Republic of Upper Volta

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Republic of Upper Volta
République de Haute-Volta (French)
Coat of arms
Coat of arms
"Unité – Travail – Justice" (in French)
"Unity – Work – Justice"
Hymne National Voltaïque
Capital Ouagadougou
Languages French
Government Republic
 •  1959–1966 Maurice Yaméogo
 •  1982–1983 Jean-Baptiste Ouédraogo
 •  1983–1984 Thomas Sankara
High Commissioner
 •  1958–1959 Max Berthet
 •  1959–1960 Paul Masson
Prime Minister
 •  1971–1974 Gérard Kango Ouedraogo
 •  1983 Thomas Sankara
Historical era Cold War
 •  Self-governing colony December 11, 1958
 •  Independence August 5, 1960
 •  Renamed August 4, 1984
Currency CFA franc
Preceded by
Succeeded by
French Upper Volta
Burkina Faso
Today part of  Burkina Faso
Part of a series on the
History of Burkina Faso
Flag of Burkina Faso
Bura /
Prehistoric /
c. 3rd–13th century
Mossi Kingdoms 11th? century – 1896
French Upper Volta
Republic 1958–1984
Burkina Faso
Agacher Strip War 1985
Assassination of Sankara 1987
Compaoré rule 1987-2014
Burkinabè revolution 2014
Transitional period 2014-2015
Burkinabé coup d'état 2015
2015 elections and aftermath 2015-present
Flag of Burkina Faso.svg Burkina Faso portal

The Republic of Upper Volta (French: République de Haute-Volta) was a landlocked West African country established on December 11, 1958, as a self-governing colony within the French Community.[1][2] Before attaining autonomy it had been French Upper Volta and part of the French Union. On August 5, 1960, it attained full independence from France.[3]


Map showing the Volta River in Upper Volta.

Thomas Sankara came to power through a military coup d'état on August 4, 1983.[4] After the coup, he formed the National Council for the Revolution (CNR), with himself as president. Under the direction of Sankara, the country changed its name on August 4, 1984, from Upper Volta to Burkina Faso, which means "Land of Incorruptible People".[5]

The name Upper Volta indicated that the country contains the upper part of the Volta River. The colors of the national flag corresponded to the names of its three main tributaries — the Black Volta, the White Volta, and the Red Volta.[6]

See also


  1. ^
  2. ^
  3. ^ Meredith, Martin (2013). The State of Africa. Simon & Schuster. p. 69. ISBN 9780857203885. 
  4. ^
  5. ^ "More (Language of the Mossi Tribe) Phrase Book". World Digital Library. Retrieved 16 February 2013. 
  6. ^

Coordinates: 12°16′N 2°4′W / 12.267°N 2.067°W / 12.267; -2.067

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