Burkina Faso 2018
In 2018, Burkina Faso had a population of approximately 19.7 million people. The economy is largely based on agriculture and services, while gold and cotton are the main exports. French is the official language although other languages such as Moore, Dioula and Fulfulde are also spoken. According to extrareference, Burkina Faso is a semi-presidential republic with an executive branch headed by the President who is elected for a five-year term. The legislative branch consists of a bicameral parliament (the National Assembly and the Senate). In terms of foreign relations, Burkina Faso maintains diplomatic ties with over 70 countries around the world and has close ties with its neighbors in West Africa such as Ghana, Ivory Coast and Mali. The government also works closely with international organizations such as the United Nations, African Union (AU), World Bank, International Monetary Fund (IMF), World Trade Organization (WTO) and Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS).
Burkina Faso. In early March, both the army headquarters and the French embassy in the capital Ouagadougou were exposed to terrorist attacks. A total of 16 people lost their lives, eight of them assailants. Later, the Islamist group Jama’at Nusrat al-Islam wal-Muslim (JNIM) took on the attacks. The group is based in Mali and is affiliated with al-Qaeda.
According to Countryaah.com, Ouagadougou is the capital city of Burkina Faso, a country located in Western Africa. Terror attacks have become an increasing problem in Burkina Faso in recent years, especially in the eastern and northern parts of the country. One reason for this could be that militant jihadist groups have been pushed back in neighboring countries Mali and Niger. In March, the International Red Cross reported that at least 5,000 people had been forced to flee their homes in the northern Soum province since the turn of the year due to attacks across the Mali border. According to official figures published in April, 133 people, many of them civil servants, had been killed in Islamic terrorist acts since 2015.
- According to Abbreviationfinder: BFA is an three letter acronym for Burkina Faso.
In August, at least seven soldiers and military police were killed en route to the city of Pama in eastern Burkina Faso, where a police station had previously been subjected to a fire attack. The vehicle in which they were traveling was driving on a homemade land mine. Similar events occurred in September, when a vehicle exploded in the air in the province of Soum and eight soldiers lost their lives, and in October when another six soldiers were killed by a road bomb in the eastern part of the country. In October, French flights carried out an attack in the north, killing dozens of Islamist militants, according to official records.
In late September, thousands of people in Ouagadougou demonstrated against the increased violence and corruption in the country. The poor security situation exacerbates the already severe drought situation in the country. Smaller cereal crops than expected risked food shortages and severe malnutrition in tens of thousands of children. The worst was the situation in the northern parts of the country.
In March, Burkina Faso was one of a total of 44 African countries that signed an agreement on a new African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA). In August, the country’s election commission announced that a referendum on a new constitution will be held in March 2019. The new constitutional proposal means, among other things, that the president will only be able to sit for two terms of office.
Burkina Faso Geopolitics
Burkina Faso, called Upper Volta until 1984, is a small and populous state in West Africa. Until 2014, its stability was due to the political hegemony of the party of the former president, Blaise Compaoré, who came to power in 1987, following the murder of the beloved president Thomas Sankara, of which Compaoré was number two. Compaoré has always been re-elected, the last time being in November 2010 with 80% of the vote. In May 2013, the National Assembly passed a law for the establishment of the Senate, consisting of 89 seats. Through the new Senate, Compaorè tried to impose a constitutional change that would allow him to extend his mandate beyond the deadline set for the end of 2015. Just such an eventuality has triggered increasingly widespread popular protests, which resulted in real riots across the country between October and November 2014. The demonstrations led Compaoré to resign on 31 October. After a transitional period, the presidency was assumed by former diplomat Michel Kafando, with the task of leading the country towards new presidential elections. Close to the elections, some soldiers loyal to the former president tried a coup against Kafando, thwarted only by the diplomatic intervention of the USA and France. The 2015 elections saw Roch Marc Christian Kaboré win.
The Burkinabé population, which derives from the two major cultural strains of West Africa, the Voltaic and the Mande, is historically integrated. The Moved, belonging to the first group, have been in the majority for centuries and have held power through a reign that lasted more than eight centuries. Today most of the population resides in the central-southern area of the country. With a median age of 17 and 46% of the population under the age of fourteen, Burkina Faso is the 10th youngest state in the world.
Although the country is among the poorest in the world, its economy is growing, driven by the recovery of the cotton sector and the production of new gold mines, the main export product. In 2015, the GDP grew by 5% while for 2016 it is expected to grow up to 6%, even if political instability puts the country’s prospects at risk. The government is working on a new strategy to fight poverty by making the tax system more efficient; however the high rate of corruption within public institutions makes it difficult for the population to accept these policies.
Burkina Faso is heavily dependent on imports and remittances from Côte d’Ivoire, whose precarious stability has convinced the government of Ouagadougou to try to diversify imports by strengthening its link with Ghana, a country to which a non-governmental share is also directed. indifferent to exports. However, the Ivory Coast is of considerable importance for Burkina Faso also in political and social terms, due to the large Burkinabé minority residing across the border. The recovery in the price of minerals has renewed interest from foreign investors, attracted by the huge reserves of gold, iron, zinc and silver available underground.
In the two-year period 2012-13, following the crisis in Mali, in which Compaoré played the role of mediator on behalf of Ecowas with varying fortunes, at least 50,000 people found refuge in Burkina Faso. The settlement area of the Tuareg, involved in the Malian crisis, also touches the national territory. Ouagadougou has sent a contingent in support of the French military intervention and is cooperating increasingly with Western allies against the jihadist terrorist groups of the Sahelian belt. This threat arose on January 16, 2016, when an armed commando attacked some buildings in the capital, killing nearly 30 people.