Geographic and Governmental Profile of Burkina Faso

Background
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.
Location
Western Africa, north of Ghana
Geographic coordinates
13 00 N, 2 00 W
Continent / Subcontinent
Africa
Area
total:
274,200 sq km
rank:
75
land:
273,800 sq km
water:
400 sq km
Area - comparative
slightly larger than Colorado
Land boundaries
total:
3,193 km
border countries:
Benin 306 km, Cote d'Ivoire 584 km, Ghana 549 km, Mali 1,000 km, Niger 628 km, Togo 126 km
Coastline
0 km (landlocked)
Maritime claims
none (landlocked)
Climate
tropical; warm, dry winters; hot, wet summers
Terrain
mostly flat to dissected, undulating plains; hills in west and southeast
Elevation extremes
lowest point:
Mouhoun (Black Volta) River 200 m
highest point:
Tena Kourou 749 m
Natural resources
manganese, limestone, marble; small deposits of gold, phosphates, pumice, salt
Land use
arable land:
17.66%
permanent crops:
0.22%
other:
82.12% (2005)
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Irrigated land
300 sq km (2003)
Total renewable water resources
17.5 cu km (2001)
Freshwater withdrawal (domestic/industrial/agricultural)
total:
0.8 cu km/yr (13%/1%/86%)
per capita:
60 cu m/yr (2000)
Natural hazards
recurring droughts
Environment - current issues
recent droughts and desertification severely affecting agricultural activities, population distribution, and the economy; overgrazing; soil degradation; deforestation
Environment - international agreements
party to:
Biodiversity, Climate Change, Climate Change-Kyoto Protocol, Desertification, Endangered Species, Hazardous Wastes, Law of the Sea, Marine Life Conservation, Ozone Layer Protection, Wetlands
signed, but not ratified:
none of the selected agreements
Geography - note
landlocked savanna cut by the three principal rivers of the Black, Red, and White Voltas
Country name
conventional long form:
none
conventional short form:
Burkina Faso
local long form:
none
local short form:
Burkina Faso
former:
Upper Volta, Republic of Upper Volta
Government type
parliamentary republic
Capital
name:
Ouagadougou
geographic coordinates:
12 22 N, 1 31 W
time difference:
UTC 0 (5 hours ahead of Washington, DC during Standard Time)
Administrative divisions
13 regions; Boucle du Mouhoun, Cascades, Centre, Centre-Est, Centre-Nord, Centre-Ouest, Centre-Sud, Est, Hauts-Bassins, Nord, Plateau-Central, Sahel, Sud-Ouest
Independence
5 August 1960 (from France)
National holiday
Republic Day, 11 December (1958); note - commemorates the day that Upper Volta became an autonomous republic in the French Community
Constitution
approved by referendum 2 June 1991; formally adopted 11 June 1991; last amended January 2002
Legal system
civil law based on the French model and customary law
International law organization participation
has not submitted an ICJ jurisdiction declaration; accepts ICCt jurisdiction
Suffrage
18 years of age; universal
Executive branch
chief of state:
President Blaise COMPAORE (since 15 October 1987)
head of government:
Prime Minister Luc-Adolphe TIAO (since 18 April 2011)
cabinet:
Council of Ministers appointed by the president on the recommendation of the prime minister
elections:
president elected by popular vote for a five-year term (eligible for a second term); election last held on 21 November 2010 (next to be held in 2015); prime minister appointed by the president with the consent of the legislature
election results:
Blaise COMPAORE reelected president; percent of popular vote - Blaise COMPAORE 80.2%, Hama Arba DIALLO 8.2%, Benewende Stanislas SANKARA 6.3%, other 5.3%
Legislative branch
unicameral National Assembly or Assemblee Nationale (111 seats; members are elected by popular vote to serve five-year terms)
elections:
National Assembly election last held on 6 May 2007 (next to be held on 2 December 2012)
election results:
percent of vote by party - NA; seats by party - CDP 73, ADF-RDA 14, UPR 5, UNIR-MS 4, CFD-B 3, UPS 2, PDP-PS 2, RDB 2, PDS 2, PAREN 1, PAI 1, RPC 1, UDPS 1
Judicial branch
Supreme Court of Appeals or Cour de Cassation; Council of State or Conseil d'Etat; Court of Accounts or la Cour des Comptes; Constitutional Council or Conseil Constitutionnel
Political parties and leaders
African Democratic Rally-Alliance for Democracy and Federation or ADF-RDA [Gilbert OUEDRAOGO]; Citizen's Popular Rally or RPC [Antoine QUARE]; Coalition of Democratic Forces of Burkina or CFD-B [Amadou Diemdioda DICKO]; Congress for Democracy and Progress or CDP [Roch Marc-Christian KABORE]; Democratic and Popular Rally or RDP [Nana THIBAUT]; Movement for Tolerance and Progress or MTP [Nayabtigungou Congo KABORE]; Party for African Independence or PAI [Soumane TOURE]; Party for Democracy and Progress-Socialist Party or PDP-PS [Ali LANKOANDE]; Party for Democracy and Socialism or PDS [Felix SOUBEIGA]; Party for National Rebirth or PAREN [Jeanne TRAORE]; Rally for the Development of Burkina or RDB [Antoine KARGOUGOU]; Rally of Ecologists of Burkina Faso or RDEB [Ram OUEDRAGO]; Republican Party for Integration and Solidarity or PARIS; Union for Democracy and Social Progress or UDPS [Fidele HIEN]; Union for Rebirth - Sankarist Movement or UNIR-MS [Benewende STANISLAS]; Union for the Republic or UPR [Toussaint Abel COULIBALY]; Union of Sankarist Parties or UPS [Ernest Nongma OUEDRAOGO]
Political pressure groups and leaders
Burkinabe General Confederation of Labor or CGTB [Tole SAGNON]; Burkinabe Movement for Human Rights or MBDHP [Chrysigone ZOUGMORE]; Group of 14 February [Benewende STANISLAS]; National Confederation of Burkinabe Workers or CNTB [Laurent OUEDRAOGO]; National Organization of Free Unions or ONSL [Paul KABORE]
other:
watchdog/political action groups throughout the country in both organizations and communities
International organization participation
ACP, AfDB, AU, ECOWAS, Entente, FAO, FZ, G-77, IAEA, IBRD, ICAO, ICRM, IDA, IDB, IFAD, IFC, IFRCS, ILO, IMF, Interpol, IOC, IOM, IPU, ISO (correspondent), ITSO, ITU, ITUC, MIGA, MONUSCO, NAM, OIC, OIF, OPCW, PCA, UN, UNAMID, UNCTAD, UNESCO, UNIDO, UNISFA, UNITAR, UNMISS, UNWTO, UPU, WADB (regional), WAEMU, WCO, WFTU, WHO, WIPO, WMO, WTO
Diplomatic representation in the US
chief of mission:
Ambassador Seydou BOUDA
chancery:
2340 Massachusetts Avenue NW, Washington, DC 20008
telephone:
[1] (202) 332-5577
FAX:
[1] (202) 667-1882
Diplomatic representation from the US
chief of mission:
Ambassador Thomas DOUGHERTY
embassy:
602 Avenue Raoul Follereau, Koulouba, Secteur 4
mailing address:
01 B. P. 35, Ouagadougou 01; pouch mail - US Department of State, 2440 Ouagadougou Place, Washington, DC 20521-2440
telephone:
[226] 50-30-67-23
FAX:
[226] 50-30-38-90
Flag description
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
uses the popular Pan-African colors of Ethiopia
National symbol(s)
white stallion
National anthem
name:
"Le Ditanye" (Anthem of Victory)
lyrics/music:
Thomas SANKARA
adopted 1974; also known as "Une Seule Nuit" (One Single Night), Burkina Faso's anthem was written by the country's president, an avid guitar player
Data source 1: All Above textual data, maps and flags were extracted from The World Factbook which was prepared by the Central Intelligence Agency and made available on the following link: The World Factbook. Lebanese Economy Forum is not sponsered or affiliated, in any way, by the US Central Intelligence Agency
Data source 2: Plots and Charts are constructed using the world bank public data catalog which can be viewed by visiting the following link: World Bank Data Catalog. Lebanese Economy Forum is not sponsored or affiliated, in any way, by the worldbank

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