Portal:Burkina Faso

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The Burkina Faso Portal

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Burkina Faso (UK: /bɜːrˌknə ˈfæs/, US: /- ˈfɑːs/ (About this soundlisten); French: [buʁkina faso]) is a landlocked country in West Africa. It covers an area of around 274,200 square kilometres (105,900 sq mi) and is surrounded by six countries: Mali to the north; Niger to the east; Benin to the southeast; Togo and Ghana to the south; and Ivory Coast to the southwest. In 2017, its population was estimated at just over 20 million. Burkina Faso is a francophone country, with French as the official language of government and business. Formerly called the Republic of Upper Volta (1958–1984), the country was renamed "Burkina Faso" on 4 August 1984 by then-President Thomas Sankara. Its citizens are known as Burkinabé (/bɜːrˈknəb/ bur-KEE-nə-bay). Its capital is Ouagadougou.

The northwestern part of present-day Burkina Faso was populated by hunter-gatherers from 14000 BC to 5000 BC. From the 3rd to the 13th centuries AD, the Iron Age Bura culture existed in the territory of present-day southeastern Burkina Faso and southwestern Niger. Various ethnic groups of present-day Burkina Faso, such as the Mossi, Fula and Dyula, arrived in successive waves between the 8th and 15th centuries. From the 11th century, the Mossi people established several separate kingdoms. In the 1890s, during the European Scramble for Africa, the territory of Burkina Faso was invaded by France, and colonial control was established following a war of conquest between 1896 and 1904. The territory was made part of French West Africa in 1904, and the colony of French Upper Volta was established on 1 March 1919. The colony was named for its location on the upper courses of the Volta River (the Black, Red and White Volta).

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The geography of Burkina Faso is similar to that of other countries in the region. Burkina Faso (formerly Upper Volta) is a landlocked Sahel country that shares borders with six nations. It lies between the Sahara Desert and the Gulf of Guinea, south of the loop of the Niger River. The land is green in the south, with forests and fruit trees, and desert in the north. Most of central Burkina Faso lies on a savanna plateau, 198–305 metres (650–1,001 ft) above sea level, with fields, brush, and scattered trees. Burkina Faso's game preserves--the most important of which are Arly, Nazinga, and W National Park--contain lions, elephants, hippopotamus, monkeys, warthogs, and antelopes. Previously the endangered Painted Hunting Dog, Lycaon pictus occurred in Burkina Faso, but, although last sightings were made in Arli National Park, the species is considered extirpated in Burkina Faso. Tourism is not well developed.

Annual rainfall varies from about 1,000 mm (39.4 in) in the south to less than 250 mm (9.8 in) in the extreme north and northeast, where hot desert winds accentuate the dryness of the region. Burkina Faso has three distinct seasons: warm and dry (November-March), hot and dry (March-May), and hot and wet (June-October).

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Girl
Credit: Ferdinand Reus

Young girl at a market in Ouagadougou, Burkina Faso.

Did you know ...

Dani Kouyaté


Did you know?


  • ... that legendary princess Yennenga, the "mother" of the Mossi people, was such a great warrior that her father refused to allow her to marry?


In the news

Wikinews Burkina Faso portal
  • September 23: Civilian government restored as Burkina Faso coup ends
  • January 5: French campaigning film director René Vautier dies
  • November 28: United Nations passes Declaration on human cloning
  • December 17: Wikinews interviews former Matilda's player Sarah Walsh about Australian women's soccer
  • March 6: Polio vaccination campaign targets 85 million African children

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Selected biography

Captain Thomas Isidore Noël Sankara (December 21, 1949 – October 15, 1987) was the leader of Burkina Faso (formerly known as Upper Volta) from 1983 to 1987. In addition to being noted for his personal charisma and praised for promoting health and women's rights, he also antagonised many vested interests in the country. He was overthrown and assassinated in a coup d'état led by Blaise Compaoré on October 15, 1987.

Sankara was the son of Marguerite Sankara (died March 6, 2000) and Sambo Joseph Sankara (1919 – August 4, 2006), a gendarme. Born into a Roman Catholic family, "Thom'Sank" was a Silmi-Mossi, an ethnic group that originated with marriage between Mossi men and women of the pastoralist Fulani people. The Silmi-Mossi are among the least advantaged in the Mossi caste system. He attended primary school in Gaoua and high school in Bobo-Dioulasso, the country's second city. (Read more...)

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