Portal:Burkina Faso

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Coat of Arms of Burkina Faso
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Burkina Faso (/bərˌknə ˈfɑːs/ burr-KEE-nə FAH-soh; French: [byʁkina faso]), also known by its short-form name Burkina, is a landlocked country in West Africa. It is surrounded by six countries: Mali to the north, Niger to the east, Benin to the south east, Togo and Ghana to the south, and Côte d'Ivoire to the south west.

Its size is 274,000 km² with an estimated population of more than 15,757,000. Formerly called the Republic of Upper Volta, it was renamed on August 4, 1984, by President Thomas Sankara to mean "the land of upright people" in Moré and Dioula, the major native languages of the country. Literally, "Burkina" may be translated, "men of integrity," from the Moré language, and "Faso" means "father's house" in Dioula. The inhabitants of Burkina Faso are known as Burkinabè (/bərˈknəb/ burr-KEE-nə-bay).

Burkina Faso's capital is Ouagadougou. After gaining independence from France in 1960, the country underwent many governmental changes until arriving at its current form, a semi-presidential republic. The country occupies the sixth to last place on the Human Development Index.

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The hippopotamus (Hippopotamus amphibius) or hippo, from the ancient Greek for "river horse" (Ιπποπόταμος), is a large, mostly herbivorous mammal in sub-Saharan Africa, and one of only two extant species in the family Hippopotamidae (the other is the Pygmy Hippopotamus.) The hippopotamus is the second largest land animal (after the elephant) and the heaviest extant artiodactyl, despite being considerably shorter than the giraffe.

The hippopotamus is semi-aquatic, inhabiting rivers and lakes where territorial bulls preside over a stretch of river and groups of 5 to 30 females and young. During the day they remain cool by staying in the water or mud; reproduction and childbirth both occur in water. They emerge at dusk to graze on grass. While hippopotamuses rest near each other in the water, grazing is a solitary activity and hippos are not territorial on land.

Despite their physical resemblance to pigs and other terrestrial even-toed ungulates, their closest living relatives are cetaceans (whales, porpoises, etc.) from which they diverged about 55 million years ago. The common ancestor of whales and hippos split from other even-toed ungulates around 60 million years ago. The earliest known hippopotamus fossils, belonging to the genus Kenyapotamus in Africa, date to around 16 million years ago.

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Oursi dunes
Credit: Marco Schmidt

Western hills of Chaine de Gobnangou, Tambarga, S. Burkina Faso.

Did you know ...

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Did you know?


  • ... that in Burkina Faso, Bwa people use masks made of leaves to represent their god Dwo in performative rituals?


In the news

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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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edit 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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