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Country Name

The name BURKINA FASO comes from two native languages -- Burkina (men of integrity) from the Mooré language and Faso (father’s house) from Dioula.

The name means "men of integrity from father's house."

Quick Facts

Population: 16.7 million (via CIA country template, 2011)
Capital: Ouagadougou (pop. 1.777 million)
Area: 274,200 sq km (105,870 sq miles) - about the size of Colorado
Major languages: French, indigenous languages
Major religions: Indigenous beliefs, Islam, Christianity
Life Expectancy: 53.7 years
Annual growth: 4.8% (2004)
Inflation rate: (consumer) 1.4% (2010) (country comparison) 2.6%
Unemployment: 77%
Population below poverty line: 46.4% (2004)
GNI per capita: US$ 540
Major industries: cotton, animal products, gold
Exports: $991 million (2010 est.)
Imports: $1.48 billion (2010 est.)
Major trading partner: Cote d'Ivoire, France, Togo
Exchange rate, Africaine franc (XOF) per US dollar: 495.28 (2010)



Burkina Faso's high population density and limited natural resources result in poor economic prospects for the majority of its citizens. Recent unrest in Cote d'Ivoire and northern Ghana has hindered the ability of several hundred thousand seasonal Burkinabé farm workers to find employment in neighboring countries.

The country has few natural resources and a weak industrial base. Burkina Faso is a poor, landlocked country that relies heavily on cotton and some gold exports for revenue.

The economy depends overwhelmingly on agriculture whose performance depends on the vagaries of the weather and world prices.

Most food and goods must be imported into the country. Staples must be ocean freighted to a neighboring country with a seaport and then trucked into the Burkina Faso. This makes everything from food to petrol and steel more expensive.

Over 90% of the population live off agriculture and animal husbandry. Large numbers of Burkinabé have traditionally migrated seasonally to work on cocoa farms in Ghana and Côte d'Ivoire. Their remittances have been critical to rural families. The return of over 600,000 Burkinabé from Côte d'Ivoire since the outbreak of civil war there has put intense pressure on an already weak economy, pushing unemployment to critical levels.



Burkina Faso is one of the poorest countries in the world. 45% of the population live on less than US$1 per day.

The UNDP’s Human Development Index ranked Burkina Faso at 161 out of 169 countries in 2010.

46.4% of the population live below the poverty line.

Although modest improvements have been recorded in the socioeconomic indicators, they remain low.

According to the UN Development Report for Burkina, the mean education is 1.3 years. Literacy rate for individuals age 15 and over is 21.8%.

Health indicators are also poor. According to UN, life expectancy for women is 55.71 years and 51.75 years for men.



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ACTS Center in Saonré is dedicated to giving a hand up and not a handout to the forgotten ones of Burkina Faso...widows and orphans.

"Seeking a Way Out" and other videos can be viewed. Click to see a list of films about ACTS and the people we serve....

We would be pleased to hear comments or receive questions from you. Click for contact information... Merci


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