Nationality: Noun and adjective–Burkinabe (accent on last e).


Capital: Ougadougou


Population (2010): 16.3 million


Ethnic groups: 63 ethnic groups among which are Mossi (almost half of the total population), followed by Gourmantche, Fulani, Dioula, and Bissa.

Burkina Faso is an ethnically integrated, secular state. Burkina Faso’s 16.3 million people belong to two major West African cultural groups–the Voltaic and the Mande (whose common language is Dioula).

Languages: French (official); More; Gourma; Fulfulde; Dioula; Tamasheq.

Religions: Muslim 60%, Catholic 19%, animist 15%, Protestant 5%.

The majority (60.5%) of Burkinabe are Muslim, but most also adhere to traditional African religions. Christians, both Roman Catholics and Protestants, comprise about 24% of the population, with their largest concentration in urban areas. Statistics on religion in Burkina Faso are inexact, because Islam and Christianity are often practiced in tandem with indigenous religious beliefs. A popular saying in Burkina Faso claims that “50% are Muslim, 50% are Christian, and 100% are animist“.

Christian and Missionary Alliance claim 25,000 baptised members and work in remote areas.


Government: Type: Republic.
Branches: Executive–president President–Blaise Compaore
(head of state and Council of Ministers) Prime Minister–Beyon Luc Adolphe Tiao (head of government).

Legislative–one chamber.



Living conditions: Education: Literacy (2009)–26%. Health: Infant mortality rate (2010)–91.7/1,000. Life expectancy (2010)–56.7 years.
Work force: Agriculture–77.9%; industry–2.1%; commerce, services, and government–5.5%. Per capita GDP (2009): $580.

History: Burkino Faso (the country of honourable people), was claimed by the French in 1895 and became the colony of Upper Volta in 1919. Its present boundaries were agreed in 1947 and it became independent in 1960. There followed a constitutional government which was replaced by a series of military coups. Civilian government has returned but there is general unease at the continuation of the “old guard”. As of 2010, President Compaoré is entering his 23rd year in power. He “has become immensely wealthy” and purchased a presidential plane to reflect his personal prestige, while landlocked Burkina Faso ranks as the third least developed country in the world.


Pray for:

  • An entry for CPM.

  • Release from the bondage of animism

  • A purification of the church from syncretism.

  • Political stability.

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