The Burkina Faso Portal
Burkina Faso ( 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 ( 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 country occupies the sixth to last place on the Human Development Index
The Code de l'indigénat was a set of laws creating, in practice, an inferior legal status for natives of French Colonies from 1887 until 1944–1947. First put in place in Algeria, it was applied across the French Colonial Empire in 1887–1889. A similar strategy was also employed by other European colonial powers, under the concept of Indirect rule.
French colonial policy is often contrasted with the British concept of Indirect rule pioneered by Frederick Lugard of the British East Africa Company in Uganda and later the Royal Niger Company in what is today Nigeria. Lugard devised a method of colonial administration which relied upon maintenance of pre-colonial chiefs and other political structures, who were in turn subject to the authority of British representatives.
The French government, in contrast, wrote much about the assimilation of colonial subjects, with the final aim of creating in their colonies integral parts of France, filled with African, Arab, or Asian Frenchmen. This combined with a Jacobin tradition of centralizing government, has given weight to the argument that French colonial rule stood in stark contrast to other models. But only small areas of France's colonial possessions were ever afforded full rights as Overseas Departments of the French state.
Did you know ...
- ... that legendary princess Yennenga, the "mother" of the Mossi people, was such a great warrior that her father refused to allow her to marry?
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Samori Ture (also Samory Touré or Samori ibn Lafiya Ture, c. 1830 - 1900) was the founder of the Wassoulou Empire, an Islamic state that resisted French rule in West Africa from 1882 to his capture in 1898.
Born c. 1830 in Manyambaladugu (in what is now southeastern Guinea), the son of Dyula traders, Samori grew up in a West Africa being transformed by growing contacts with the Europeans. European trade made some African trading states rich, while growing access to firearms changed traditional West African patterns of warfare. Early in his life, Ture converted to Islam.
In 1848, Samori's mother was captured in the course of war by Séré-Burlay, of the Cissé clan. After arranging his mother's freedom, Samori engaged himself to the service of the Cissés where he learned the handling of arms. According to tradition, he remained "seven years, seven months, seven days" before fleeing with his mother. (Read more...)
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