A Brief Overview of the West African Country Burkina Faso.3 min read

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Burkina Faso is one of West Africa’s land locked country. To the North it is boarded by Mali and Niger, to the East with Benin Republic, to the South by Ghana and Ivory Coast while Mali extends westward.  The capital of Burkina Faso is “Ouagadougou”. Ouagadougou is centrally located inside the country.  Burkina Faso was colonized by the French.

Before independence, the country was known as Upper Volta. However, after it gained its independence from the French, its name was changed to Burkina Faso.

The name Burkina Faso was fully adopted in the year 1984. The capital city Ouagadougou lies approximately about 800km (Five Hundred miles) southward to the Atlantic Ocean. 
Extensive low range plateau occupies the country; the northern part of the country is characterized by grassy savannah while sparsely dense forest is prominent in the south. Burkina Faso has a dry, hot and sunny climate. The northern part of the country experiences about 4 -5 months of annual average rainfall most often erratic. Generally, the climatic condition in the north is said to be semiarid. The southern region is quite humid as much rainfall is experienced all year round. In Burkina Faso, the seasons can be broadly categorized into four. The cool and dry static seasons experienced from early November to February, the hot season experienced from February to mid-July where the temperatures rises to about 40 degree Celsius, The Harmattan  seasons characterized by dryness and windy dust blowing from the Sahara desert. The raining season starts from Mid-June to October. Average rainfall may vary from about 50 inch (1200mm) in the Southern part of the country to about less than 260mm (11 inch) in the north.
Map of Burkina Faso (Photo Credit:LBC9)

The official language of Burkina Faso is French while English is also spoken by sparsely by few people. It is a democratic country with the head of government being the prime minister. The Head of State is the president who oversees the daily running of the country’s economic and political activities. The monetary unit (Currency) of the Burkina Faso is the CFA Franc (CFAF). The estimated population of Burkina Faso is about 20 Million (2016 est).  The country has a total area of about 105,543 square meters with the Urban – Rural Population ratio put at 29.9% to 70.1% (2015 est). The life expectancy for male and female is estimated at 53.1 and 57.2 years respectively.

Language Affiliation

 

The national or official language in Burkina Faso is the French language. French is used in most educational institutions across the country. It is also widely used by the media as a means of communication and information. However, out of the 60 ethnic languages present in Burkina Faso, 38 of them belong to the voltaic language clan and they include Lobiri, Dagara, Moore and the Bwamu. The other ethnic Mande clan have 12 languages which include Bobo, Bisa, Dyula and Sane. The other ones are the Fulfulde language spoken majorly by the Fulbe tribe. However, it worthy to note that aside from the French language, most Burkinabes have grown up to speak other national languages. Like other West African Countries, there are vernacular languages spoken such as the Moore and Dyula used for communication in the central and western part of the country.

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