Did You Know: Burkina Faso?

One of the more remote countries in Western Africa, Burkina Faso is so rich in culture. Half the population of Burkina Faso, or “land of the honest people,” claims descent from the Mossi warriors who ruled over one of the most powerful empires in West Africa from the 11th to the 19th century. It is home to 63 ethnic groups. Formerly known as Upper Volta, the French colony gained independence in 1960. It’s mostly agricultural economy has been hurt by droughts and political instability.  There is still much tradition that is kept, which allows you to truly experience West African culture. Burkina Faso is very well known for their art and music, most especially their drumming culture. It is a great place to get away from it all and immerse yourself into a very culturally rich community.

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  1. Burkina Faso is a landlocked country 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.
  1. The Capital of Burkina Faso is Ouagadougou. Written as “Wogodogo” in the Mòoré dialect, it literally means “You are welcome here at home with us”.
  2. It is home to the largest elephant population in West Africa.
  3. The terrain here is mostly flat, leading to undulating plains and hills in the west and south-west.
  4. Burkina Faso enjoys a tropical climate, with warm, dry winters and hot, wet summers – don’t forget your sun cream!
  5. In case you were wondering, residents of Burkina Faso are called ‘Burkinabe’, which interestingly is both singular and plural!
  6. The average life expectancy here is 45 years.
  7. Like many African nations, the currency of Burkina Faso is the CFA franc.
  8. French is the official language of Burkina Faso; however other dialects are also spoken here, including Mòoré, Gourma, Fulfulde, Dioula, and Tamasheq.
  9. They grow peanuts, cotton, shea nuts and sesame and rear livestock.
  10. Burkina Faso exports cotton, livestock and gold
  11. Asked to name Africa’s most dangerous animal, people might guess the crocodile. The African Nile Crocodile is certainly found in the rivers, lakes and ponds throughout Burkina Faso.
  12. There is actually a water-dweller which poses an even greater threat to humans – the hippopotamus. Hippos are easily agitated, especially if they have young calves close by or if their route to water is blocked. With their huge bulk and fast charge – hippos can run at 45km/hour over a short distance.
  13. Burkina Faso consistently produces silk linings from pigs’ ears.
  14. 497 species of birds have been found in Burkina Faso, only one of which is endangered. (This is the Egyptian vulture.) The country has ten of what they call Important Bird Areas, or IBAs.
  15. Burkina Faso is home to three crocodile species: Slender-snouted crocodile, Nile crocodile, and dwarf crocodile. These are especially important in Bazoule, where the reptiles are even considered sacred.
  16. Most food in Burkina Faso comes with sauce. Staple foods are sorghum, millet, rice, maize, peanuts, potatoes, bean, yams and okra.
  17. Burkina Faso is home to 60 different ethnic groups, each with their own variety of folk music.
  18. Burkina Faso is a leader in African art and culture and hosts the largest craft market in Africa. It is an excellent destination for anyone interested in seeing beautiful West African country and exploring African culture and music.
  19. The Bobo, one of the ethnic groups in Burkina Faso make large butterfly masks, painted in stripes of red, white and black which are used to invoke the deity Do in fertility ceremonies. The Mossi are known for their antelope masks. The Lobi carve
  20. The University of Ouagadougou founded in 1974, was the country’s first institution of higher education. The Polytechnic University in Bobo-Diolasso was opened in 1995. The University of Koudougou was founded in 2005, replacing the former “Ecole Normal Superieur de Koudougou.”
  21. Burkina has few natural resources. The French only colonized it because it was a bridge between their coastal territories of Benin and Ivory Coast and their desert holdings in modern-day Mali and Niger. It even stopped being a country for 15 years from 1932, when it was carved up between its more important neighbors
  22. Popular sports in Burkina Faso are: soccer, handball, cycling, basketball and boxing
  23. 60% of the population is Muslim, while 19% is Catholic, 15% are Animists, and 5% are Protestan
  24. Burkina Faso is a leader in African art and culture and hosts the largest craft market in Africa. It is an excellent destination for anyone interested in seeing beautiful West African country and exploring African culture and music.drums bf.jpeg

26. Want to speak a little Mòoré? “Yam Kibaré?” (How are you?) And your response: “Laafi Bala, La Yamba?” (I am fine and you?”)

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