Portal:Burkina Faso

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The Burkina Faso Portal

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Flag of Burkina Faso
Coat of Arms of Burkina Faso
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Burkina Faso (/bərˌknə ˈfɑːs/ burr-KEE-nə FAH-soh; French: [byʁkina faso]), also known by its short-form name Burkina, is a landlocked country in West Africa. It is surrounded by six countries: Mali to the north, Niger to the east, Benin to the south east, Togo and Ghana to the south, and Côte d'Ivoire to the south west.

Its size is 274,000 km² with an estimated population of more than 15,757,000. Formerly called the Republic of Upper Volta, it was renamed on August 4, 1984, by President Thomas Sankara to mean "the land of upright people" in Moré and Dioula, the major native languages of the country. Literally, "Burkina" may be translated, "men of integrity," from the Moré language, and "Faso" means "father's house" in Dioula. The inhabitants of Burkina Faso are known as Burkinabè (/bərˈknəb/ burr-KEE-nə-bay).

Burkina Faso's capital is Ouagadougou. After gaining independence from France in 1960, the country underwent many governmental changes until arriving at its current form, a semi-presidential republic. The president is Blaise Compaoré. The country occupies the sixth to last place on the Human Development Index.

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The Place des Nations Unies in Ouagadougou.

Ouagadougou (/ˌwɑːɡəˈdɡ/; Mossi: [ˈwaɡədəɡə]) is the capital of Burkina Faso and the administrative, communications, cultural and economic center of the nation. It is also the country's largest city, with a population of 1,475,223 (as of 2006). The city's name is often shortened to Ouaga. The inhabitants are called ouagalais.

Ouagadougou's primary industries are food processing and textiles. It is served by an international airport, rail links to Abidjan in Côte d'Ivoire and to Kaya in the north of Burkina, and a highway to Niamey, Niger. Being such a focal point, there are many cinemas, nightclubs, and French, American, and Zaka cultural centers. Ouagadougou was the site of Ouagadougou grand market, one of the largest markets in West Africa, which burned in 2003 and remains closed. 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.

The name Ouagadougou goes back to the 15th century when the Yonyonse and 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 and renamed the area "Wogodogo".

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Girl
Credit: Ferdinand Reus

Young girl at a market in Ouagadougou, Burkina Faso.

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Women processing shea nuts

  • ... that shea trees, most heavily concentrated in Burkina Faso, are referred to as "women's gold" (woman processing shea nuts pictured) by the locals for their properties?


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Blaise Compaoré

Blaise Compaoré (born February 3, 1951) has been the President of Burkina Faso since 1987. He is the founder of the ruling political party, the Congress for Democracy and Progress. He has been implicated in the murder of Thomas Sankara, his predecessor, in the 1987 coup. He was elected President in 1991, in an election that was boycotted by the opposition; he was re-elected in 1998 and 2005.

He took power on October 15, 1987 in a bloody coup that killed Sankara, his predecessor as head of state. Compaoré described the killing of Sankara as an "accident"; however, this claim is widely disputed. Upon taking the presidency, he reverted many of the policies of Sankara, claiming that his policy was a "rectification" of the Burkinabé revolution.

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