Burkina Faso Overview

By | January 22, 2021
Official language French
Capital Ouagadougou
Form of government Presidential Republic
Area 274,200 km²
Residents 13,930,000
Currency CFA Franc
Time zone UTC
License plate BF
Internet TLD .bf
Telephone area code 00226 (Source: ALLCITYCODES)


The R¨¦publique D¨¦mocratique du Burkina Faso (until 1983 Obervolta) is a landlocked country in West Africa and borders on Mali in the west and north,Niger in the northeast, Benin in the southeast,Togo in the south,Ghana and the Ivory Coast. The national area is 274 200 km². The north of Burkina Faso is part of the Sahel region, which is repeatedly hit by drought disasters, on the outskirts of the Sahara. The landscape is mainly determined by a plateau up to 300 m high, which has isolated island mountains and low mountain ranges and which slopes slightly towards the south. The plateau is drained by a number of rivers that dry up during the dry season. In the south these are the Black, Red and White Volta, in the east small rivers connect the plateau with the Niger River in the state of the same name. This northeastern region separates the Volta and Niger basins. The highest point is the T¨¦na Kouvou with 747 m. It is part of the Sikasso sandstone plateau, which lies in the southwest of the country and breaks off steeply to the south. The Tafelland is the country ‘ s main riverflowed through the black volta. It is the only water course that carries water all year round. The largest city is the capital Ouagadougou,which is located in the center of the country and has around 1.2 million residents. See Burkina Faso country abbreviation.


The south and the central part of Burkina Faso lie in the area of ​​a changeable tropical climate. This divides the year into two sections: from June to October there is irregular rain and it is hot, the rest of the year the Harmattan, a hot dusty trade wind from the northeast, ensures a dry climate. The north is determined exclusively by dry climates, here the rainfall is less than 250 mm per year. The annual rainfall in the capital in the center of the country is 890 mm. The average temperature in Ouagadougou is around 25 °C in January and around 28 °C in July.

Flora and fauna

On the plateaus in the south you can find wet savannah with grass and small groups of trees (eg acacias, baobabs, tamarinds). The population’s need for firewood has led to large-scale deforestation. With decreasing precipitation towards the north, the wet savannah changes to dry savannah in the center and finally to thorny shrub savannah in the Sahel region. Only dry grass, thorny plants and succulents grow here.

Elephants, hippos, buffalos, antelopes, crocodiles, leopards, hyenas and lions all live in the southeast and east of the state on the border with Benin (eg in Arly National Park).


According to COUNTRYAAH, Burkina Faso has about 13.93 million residents. There are over 160 tribal groups and 60 ethnic groups in the country. The largest (40% of the population) and at the same time politically most influential tribe are the Mossi, who come from the ethnic group of the Volta. The majority live in the area around the capital Ouagadougou and provided the founding president of Burkina Faso, Maurice Yameogo. In addition to the Mossi, the nomadic Fulbe and Tuareg in the north, in the west the Mande, the Lobi and the Bobo as well as the Fulani are other groups. In addition to the largest city of Ouagadougou, Bobo-Dioulasso and Koudougou are important centers.

The distribution of religions is as follows: Around 40% are followers of traditional natural religions, 50% Muslims and 10% Christians. French is the official language, about half of the residents also speak Sudanese dialects, the rest of Mande.

Literacy is only around 26.6% and life expectancy is 44 years. Population growth is a high 3.0% despite an HIV infection rate of 2.0% of the total population. Almost half of the residents are under 15 years of age.

burkina faso population density

Political system

According to the 1991 constitution, Burkina Faso is a presidential republic headed by a head of state (Blaise Compaor¨¦, since 1987) who has been elected directly for five years. The latter appoints the cabinet under the chairmanship of the prime minister (Luc-Adolphe Tiao, since April 2011).

The legislature (National Assembly) is made up of 127 parliamentary representatives elected for five years.

The legal system is based on that of France.

Burkina Faso is divided into 13 regions, which are divided into 45 provinces.


Burkina Faso is one of the poorest countries in the world, almost half of the population lives below the poverty line. In recent years there has been a slight improvement in economic conditions due to a decrease in debt (debt relief) and as a result of foreign grants. A major source of income is money transfers from plantation workers who work in neighboring Ghana and Ivory Coast, with the size of the transfers decreasing since the late 1990s.

The main economic base is the agricultural sector, which employs over nine tenths of the population. The cultivation of cotton, sesame, peanuts and tobacco is particularly important for export. A large part of the population grows millet, maize, rice, sweet potatoes and legumes for their own use in family farms. Important farm animals are cattle, goats, sheep, pigs and poultry. The lack of water is an ongoing problem for the dry and devastating country in the Sahel.

To a small extent, industrial companies are involved in the further processing of agricultural products. In addition, consumer goods such as soap, shoes, motorcycles and scooters, cigarettes and textiles are manufactured in the country. Exports are mainly to Togo, Ghana and Ivory Coast, imports are mainly from France and the Ivory Coast. Imports exceed exports.

The only train connection that leads across the country from Ivory Coast to Niger played a central role in the transportation of goods; today, however, the route is no longer completely passable. Most of the road network is unpaved. There are two international airports.

The currency is the CFA franc.