25 Burkina Faso Facts: Unique Details On This Country In West Africa | Kidadl


25 Burkina Faso Facts: Unique Details On This Country In West Africa

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In West Africa lies a distinct landlocked country called Burkina Faso.

In 1960, Upper Volta gained its independence from being a French colony after years of its inhabitants living as if in a French community. The new name of the country, Burkina Faso, was only adopted later in the year 1984.

The largest city and also the capital of Burkina Faso is known as Ouagadougou. One of the facts about Burkina Faso is that it is famously known as the land of honest men and women. There is no betrayal among each other, and they all live like one big family. Burkina Faso is known to hold massive gold reserves, the largest ethnic group, the largest craft market, and the international monetary fund. However, it's still one of the poorest countries in West Africa.

Although it has been claimed that Africa is the poorest continent in the world, the environment in Burkina Faso houses extreme poverty by the standards of other West African countries. It suffers from repeated and relentless military coups and droughts. This is the reason why the country is considered as one of the least developed countries of the world, as well as within Africa.

Poverty is mostly caused by a lack of rural area productivity, mismanaged rural exodus, and an expanding population. Burkina Faso is a West African landlocked country with few natural resources and low levels of human development. Its economy is still rooted in agriculture, with food crops and its own variety of cotton production dominating the industry.

Burkina Faso is one of Africa's greatest organic cotton growers and producers of animal products. In 2010, genetically modified seeds were used to grow about 80% of the cotton sown in Burkina Faso. Burkina Faso in Africa is a great producer of its own variety of biotech crops, which are 100 % cotton and have an amazing growth rate.

If you liked reading our article about the facts of Burkina Faso, then do take a look at our other articles, including Benin facts and Amish facts here on Kidadl.

The History Of Burkina Faso

Thousands of years have passed since people first started living in Burkina Faso. They began as hunter-gatherers, gathering fruits and vegetables while hunting animals. They eventually settled down and started farming food production in what can be described as rural areas of the country.

Between the 11th to 13th centuries, people known as Mossi arrived. Until the end of the 19th century, they governed the region. France defeated the Mossi kingdom in 1896 and became the autonomous republic colonial ruler of Burkina Faso. The country was renamed Upper Volta after World War One.

Upper Volta gained independence from France in 1960. Maurice Yameogo was the fledgling country's first president, coming from the Voltaic Democratic Union (UDV). Yameogo outlawed other political parties and made one national assembly of Burkina Faso after assuming the presidency. The ethnic groups of Upper Volta had been dissatisfied with the administration for several years, and therefore in 1966, the army took control in a military coup.

In 1983, two military officers named Thomas Sankara and Blaise Compaore regained control of the country. Sankara was elected to the presidency. He then changed the country's name from Upper Volta to Burkina Faso in 1984. The name literally translates to 'country of honest people.'

In 1987, when Sankara was assassinated, Blaise Compaore took his place as the president following the coup d'état, which was led by the presidential guard of armed forces. From that time onwards, the official Burkina Faso currency has been the West African CFA franc which is also used by many other urban areas and countries. If we compare Burkina Faso currency with American dollars, 1 USD is equal to 580 CFA (as of December 2021).

Protesters began marching and demonstrating in Ouagadougou on October 28, 2014. Compaore was willing to amend the constitution in order to extend his 27-year reign. On October 30, 2014, a group of demonstrators set fire to the parliament building. They also seized control of the national television network's headquarters.

President Compaore resigned on October 31, 2014, after working for 27 years in office. The country had its first presidential election in 2015. Former Prime Minister of Burkina Faso, Roch Marc Christian Kabore, was then elected as an interim president and is the current leader of Burkina Faso.

The People, Origin, And Language of Burkina Faso

Other important facts about Burkina Faso are that the Lobi, Bobo, and Gurunsi peoples were the first to settle in Burkina Faso, with the Mossi and Gurma peoples arriving in the 14th century.

In 1897, France established a protectorate over the Mossi empire's borders, and by 1903, France had subdued the other ethnic groups. The French dubbed it Upper Volta, and it became a distinct colony in 1919. They partitioned it among Sudan, Niger, and Cote d'Ivoire (Ivory Coast) in 1932. It was later reconstituted in the year 1947.

The Mossi are Burkina Faso's largest ethnic group out of the various ethnic groups within the country. They speak a Gur branch of the Niger-Congo language and have been related to the region for millennia. They've taken in a variety of peoples, including the Yarse and Gurma. The last group has Mande ancestors but they have been integrated into the Mossi and speak the Mossi language.

Burkinabe is the collective name, or you can say nationality, for all citizens of Burkina Faso, regardless of ethnic origin. The official language is French, however, it is not frequently spoken. Moore, a Mossi language, is spoken by the vast majority of the inhabitants, while Dyula, another Mossi language, is frequently used in trade and Burkina Faso's exports. It's estimated there are over 70 languages spoken in both rural and urban areas throughout Burkina Faso, of which 66 are indigenous.

details on the country in west africa

The Customs And Traditions Of Burkina Faso

Burkina Faso's antelope masks, folk music, and dancing are important aspects of the country's culture.

Masks are produced for rites of sacrifice to animal and god spirits in the villages in parts of the Sahara desert and the western Sahel. On the other hand, the peasants use native dancing and large butterfly masks to express their yearning for spiritual favors.

Burkina Faso has a considerable artist population and large craft markets. The largest craft market is held in Ouagadougou. There are several rich traditional creative heritages among the diverse peoples who live in the country. The rising tourist business accounts for a large portion of the African art produced, and traditional folk music and Mossi music are well known in Burkina Faso.

As the exact statistics related to the religion of Burkina Faso are not currently available, the government estimates that approximately 60% of the population practices Islam, with the majority of this group belonging to the Sunni branch. The minority group follows the Shi'a branch, and significant numbers of Sunni Muslims follow the Tijaniyyah Sufi, or Salafi traditions. According to the government, 24% of the population adheres to traditional indigenous religions, while 17% are roman catholic, from the colonial era.

What is the former name of Burkina Faso?

Before 1984 the country was known by the name Upper Volta. This former French West Africa country's independence was gained in 1960. Burkina Faso was given its name in 1984, which means 'land of incorruptible and honest people'. Ouagadougou, the country's capital, is located in the country's center, roughly 500 mi (800 km) from the Atlantic Ocean.

Burkina Faso is located on a large plateau with isolated hills and is known as a flat country as it is slightly slanted to the south of its coastal territories.

The country's three main rivers are the Red Volta, the Black Volta, and the White Volta. All three rivers meet in Ghana in the south, where they together form the Volta River. The flow of the rivers varies greatly from season to season, with some rivers becoming dry during the dry season, whereas in the rainy season, the rivers can be known to flood in some regions.

More Interesting Facts About Burkina Faso

Ouagadougou is connected to the port of Abidjan in Côte d'Ivoire by a train line. It stretches for 700 mi (1,100 km), with roughly 320 mi (500 km) passing through Burkina Faso. The line was blocked for several years in the early 2000s due to civil violence in Côte d'Ivoire. Now, the route serves the municipalities of Koudougou, Banfora, and Bobo Dioulasso and runs from west to east before crossing the border.

Minerals, particularly gold and manganese, are the country's primary sources of potential income. Nickel, zinc, bauxite, lead, and also silver reserves can also be discovered in the country.

Burkina Faso's large manganese reserves in the northeast could be the country's most valuable resource and one of the world's richest manganese sources. Existing transportation shortcomings impede exploitation.

Despite the government allocating a considerable percentage of the national budget to education, school enrollment is the lowest in all of Africa.

Ouagadougou University is this country's premier higher education institution and was established in 1974. Rural engineering and hydrological degrees are available at research institutes in Ouagadougou. Bobo Dioulasso is home to a polytechnic university and a rural development institution.

In the year 2005, Koudougou also became home to a university. Some Burkinabe go to France, Cote d'Ivoire, or Senegal to further their education.

Here at Kidadl, we have carefully created lots of interesting family-friendly facts for everyone to enjoy! If you liked our 25 facts about Burkina Faso: unique details on this country in West Africa, then why not take a look at ancient Greek architecture facts that all architects will adore!, or astounding animals native to Jamaica you may not have heard of before!

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