Burkina Faso

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 Compaire 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. Burkina Faso is located in western Africa, north of Ghana and is about 274,200 sq km in size, which is slightly larger than Colorado. Though French is the official language, African languages belonging to Sudanic family are spoken by 90% of the population. The total population is roughly 17,275,115 (July 2012 est.) Burkina Faso is a poor, landlocked country that relies heavily on cotton and gold exports for revenue. The country has few natural resources and a weak industrial base. About 90% of the population is engaged in subsistence agriculture, which is vulnerable to periodic drought. Cotton is the main cash crop. The capital of Burkina Faso is Ouagadougou and the country's national symbol is the white stallion

  • Arun Agrawal

    Arun Agrawal

    Professor, School of Natural Resources and Environment

  • Frieda Ekotto

    Frieda Ekotto

    Associate Professor, Romance Languages and Literatures
    Associate Professor, Comparative Literature

  • Rachel Snow

    Rachel Snow

    Associate Professor, Health Behavior & Health Education
    Associate Research Professor, Population Studies Center
    Associate Director, International Institute
    Member, Ad Hoc Committee on African Studies