Image: the locations of the partners is indicated in orange
Burkina Faso (“land of the upright people”) is a West African country located south of the Niger Arc and bordered by Mali, Niger, Benin, Togo, Ghana and the Ivory Coast. The country gained its independence on August 5, 1960. Until August 4, 1984, it had been known as “Upper Volta”, the name it had received as a French colony.
In the past few years, Burkina Faso has been caught in a spiral of violence that can be traced to various armed jihadist groups, some are affiliated with Al Qaeda, others with the Islamic State group. The attacks are particularly violent in the north and east of the country. The Burkinabe army is working hard to combat and stop this violence.
On Monday, January 24, 2022, a military coup took place in Burkina Faso. A junta led by Lt. Col. Paul-Henri Sandaogo Damiba deposed President Roch Marc Christian Kaboré, who was democratically elected in 2015. One motive was the inefficiency of the security policy, which allocated insufficient resources to the army to overcome terrorist violence. The junta is currently enjoying some support from the Burkinabe people. The insecure situation and the high number of people displaced in their own country, but also political measures taken by the junta, have led to considerable inflation and a significant slowdown in economic life.
The administrative and cultural capital of the country, which has a population of 21 million, is the centrally located metropolis of Ouagadougou. The predominantly flat landlocked country, with shares of the Greater Sudan and the Sahel zone, is characterized by a tropical climate and diverse savannah landscapes. About half of the Burkinabe belong to the politically dominant Mossi ethnic group, who lived in several strictly hierarchically organized kingdoms until they were colonized by France at the end of the 19th century. About 60 native languages are spoken in Burkina Faso. Islam is the most widely practiced religion (60.5%), followed by Christianity (23.2%) and Animism (15.3%). Burkina Faso is one of the poorest countries in the world, but today it is characterized by the cultural diversity of the ethnic groups living peacefully together.
Among other things, Burkina Faso hosts the pan-African film festival FESPACO, which takes place every two years.