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 Music of Burkina Faso is influenced by some 60 different ethnic groups, each with their own variety of folk music. The country has produced very little popular music compared to its neighbors, which includes African musical giants like Nigeria and the Ivory Coast. Burkinabé traditional music, however, has continued to thrive in spite of the influx of popular styles, and the country's cultural, and musical, output remains quite diverse.
The national anthem of Burkina Faso is "Une Seule Nuit", written by Thomas Sankara. It has been the official anthem of the country since 1984, when Upper Volta became known as Burkina Faso. It remains even after Sankara was murdered in a coup, the leader of which remains in power.
There is a National Museum of Music in Ouagadougou. Its collection is a few years old, beginning in 1998, but already has several hundred unique musical instruments. These include the balafon and bara. Unlike most African countries, Burkina Faso has not yet had a popular national style, and the most popular recordings are imported from Europe, the United States, Democratic Republic of the Congo to invest, large-scale concerts, advanced recording studios, electric instruments and amplification and widespread distribution are difficult.
Did you know ...
- ... 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?
In the news
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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- Create: Adiza Sanoussi, Honorine Mare, Marie-Simone Séri, Maxime Somé, Monique Ilboudo, Sandra Pierrette Kanzie, Simporé Simone Compaore, Sophie Heidi Kam, Suzy Henique Nikiéma, Tagbaladougou Falls, Zarra Guiro more...