Burkina Faso

Burkina Faso, once known as Upper Volta, and as the longtime kingdom of the Mossi people, was colonized by France in the late 1800s.

Its name was changed to Burkina Faso when it gained independence from France in 1960, and subsequently (after that independence) suffered from numerous military coups that thankfully ended with countrywide elections in 1992. The results of those elections helped form a stable coalition government.

With a high population density and very limited natural resources, most of the citizens remain economically suppressed. Local health conditions are improving, but still generally poor in the rural areas. The country is reported to have the second-highest illiteracy rate on the planet.

  • Official Name: Burkina Faso

  • Population: 15,208,586

  • Capital City: Oaugadougou (1,086,505)

  • Largest Cities: Oaugadougou, Bobo Dioulasso, Koudougou

  • Currency: CFA Franc

  • Languages: Arabic French (official), tribal dialects

  • National Day: 11 December; Republic Day 

  • Religions: Traditional beliefs, Muslim, Christian

  • Land Area: 273,800 sq km (105,714 sq miles)

  • Highest Point: Tena Kouron, at 2,451 ft. (747 m)

  • Land Divisions: 45 provinces, including: Bale, Bam, Banwa, Bazega, Bougouriba, Boulgou, Boulkiemde, Comoe, Ganzourgou, Gnagna, Gourma, Houet, Ioba, Kadiogo, Kenedougou, Komondjari, Kompienga, Kossi, Koulpelogo, Kouritenga, Kourweogo, Leraba, Loroum, Mouhoun, Namentenga, Nahouri, Nayala, Noumbiel, Oubritenga, Oudalan, Passore, Poni, Sanguie, Sanmatenga, Seno, Sissili, Soum, Sourou, Tapoa, Tuy, Yagha, Yatenga, Ziro, Zondoma, Zoundweogo

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