Welcome to Burkina Faso

Welcome to Burkina Faso

Land of Honourable Men

“Hello. My name is Adama Zonga. Welcome to Burkina Faso. And my name is Marie Kere. Welcome.

Our country is the ‘Land of Men with Integrity’. This is what the name Burkina Faso means. It can also be interpreted as the ‘Land of Honourable/Incorruptible Men’.

Marie and I are very proud of where we live and want to serve our country when we're older. I'd like to be a doctor and I explain why in the video. Marie wants to be a police officer.

Hopefully, Marie won’t come up against too much serious trouble. Although there are over 60 different groups in Burkina, we all live together peacefully. This is not the case in some of our neighbouring countries."

In Refugees, meet a boy who had to leave his home in neighbouring Ivory Coast because of the war there.

Discover Burkina

More than 60 ethnic groups live in Burkina Faso, speaking a variety of different languages and dialects. A citizen of Burkina Faso is known as a Burkinabe (in French, spelt with an è or sometimes with an é).

Only two-thirds of primary-aged children are enrolled at school and just 40 per cent of young people (aged 15-24 years) are literate (UNESCO).

Burkina’s traditional buildings are made of mud (either with thatched or corrugated iron roofs). Because the earth is very red, most buildings are a deep orange.

The capital of Burkina, Ouagadougou, hosts a number of cultural festivals and exhibitions throughout the year. These provide a showcase for the country’s dance, theatre, poetry, film, art and music.

Burkina’s main agricultural export is cotton. The country is Africa’s largest producer of cotton and local farmers call it their ‘white gold’.

With its many lakes and river basins, Burkina is home to a number of water-dwelling animals, including the African Nile Crocodile and the hippopotamus.

Drinking water is available to three-quarters of the population, but proper sanitation is scarce. Only one in 10 Burkinabe have toilets.

The country as it stands today was only established in 1947, when it was named ‘Upper Volta’ by the French. Independence came in 1960 and the name Burkina Faso was adopted.