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Burkina Faso Country Guide

Explore Burkina Faso in Africa

Burkina Faso with the capital city Ouagadougou is located in Africa (Western Africa, north of Ghana). It covers some 274,200 square kilometres (slightly larger than Colorado) with 14,761,000 citizens.

Interactive map of Burkina Faso

The topography includes mostly flat to dissected, undulating plains with hills in west and southeast. The average density of population is approximately 54 per km². The notable climate conditions in Burkina Faso can be described as tropical with warm, dry winters and hot, wet summers. Possible natural disasters include recurring droughts.

To reach someone in Burkina Faso dial +226 prior to a number. There are 167,000 installed telephones. And there are 3,299,000 registered mobile phones. The cellular networks commonly support frequencies of 900 MHz. Websites registered in this country end with the top level domain ".bf". If you want to bring electric equipment on your trip (e.g. laptop power supply), note the local power outlet of 220V - 50Hz.

About the flag and history of Burkina Faso

Burkina Faso Flag Icon

Two equal horizontal bands of red (top) and green with a yellow five-pointed star in the center; red recalls the country's struggle for independence, green is for hope and abundance, and yellow represents the country's mineral wealth note: uses the popular Pan-African colors of Ethiopia.

Burkina Faso (formerly Upper Volta) achieved independence from France in 1960. Repeated military coups during the 1970s and 1980s were followed by multiparty elections in the early 1990s. Current President Blaise COMPAORE came to power in a 1987 military coup and has won every election since then. Burkina Faso's high population density and limited natural resources result in poor economic prospects for the majority of its citizens.

Geography Quick-Facts

SummaryContinent: Africa
Neighbours: Niger, Benin, Ghana, Ivory Coast, Togo, Mali
Capital: Ouagadougou
Size274,200 square kilometers (km² or sqkm) or 105,869 square miles (mi² or sqmi)
slightly larger than Colorado
CurrencyName Franc, Currency Code:XOF
Country Top Level Domain (cTLD).bf
Telephone Country Prefix+226
Mobile Phone Connections3,299,000
Landline Phone Connections167,000

Country Position in World Rankings

Information about single country attributes and how these compare against the rest of the world. The information below is compiled with data from 2013. As such, it may differ a bit to the Information above in the text (which is from 2010).


Value nameValueWorld Rank
Area274,200 (sq km)75

People and Society

Value nameValueWorld Rank
Population17,812,961 60
Population growth rate3.06 (%)7
Birth rate42.81 (births/1,000 population)4
Death rate12.21 (deaths/1,000 population)27
Maternal mortality rate300.00 (deaths/100,000 live births)38
Infant mortality rate78.30 (deaths/1,000 live births)9
Life expectancy at birth54.43 (years)206
Total fertility rate6.00 (children born/woman)5
Health expenditures6.70 (% of GDP)91
HIV/AIDS - adult prevalence rate1.20 (%)42
HIV/AIDS - people living with HIV/AIDS110,000 40
HIV/AIDS - deaths7,100 29
Obesity - adult prevalence rate2.30 (%)181
Children under the age of 5 years underweight26.00 (%)24
Education expenditures4.00 (% of GDP)111
Unemployment, youth ages 15-243.80 (%)136


Value nameValueWorld Rank
GDP (purchasing power parity)24,690,000,000 123
GDP - real growth rate8.00 (%)19
GDP - per capita (PPP)1,400 205
Labor force6,668,000 65
Unemployment rate77.00 (%)199
Distribution of family income - Gini index39.50 63
Investment (gross fixed)20.50 (% of GDP)89
Taxes and other revenues21.60 (% of GDP)151
Budget surplus (+) or deficit (-)-4.20 (% of GDP)143
Inflation rate (consumer prices)4.50 (%)125
Central bank discount rate4.25 (%)83
Stock of narrow money1,900,000,000 128
Stock of broad money3,910,000,000 134
Stock of domestic credit2,414,000,000 134
Industrial production growth rate5.50 (%)56
Current account balance-481,100,000 94
Exports2,734,000,000 135
Imports2,868,000,000 151
Reserves of foreign exchange and gold1,433,000,000 127
Debt - external2,442,000,000 140


Value nameValueWorld Rank
Electricity - production664,400,000 (kWh)157
Electricity - consumption762,500,000 (kWh)157
Electricity - imports144,600,000 (kWh)90
Electricity - installed generating capacity252,000 (kW)153
Electricity - from fossil fuels87.30 (% of total installed capacity)82
Electricity - from hydroelectric plants12.70 (% of total installed capacity)109
Refined petroleum products - consumption9,960 (bbl/day)155
Refined petroleum products - imports12,540 (bbl/day)128
Carbon dioxide emissions from consumption of energy1,441,000 (Mt)157


Value nameValueWorld Rank
Telephones - main lines in use141,500 136
Telephones - mobile cellular7,682,000 92
Internet hosts1,795 164
Internet users178,100 144


Value nameValueWorld Rank
Airports24 131
Railways622 (km)106
Roadways15,272 (km)121


Value nameValueWorld Rank
Military expenditures1.10 (% of GDP)120

Data based on CIA facts book 2010 & 2013, wikipedia, national statistical offices and their census releases

List of current world heritage sites

Ruins of Loropéni
The 11,130m2 property, the first to be inscribed in the country, with its imposing stone walls is the best preserved of ten fortresses in the Lobi area and is part of a larger group of 100 stone enclosures that bear testimony to the power of the tran ...