Interesting facts about the state of Burkina Faso

Posted on Jul 14, 2021      31

The state of Burkina Faso is located in West Africa. Its territory is just over 274,000 square kilometers, with a population of over 20,000,000 people. The country got its present name in 1984, and before that it was called Upper Volta. From the language of the local people, “Burkina Faso” translates as “homeland of honest people. It is one of the poorest countries in the world. 9 out of 10 residents of Burkina Faso are engaged in agricultural production.

The land on which present-day Burkina Faso is located was colonized by the French in the late 19th century. The independence of the state was proclaimed on August 5, 1960, and the first president was Maurice Yameogo. In 1967.

In 1983, because of a military coup, the head of state became Thomas Sankara, who took the course of a social revolution. He gave up his presidential salary, which was about $2,000 a month. He transferred this money to an orphanage, keeping only $460 for his expenses. Sankara forbade displaying his portraits in government offices and strictly controlled the income of officials.

Ouagadougou is the capital and largest city in Burkina Faso. It alone has over 1,000,000 inhabitants. This city has quite an ancient history. The first information about it dates back to the fifteenth century. Ouagadougou is booming, with the number of residents in the capital of Burkina Faso almost doubling every decade.

A large part of the population is illiterate. According to statistics, only about 50 percent of men and 30 percent of women can read and write. Back in the second half of the twentieth century, only a small fraction of local children attended school. The situation improved only in recent years. Now, over 80 percent of children and adolescents are in school.

There are currently 44 landlocked states in the world. Sixteen of them are in Africa. Burkina Faso is one of these countries. There are about twenty rivers in Burkina Faso, the largest of which are the White Volta and the Black Volta. But, even these rivers are not navigable. During the dry season, the water level in them drops sharply.

Although the standard of living in the country is low, Burkina Faso is one leader of African cinema. Since 1969, the African Film and Television Festival has been held regularly in the country. The director Idrissa Ouedraogo is the only one of his African counterparts to win the Grand prix at the Cannes Film Festival.

The official language of the state of Burkina Faso is French. But, it is popular mainly in the capital. To find people in rural areas who speak French is difficult. It is customary here to speak local languages, of which there are 68. Despite the low literacy rate, there are 10 universities in Ouagadougou alone. They teach in French and some local languages.

Athletes from Burkina Faso have taken part in 9 Summer Olympic Games, but they have never competed at the Winter Olympics. Representatives of this African state did not win any Olympic awards. The most popular sport is soccer. Some players from Burkina Faso even got into the European clubs.

The village of Sabou is popular among tourists because here you can visit the pond, where there live “tame” crocodiles, which you can pet without fear. The explanation for this “peace-loving” predators is simple enough - they are fed to death, so they just do not react to people. Burkina Faso is not among the most visited by tourists because of poor development of infrastructure. In addition, the tsetse fly is a danger in the country's south.

In terms of life expectancy, Burkina Faso is not even in the top 200 countries. Most of the population lives to be under 50, and people over 65 are very rare to find here. Over 60 percent of the population is under 25.

Although the vast majority of the population is engaged in agriculture, there is an acute food shortage. The country has plenty of fertile soil, but it is cultivated with outdated equipment. Cotton is the major crop. It is its export that forms the basis of the state budget of Burkina Faso. The real disaster is the frequent droughts, during which a large part of the harvest is lost.

Burkina Faso has a very low level of electrification, even by African standards. Electricity is not available in all urban areas, and in the villages it is practically non existent. The government has been trying to solve this problem for years, but a severe lack of funds is affecting it.