About Burkina Faso
Burkina Faso is an ethnically diverse, secular country in West Africa.
Most of the Burkina people are concentrated in the south and centre of the country, with hundreds of thousands migrating to neighbouring countries, mainly for seasonal agricultural work. Around 80 per cent of the population is engaged in subsistence farming; cotton is the main cash crop. The country has few natural resources and a weak industrial base.
Burkina Faso gained independence in 1960 and education levels have vastly improved since then. The primary education rate has gone from just seven per cent to more than 81 per cent. The draw of Burkina Faso’s gold mining industry means an increased rate of children leave school before completing their education. There are several other challenges facing the education system. Many schools are without teachers, classes are overcrowded, there is a high number of school dropouts and there are poor enrolment rates in rural areas.
The production and availability of food are impacted by climate change and increased mining activities that negatively affect the quantity and quality of food. Malnutrition is a constant challenge, particularly for children under five years.
Poor health and bad housing conditions are also serious problems for the country. Overall, the level of sanitation has improved, but access to clean drinking water remains limited. As a result, waterborne diseases persist and child mortality remains high.
Climate change, urbanisation and conflict have all left Burkina Faso more vulnerable to disasters.