Burkina Faso, West Africa

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Burkina Faso, also Burkina, is a landlocked nation 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. 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. Independence from France came in 1960. Governmental instability during the 1970s and 1980s was followed by multiparty elections in the early 1990s. Several hundred thousand farm workers migrate south every year to Côte d’Ivoire and Ghana in search of paid labour. The inhabitants of Burkina Faso are known as Burkinabé .

Demographics-Burkina Faso has an estimated life expectancy at birth of slightly under 50 years of age. The median age of its inhabitants is under 17. This high population density, causes annual migrations of hundreds of thousands, for seasonal employment.
Approximately 50% of the population is Muslim; Christians account for about 30%, and followers of traditional African religions (typically animism of various forms) make up about 20%. Many Christians incorporate elements of animism into their religious practices
Widespread poverty-46.4%
Adult illiteracy- 85%
Low life expectancy-43 years
Few natural resources
Inadequate infrastructure
Third poorest country in the world
(UN, 2003)
Traditional huts in south-east Burkina Faso
Source: Wikipedia

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