouagadougou sews cotton lingerie for the French label "Atelier Augusti."[12]

International relations[edit]

Twin towns – Sister cities[edit]

Ouagadougou is twinned with:

Tourism[edit]

Parks[edit]

The Bangr-Weoogo urban park (area: 2.63 km2 (1 sq mi)), before colonialism, belonged to the Mosse chiefs. Considering it a sacred forest, many went there for traditional initiations or for refuge. The French colonists, disregarding its local significance and history, established it as a park in the 1930s. In 1985, renovations were done in the park. In January 2001, the park was renamed "Parc Urbain Bangr-Weoogo", meaning "the urban park of the forest of knowledge".

Another notable park in Ouagadougou is the "L'Unité Pédagogique", which shelters animals in a semi-free state. This botanic garden/biosphere system stretches over 8 hectares (20 acres) and also serves as a museum for the country's history.

"Jardin de l'amitié Ouaga-Loudun" (Garden of Ouaga-Loudun Friendship), with a green space that was renovated in 1996, is a symbol of the twin-city relationship between Ouagadougou and Loudun in France. It is situated in the center of the city, near the "Nation Unies' crossroads".

Other sites[edit]

  • Ouaga 2000: An upscale neighborhood catering to wealthy locals, expatriates and tourists on the southern fringe of Ouagadougou. Originally built to house the 1996 French Africa Summit. Site of many hotels, embassies, courthouses and other government buildings, including Kosyam Palace, seat of the Burkinabé President.[16]
  • "Naba Koom": a statue depicting a woman handling a calabash to pour water. The 6-metre (20 ft) high statue faces the railway station, welcoming travellers into Ouaga. The place bears the name of an important chief in Burkina Faso’s history.
  • "Laongo": 30 km (19 mi) east of the city, features enormous granite slabs that were designed by various sculptors. The exhibit displays works of art from five continents.[3]
  • "La Place du Grand Lyon": a monument that reflects the relationship between Burkina Faso's capital and Lyon in France. It is located near the French cultural Center George Melies and features an imposing lion. A zoo called "Parc Animalier de Ziniaré": located 30 km (19 mi) east of the city in the hometown of the president.
  • National Museum of Music: exhibits all the musical instruments of Burkina Faso.
  • Musée de Manega: also exhibits musical instruments of Burkina Faso, Mossi rifles and other cultural items. Located 55 km (34 mi) northwest of the city

Sights of Ouagadougou[edit]

Historical sights[edit]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "World Gazetteer". Archived from the original on 2013-01-11. 
  2. ^ a b National 2006 census final results[dead link]
  3. ^ a b c d e f g Mairie de Ouagadougou Commune Ouagadougou (2005). Retrieved 19 March 2006 from (French)
  4. ^ a b c "French Wikipedia page". Retrieved 13 July 2010. 
  5. ^ "Climate: Ouagadougou - Climate graph, Temperature graph, Climate table". Climate-Data.org. Retrieved 10 October 2013. 
  6. ^ "Average Conditions Ouagadougou". BBC Weather. Retrieved 10 October 2013. 
  7. ^ La Girafe (2004). Ouaga-ca-bouge. Retrieved 19 March 2006 from Ouagadougou au Burkina Faso (French)
  8. ^ "Contact-us". Air Burkina. Retrieved 19 October 2009.
  9. ^ "Contactez-nous." Air Burkina. Retrieved 19 October 2009.
  10. ^ European Rail Timetable, Summer 2014 Edition, (journey time is 43 to 48 hours)
  11. ^ Pan African Minerals receives permission from Burkina Faso for Tambao manganese project, 19 May 2014
  12. ^ Smith, Alex Duval (2014-07-01). "Burkina Faso’s French knicker-makers". BBC News - Africa. Retrieved 2014-07-09. 
  13. ^ "Partner Cities of Lyon and Greater Lyon". 2008 Mairie de Lyon. Retrieved 17 July 2009. 
  14. ^ Ouagadougou and Taipei establish sister cities link[dead link]
  15. ^ "Taipei - International Sister Cities". Taipei City Council. Archived from the original on 2012-11-02. Retrieved 2013-08-23. 
  16. ^ "[1]". Jeune Afrique. Retrieved 29 July 2014.
  17. ^ "This is africa". Retrieved 12 August 2011. 

External links[edit]

Media related to Ouagadougou at Wikimedia Commons